Well, y’all, times are officially weird. With most of us cooped up at home to help slow the spread of coronavirus, many well-established social norms have been thrown out the window. One of which happens to be dating. How are we supposed to keep relationships alive when we can’t even go outside? Well, I’m so glad you asked!
Below, I’m going to share some ideas for finding and sustaining love in the time of coronavirus. Are dating and sex the most pressing thing in the world right now? No, but we’re social creatures, and it’s important to acknowledge the power of human connection. I believe we can be vigilant and still have fun while making it through this truly unprecedented time.
Jump on the Apps
If you’ve been app-avoidant in your dating life thus far, now is absolutely the time for that to change. Business is booming on apps like Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, and OkCupid, so make a snazzy little profile and get to swiping. I know I’ve personally been enjoying this flirtatious outlet, and have been surprised by the deep and funny conversations I’ve gotten to have with other self-isolated strangers. We’ve got nothing but time on lockdown, so use it to brush up on your game.
Set up a Virtual Date
If you happen to connect with someone online, why not set up a little virtual date to meet? You could do this on FaceTime, Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, or whatever video platform you like best. Keep it low stakes and casual, just like you would on a first date. I recommend turning it into a fun little happy hour after “work” so you can get dressed up (remember pants?) and share a brew with your new cutie. Sure, it may feel a little awkward, but I guarantee the nerves will subside once the conversation starts to flow.
But what about if you were kind-of-sort-of seeing someone a month or two before the pandemic broke out? How in the world do you keep the wheels spinning? Well, my advice is to get creative. It’s not enough to text and call and video chat and on and on and on. You’ve got to bring a little pizazz to the experience. So, set up a virtual picnic. Write and send each other dirty mad libs. Turn on the same TV show and “watch” it together in your separate rooms. Download an app like House Party and play virtual games. These are trying times baby, and the only way to get through them is to have fun!
Keep It Playful
To that end, you’ve got to keep the correspondence at least somewhat playful. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably fallen into a few conversation pits in which it seems like the only things you can talk about are the pandemic and the fear and the worries you have about the world. These are all valid topics deserving of space, but they can’t be the only things we think about. So, try to break up the darkness with a little light. One app you might want to use is Marco Polo. It’s a video messaging service that lets couples (or friend groups!) create a collective “reel” of short, goofy video messages. I’ve been using it and find it to be a lovely distraction from the chaos.
Let’s Talk About Sext, Baby!
Ah, yes, sexting. A bit of a taboo topic, but one that should definitely be indulged if it’s something you’re into. I personally love it and find that it’s an easy way to blow off steam, keep the sexy vibes alive, and unleash some grade A dirty talk. The key here is (surprise, surprise) open, direct, and honest communication. Do what feels good, and nothing more. If a full-on video call feels too intimate and strange, try phone sex, texting, or pic swaps (Instagram has a handy little feature that lets you determine how many times a DM’d photo can be viewed). No matter how you sext, my biggest piece of advice is to commit hard and be specific. If you push through the initial awkwardness, the returns will be super satisfying.
Change It Up
At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind while dating in this time of coronavirus is to change it up. Many of our schedules have become reduced to not much more than a shuffle between the living room and the bedroom, so we’ve got to make things fresh when and how we can. Do new things. Experiment. Make bold choices. There’s no denying that these days are hard and trying, but love is resilient and will always find a way.