Disclaimer: We are not doctors, nor are we experts on the coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19. This article is meant for entertainment purposes only.
If Murphy’s Law ever reared its timely head it’s now. You’ve finally geared up to get back on the dating market, go on a few dates, and really put yourself out there. And then… a pandemic?!?!?! Seriously? As if you don’t have enough to worry about (like having a hot flash during a date), now you have to stress about whether the guy you are meeting is coughing too much. Wait, did he just sneeze? Ok, stop right there. No need to run for the hills quite yet.
The coronavirus is a real concern for single folk who are actively dating (as well as everyone else). Even Tinder, the popular dating app, released a statement that their users’ health is their “#1 priority” and daters should exercise the appropriate cautions when going on dates with people they don’t know.
But let’s slow down, and veer from the “woe is me” for a second and talk about real concerns, ideas for moving forward in a positive direction in spite of mass hysteria, and how to flow through these times with grace. You can still have a life, and be safe at the same time. There IS love in the time of coronavirus.
Screen Your Date
At the time of the writing of this article, we’ve all been told to stay six feet away from each other and only meet in groups of ten or less. Given the rapidly unfolding situation, when you read this, the official direction may have changed. Maybe your state or county is telling people to stay away from public areas or shelter-in-place for a few weeks. Maybe you’re taking the initiative yourself. Good on you!
If you’re game and able to meet your handsome new connection for a walk or coffee on a park bench while practicing social distancing, simply apply some screening techniques first. It’s the new normal, at least for now. You don’t know if he has just returned from overseas, or if his co-worker was just quarantined. A true gentleman would let you know upfront if you should be concerned (like this guy), but don’t count on that happening to you. It’s ok to ask.
An easy way to approach it is to be lighthearted and tell him he probably has nothing to worry about. You’ve been practicing social distancing yourself and you definitely haven’t been traveling (assuming that’s the case). Wrap it up with an easy, “What about you?” It’s a simple and effective way to open up the conversation on a lighter tone, but also get to the heart of coronavirus-related concerns.
Step Up Your Hygiene Game
Yes, you’ve heard it all a million times, but we wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t remind daters to continue to practice all the great hygiene habits you already have in place. It actually wouldn’t hurt to step it up a little. Don’t go overboard by constantly sanitizing your hands after each sip, but take the proper precautions by keeping six feet of distance and washing your hands when you arrive. Don’t put your hands in your mouth, nose, or eyes while you’re there, and then wash your hands again before you leave, and once you arrive home. Read this article on hygiene by health coach Donna Parker for other great tips on staying healthy and spotting the difference between a cold, the flu and Covid-19.
To Touch or Not to Touch?
As if first dates weren’t awkward enough, now you have to worry about touching! Up until last month, a brief hug, or even a nice handshake was enough to ease the tension. But in the fog of Covid-19, there’s going to be that bumbling moment of… do I try, do I not? We advise that you take the reins and approach the situation pro-actively. Make light of the weirdness – point it out even! – and gauge his reaction before doing an air hug, elbow bump, or a “foot shake” like these people have done. Your dates after the coronavirus threat level has lessened might be another question (wink, wink)!
Set up a Virtual Date
Still want to spend time with him, but you’re sheltering in place or worried about the potential consequences? Go on a virtual date! Pour yourself a glass of wine, make a nice dinner, and invite your guy to do the same. Log on to Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or another video conferencing app, and chat away! You’ll get all the benefits of getting to know him, without the worry of contracting Covid-19. Super-sized social distancing in action!
Time to get serious. Caution is queen. The key thing is to not panic, get your facts straight, and don’t become a hermit and disconnect! Social distancing is important. Still, there are ways to date and make it through this together. Don’t let coronavirus stop you! Get creative – keep meeting new people – and stay positive.