As 2021 begins, we’re still very much in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there’s cause for optimism with the rolling out of vaccines, for the time being, it’s looking about as bleak as a January sky.
But at TransferGo we don’t want you to think it’s all doom and gloom. While our fun-filled options continue to be severely limited right now, there is one activity that you can still do while sticking to the guidelines—and that’s dating. Here’s our guide on how to go about dating during Covid-19 times.
Choose the right dating app
Since Tinder arrived on the scene in 2012, online dating apps have boomed. There are now some 1,500 to choose from, each with its own unique selling point. And while people may once have raised an eyebrow at the idea of meeting someone online, it’s now the most successful way to find a partner.
Popular sites include Bumble, where women send the first message. Happn matches people who have crossed paths—useful in Covid times when you don’t want to be using public transport. And Hinge offers prompt questions such as ‘Dream dinner guest?’ So if you find someone who’d also have David Attenborough over for a Sunday roast, it could well be the start of a budding romance.
Date via video
Once you’ve exchanged a few messages and established a rapport with someone, what next during a lockdown? Bars and restaurants may be shut, but you can do a video call from the safety of your own living room.
There are lots of advantages, even outside of the pandemic. You’re saving money on transport and drinks, you can wear pyjama bottoms knowing they’ll be off-screen and you don’t need to douse yourself in perfume—or even shower at all!
To give yourself an air of sophistication, position yourself in front of a bookcase, some fancy artwork or a selection of photos showing how much fun you are with friends and family. And make sure to choose a spot with decent Wi-Fi connection, unless you want the screen to freeze with your face looking like a frightened fish.
Chat over a phone call
If your internet connection is a genuine concern, try chatting to a potential partner over the phone. In this era of WhatsApp and FaceTime, it might seem an antiquated idea. But this old-school approach is a good one.
First of all, messaging via an app is a whole lot different from actually speaking to someone. A beautifully crafted text is all well and good, but the true test of any relationship is how well you converse—a phone call is perfect for that.
You can also relax knowing that a) your screen’s not going to suddenly freeze mid hilarious anecdote, and b) you don’t have to worry about those bags under your eyes you’d otherwise be noticing in the corner of the screen in a video call.
Go for a walk
Another great way to get to know someone while adhering to Covid guidelines is going for a socially distanced walk. As long as you’ve packed your waterproofs, don’t let inclement weather get in the way. It’s also a healthy dating option, so even if the chat is stilted, at least you’ll hit your 10,000 steps.
Many coffee shops still offer takeaway drinks during lockdown. So you could keep warm by grabbing a hot chocolate on the way, while simultaneously giving the local economy a much-needed boost.
Try virtual speed dating
You may already be aware of the concept of speed dating. Usually held over a couple of hours at a busy bar (remember them?), you’d have five minutes to chat with a potential partner before moving on to someone new.
Obviously, such physical meet-ups aren’t possible during lockdown, but they’re still happening virtually. This way avoids the embarrassing mingling at the bar before and after the event. And even if you don’t find the love of your life, it’s fun and healthy to chat with new people. It’ll make a welcome change from a family Zoom quiz, at least.
Be respectful and responsible
Online dating can be a great way to meet a partner, but it can get disheartening, especially when you’re “ghosted” (when someone stops messaging abruptly). This is a tough time for everyone, single people included. So being kind to one another, especially with people feeling particularly vulnerable, is more important than ever.
As the global pandemic continues to be a major health hazard, we also all have a responsibility to follow the guidelines to ease pressure on hospitals. And if anyone suggests breaking the rules, it’s worth politely reminding them why you shouldn’t. If it’s going to be a worthwhile relationship, it’ll survive a few more months of lockdown.