Before COVID-19 we didn’t worry about who we were meeting or if we would risk lives by meeting someone for a coffee date. With most people in the United States practice social distancing, dating practices have changed overnight. Meeting up in person is risky, sharing a meal together could cause contamination, and kissing or hugging could leave you with COVID-19.
Your dating life doesn’t have to be over, however. In fact, it may be an advantageous time to go back to when communication is more important than getting together or getting physically intimate. Marriage experts have suggested that relationships where physical intimacy is delayed often have a stronger, deeper connection. These relationships also tend to last longer, and couples report higher marital satisfaction when sex has been delayed.
So, how do you date and stay safe during the pandemic? Here are several suggestions below:
1. Texting works and so does sexting. Send thoughtful or flirty texts throughout the day to let them know you’re thinking about them.
2. Have a virtual get-together with your potential date. These can be a step into the person’s real world and deepen a connection. Plus, you’re able to see body language, which is an important factor in communication.
3. Embrace that dating has been slowed down. When you take your time and talk together, you listen better than you do when life is busy and chaotic.
4. Use the phone for what it’s meant for. Call your date and schedule a real sit-down conversation with them. We feel closer to someone when we hear their voice.
5. Work together to be each other’s inspiration. Identify a goal you both want to work on, whether it’s exercising more, trying a new skill, or time management. Become each other’s virtual work partner. You’ll end up being a healthier and better person.
6. If you must meet in person, meet up at a park for a walk and keep a six-foot distance. Respecting yourself means you practice safety first. If your date values you, they’ll want to keep you safe as well.
Take advantage of this time and work on your communication skills. Becoming more reflective and being vulnerable with someone is a rare and wonderful opportunity. This may be the best thing that ever happened to modern dating.