Dating is tough, but thanks to the coronavirus crisis, finding a casual or romantic partner is more laborious than ever. After all, there are no restaurants to go to. No bars to visit. Even libraries and museums are shut down. But you don’t have to put your (love) life on hold. There are ways to date in this age of social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines.
Here are six ways to meet guys, gals, and non-binary pals.
Create an Online Dating Profile
The easiest — and arguably — most efficient way to meet a casual or romantic partner is via an online dating site, like eHarmony, Match, Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, BlackPeopleMeet, and HER. Of course, which site(s) you chose will vary, depending upon your personal interests or needs, but the first step won’t change: In order to date new people, you need to meet new people. You need to put yourself out there.
Join a Virtual Club
If online dating isn’t your thing, fear not: You can make new friends — and, potentially, meet new love interests — in other ways. Virtual book clubs and online religious groups are a great way to meet like-minded people. Online music classes, art classes, and writing classes will get your creative juices flowing and place you in contact with others. You can even host or join a virtual happy hour.
Not sure where to begin? Sign up for Meetup! This online service will help you locate groups that host in-person and virtual events for people with similar interests.
Update Your Social Media Status
While I know this sounds strange — after all, how will a social media status change improve your love life? — it’s important you put your desires out there. Plus, you never know who will see this update. Someone on your friends list may like you or they may know someone who is interested, which brings me to my next point…
Networking is common in the business world. It’s the action or process of meeting (and interacting with) new people — and this is done through connections. So-and-so introduces you to so-and-so. Rinse and repeat. But you can also use networking in your personal life. How? Well, ask your friends and family members to put you in touch with someone you may get along with, romantically or otherwise. This expands your “network.” Plus, pre-vetted connections are some of the best connections, since your friends already know your interests, needs, and desires.
Go on “Video” Dates
Once you’ve found someone, it’s time to plan a date. But how does that work work, especially now — in an age of social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines? Well, the safest way to get together is virtually. (Yes, virtually.) But fear not: You can still have fun. How, you ask? Well, you can watch a movie using Teleparty, an online video synchronization playback system. You can visit the Guggenheim Museum in New York or the National Gallery of Art. Playing games online is another great way to meet and mingle. Games like Scattergories, Bingo, Quiplash, cards, or Guess Who work great. You can also just have a virtual happy hour or hang. After all, there’s nothing quite like cocktails and conversation.
Plan an Outdoor Rendezvous
If you want to meet up, the best (well, safest) way to do so is to meet outdoors. Go for a walk, a hike, or a bike ride. Stroll and sip coffee. Ice skate or go skiing. Picnic in the park or head to your local beach, if you live near the water. You can even build a campfire and have s’mores. However, know that in-person meetings come with inherent risk. The only way to truly protect yourself from COVID-19 is to isolate and quarantine beforehand.
If you decide to move forward with an in-person meeting, wear your mask, social distance, and pre-test if possible. You should also plan to have the COVID talk, if and when things become serious. Why? Because COVID-19 is a very real health concern and Dolores Albarracin, PhD —a professor of psychology, business, and medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — tells WebMD “each party needs to understand what the other person is doing, their attitudes toward mitigation measures including mask wearing, disposition to testing and/or quarantine, before meeting.”
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.