Let’s wind the clocks back to January of this year. I was getting involved in campus life for the first time as a writer for The Poly Post. I was single again, and I had more confidence than ever because of an incredibly fashionable jacket that I had just gotten for Christmas (thanks Grandma!).
The year was new, life was ripe with new opportunities and I was ready to jump back into the dating scene. By March, all of this potential was crushed. For the first time in my life, my romantic opportunities were ruined not by my nervous stomach or my tendency to talk endlessly about movies. This time, my romantic pursuits were ruined by the ultimate buzzkill: COVID-19.
We’ve all had our lives turned upside down in the last six months. We can no longer eat in restaurants, drink in bars or sit in movie theaters. I don’t know about everybody else, but this kind of killed most of my date ideas.
When social distancing began, I was talking to a few different people on the dating app Tinder. Initially the conversations were very good, we were experiencing the same thing and virtual dating was the only option.
However, as time passed and the pandemic has dragged on, these conversations inevitably fizzled out. This was something that I knew was going to happen. You can only talk to someone so long through a phone before the interaction needs to progress to face to face or it will wane away. This was during the height of the stay-at-home orders, so I obviously was not going to be meeting anybody in person. This was an extremely predictable outcome, but disappointing, nonetheless. I had met a few different people that I knew would have resulted in fun dates under normal circumstances.
Cut to six months later, and we’re now in the middle of September. Restaurants are seating in limited capacities outdoors, bars are shut down and the only movie theaters near me are drive-ins. Traditional dating still isn’t much of an option. So how does one maintain a romantic life when seeing people in person is still a risk?
Zoom Dates: This isn’t exactly the most romantic option, but we’re not exactly living in the most romantic circumstances. Zoom dates can give you a chance to talk to the other person face-to-face and get to know each other a little better. If you’re really feeling like going all-out, you can always change your background to a more romantic setting as well. I set mine to the Batcave, and to be quite honest it has worked out pretty well for me so far.
Be Up Front: While it is easy to feel disconnected and isolated during this time, it is important to remember that we are all living through this pandemic together. Be honest with the other person and explain that you want to stay in touch even if traditional dating isn’t going to be an option for a while.
Don’t Be Boring! This is perhaps the most important advice I can give. I understand that talking only through messages can be awkward, but nothing will kill the potential of a romantic relationship faster than surface level, boring conversations.
“How are you doing?”
“That’s good. I’ve been okay.”
Think about it. Would you want to keep up with this incredibly stale conversation? Personally, I’d rather be alone. If you want your virtual relationship to last until traditional dating becomes an option again, make sure you are discussing interesting and engaging topics. Trust me, there’s plenty going on in the world right now that you’ll be able to discuss.
While we’re all learning to adapt to this new world, it is important to maintain as normal a lifestyle as we can. Romantic interactions are great for building confidence and taking our minds off of what is happening around the world. Even in a situation where most of our social interactions are online, it is still possible to maintain a recognizable dating life.
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