When you download ‘Axis’ and start filling in your favorite movie location, preoccupation and quote, do you also have to etch your immunity level? While most dating app users continue to leave theirs unregistered, experts say more and more now include their COVID status on their dating profile as home shelter orders are expanded across the United States.
According to Lily Wolford, relationship coach and founder of dating company Love With Intelligence, if you joined the dating app today, you’ll likely discover phrases like “I’m healthy” or “without COVID” in bio users. And although this information may prove to be helpful, the unfortunate truth is that it often appears as a way to allow even more personal rapprochement, while rejecting the rules of home stay orders.
Registering your COVID status, says Walford, can actually indicate disrespect for the current restrictions, and a willingness to spread the virus even further by adjusting and meeting several people. This is not malicious in itself, but some people find it difficult to adhere to these new social norms. And when you’re bored, horny and lonely, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind.
I said I would post my test results if I was exposed, hoping it would make me more marketable!
For Maria, 38, using Tinder, listing her health condition is something she would consider doing to match up with more people and mark more dates. “I was just talking to a friend about dating inside COVID, and my plans to do an antibody test to determine my exposure,” she tells the hustle and bustle. “In the tool, I said I’d post my test results if I was exposed, hoping it would make me more marketable!”
The problem is that many people can carry the virus without knowing it, or pick it up after a negative test. And that’s why experts agree that this trend is not only unhelpful but can be dangerous. Rachel De Alto, chief dating expert on Match, tells Bustle, “This virus is so new, and there is a possibility of false positives or negatives, and who knows if even new strains will arise.” “For now I don’t think it’s necessary and may be inaccurate.”
However, it’s okay to talk about the coron virus online – you can vent about socializing, asking how people are holding up, confessing ongoing anxieties, and getting to know each other really well. In fact, a heartfelt conversation about COVID-19 can help normalize the positive tests with the virus. According to a spokeswoman for Tinder, the app has seen a rise in many terms related to the Coronus virus in users’ bios, including “stay home, be safe”, “how are you” as well as “socialize” and “wash your hands.”
Bumble rep tells Bustle that over 100,000 users have updated their dating profiles to mention that they are self-quarantining. And in response to social distancing, the platform has created a new video chat option so users can go on virtual dates from their homes ’safety – making COVID status reading even more unnecessary.
So should users consider registering their COVID status to move forward?
“I don’t think it should be something you see when you jump to his profile at first, but if you talk to someone and plan to [meet after the quarantine], you have to say something,” Kim, 27, uses Hinge, tells Bustle. “I think more advance information is preferable, and not divulging it after it’s too late.”
DeAlto agrees that sharing your COVID status at a time can be an important step in a relationship, in the same way that you develop about other personal issues. “I believe in having honest conversations about your health, but not necessarily in the dating profile,” De Alto says. “It can be a topic of discussion after contact and can help build a deeper understanding with each other.”
Lily Walford, relationship coach and founder of dating company Love With Intelligence
Rachel De Alto, first dating expert on Match