Dating during covid

PREVENT

Dating during COVID-19: A guide for hopeful romantics

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the dating scene, leading to more virtual meetups and extra safety precautions for meeting in person.

Dating can be complicated, even in the best of times. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more complicated than ever. The challenge for many hopeful romantics is weighing the risks and benefits of social interaction. This article will help you adapt to a virtual dating scene, learn how to prevent COVID-19 exposure and explore ways to combat loneliness.

Virtual dating

Virtual dating is a safe and convenient option that has become more popular during the pandemic, since there are limited opportunities to socialize safely. Your dating experience will likely happen online or through a dating app, which can help you break the ice from a distance.

Online dating often starts by creating a profile by adding your best photo and information about yourself. You can then browse through other profiles and show you’re interested with a swipe or a click. When you match with someone, you start a conversation to learn more about each other.  If your first conversations go well, the next step may be talking over the phone or via video. From there, you can decide if meeting someone in person is worth the risks.

The reward? You get to see another person. 

But first, “the talk"

Your potential partner may have different expectations for COVID-19 safety. Establish some ground rules early on, so you’re both comfortable when it’s time to meet in person.

Questions to ask:

  • How has the social distancing gone for you? Their answer may reveal what precautions they’re taking and potential risk factors for contracting the virus.
  • Do you live with anyone? Find out if your potential partner or anyone in their home has a health condition leaving them more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications.
  • Have you recently spent any time with anyone outside of your home? You may also want to ask if they have a “bubble” of people outside of their home they regularly see in person.
  • Have you recently been tested for COVID-19? Talk about getting tested before meeting in person, even if you both don’t have symptoms.

If you or your date have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested and quarantine until your result is confirmed negative before meeting in person.

Meeting in person

If you “click” with your potential partner, you may decide to meet in person. For your first in-person date, meet outside to lower your risk of COVID-19 transmission. Wear a mask and meet where you can safely stay six feet apart.

Expanding your bubble

If you want to see each other in person more often, create a plan and a check-in system to ensure people in your bubble are following proper safety protocols. Expanding the bubble of people you interact with outside of your home is not recommended because it increases your chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Disclosure: Allina Health does not recommend breaking physical distancing protocols or mask mandates. If you meet someone in person, you are responsible for the health risks that could lead to COVID-19. Outdoor interactions aren’t 100 percent safe. Wear a mask and stay physically distant from others anytime you leave your home. Screening and testing options for COVID-19 are available.

How can being single affect mental health?

Most people experience loneliness from time to time. Social isolation brought on by the pandemic and being single during holidays such as Valentine’s Day can make loneliness even more difficult. It’s important to remember that being single doesn’t mean you are alone. Being single allows you to focus more on improving your mental and physical health.

If you’re feeling lonely, here's how to manage your mental and physical health:  

  • Practice self-care. Eat healthy, get enough sleep and exercise regularly.
  • Bundle up and get outside for a winter activity.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms.
  • Stay connected with friends and family, perhaps with an online game
  • Explore and learn a new hobby.
  • Start a virtual workout challenge with others.
  • Assess your social media use. Ask yourself, “Do I feel more joy and connection from what I’m watching or more alone?”
  • Write a gratitude journal listing three things you’re thankful for each day.

If you feel lonely, anxious or depressed, Allina Health offers mental health services that can help you overcome mental health barriers. Our services include a 24-hour Mental Health and Addiction Connection line: 866-603-0016.

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