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Jana Hocking on why she won’t travel to find love since Covid-19. Photo / Instagram

OPINION:

The other night I was scrolling on the dating apps and I discovered something new about myself that I’m not exactly proud of.

I was in the mood for a date and preferably sooner rather than later. So when a cute bloke from Balmain popped up on my screen, my first thought was, “Nope too far, I can’t be bothered travelling to the other side of the city.”

Then a bloke from Manly took my fancy but I thought, “Nup, catching a ferry just seems like too much effort after the week I’ve had.”

After a brief ponder on why I’ve suddenly become a bit of a postcode snob, I realised it’s a side effect from a year of social distancing.

Jana Hocking won’t travel for a date anymore. Photo / Instagram

You see, it’s no surprise to anyone that pesky coronavirus really put a halt on the ol’ love life. It was a year that saw me reach a lazy dating low. I found myself leaving my trackie bottoms on and only getting dressed from the waist up for awkward Zoom dates that involved bad internet connections and far too much time trying to figure out where the best lighting was in my house.

Whereas, a year ago I would sprint across town for a date because the guy had found a place that makes chilli margaritas served by a mariachi band, because, you know … how fun! These days, well, let’s just say I’ve moved my dating app location preferences to within 20km. OK that’s a lie, it’s around 10km of my house.

Hi, my name is Jana Hocking and I’ve become a lazy dater.

I want to make a date, but I don’t want to spend gazillions on an Uber fare to get there and decide I don’t like the bloke.

It’s gotten so bad, that I have had to make a vow to stop taking first dates to the (awesome) Spanish bar across from my house because the waiters now know me on a first-name basis and give me opinions on each bloke I bring in. “No Jana, he’s not right for you, he ordered the cheap beer.”

Jana is guilty of taking all her dates to the same place. Photo / Instagram

Lazy dating a growing trend

And it’s not just me who has lost the urge to travel for a date. Bumble did a recent study that found, post-pandemic, 64 per cent of Sydneysiders want to travel no more than 10km for a date. A more generous group of 23 per cent said they would be willing to travel up to 25km to meet people outside their area, and just 13 per cent said they were happy to meet someone from anywhere in the city.

Has the whole work from home scenario left us less eager to venture further afield?

Also, can we all agree that the bloke comes to the girl’s suburb first? Call me old-fashioned, but it just seems like the polite thing to do. I know, I know, it’s a very 1950s take on things, but the romantic in me likes to think that chivalry isn’t completely dead.

It’s not just the postcode though – my laziness extends further than travel. I now also don’t want to commit to dinner on a first date. How about we just go for a casual drink and see if we vibe. Is it lazy or smart to keep the first date casual? I’m going with option B.

Covid-19 has left us reluctant to leave our own homes to find love. Photo / Instagram

Is he worth ordering dumplings for?

Lockdown gave us plenty of time to ponder, and I realised that I was spending far too much time on dates that were never going to go anywhere, so why extend it with a bowl of pasta, and a side of garlic bread?

I know within one-to-two drinks whether the guy is worth ordering dumplings for, and my idea of torture is making small talk with someone I’ve already mentally moved on from.

(Side note, there’s also something cute about a guy saying, “Shall we order something to eat,” when you both know the date is going well. It’s like you are both acknowledging you’re not ready to call it a night yet.)

Let the date go where it’s supposed to go naturally and without pressure. Being held captive in a restaurant is fun for no one, plus it just seems far too formal.

So until the after-effects of a year spent mostly in pyjamas working from home wears off, those boys in Mudgee, Tasmania – and, let’s be honest, even Dee Why – are going to have to wait.

If you’re not within a 10km radius of me, I just ain’t interested.



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