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April 1, 2020

Responsible Dating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Another week in self-isolation means it’s time to get creative with your dating game. This week, Jess spoke to Carolyn and Jeff from Global TV’s The Morning Show to discuss how we can date responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out Jess’ notes and video segment below!

Why has this time of social distancing proven to be such a popular time for dating apps?

Not only are we craving connection, but we also have more time on our hands, as we’re not commuting, socialising after work or hanging out with extended family. And we’re spending that extra time online.

Some dating apps are reporting increases in messaging between users and more time spent online.

Could the fact that people can’t meet in person actually be a benefit?

Being pushed out of our comfort zones and forced to communicate digitally can encourage us to learn new ways of communicating. Text alone eliminates the power of tone, body language and facial expressions and accordingly, the words you choose become even more powerful. You might opt to slow down and take a bit more time with your messages. If you’re on video, you’ll likely pay closer attention to body and facial cues that you might have missed in a busy dating environment (e.g. a bar or restaurant) full of distractions.

Do daters need to switch up their style as they date exclusively NOT in person?

Oh yes! This is a good time to update your dating profile with reference to the current state of affairs. We’ve seen profiles pop up with reference to immunity and supplies. One guy wrote that he has a strong immune system and a good supply of hand sanitizer.

This is also a good opportunity to start dating if you’ve previously found that you simply didn’t have (or make) the time. Now you can meet up online for a coffee, breakfast or a quick meal virtually. Having said that, this is also an emotionally draining time, so you may prefer to lay low and focus on your existing friendships as opposed to making new connections.

How can social distancing daters get creative with date ideas?

1. For Foodies: order food for one another to test your communication skills as you share likes and dislikes or make a meal together to learn from one another’s cooking styles.
2. For Techies: experiment with new platforms and hardware for connection to troubleshoot together.
3. For The Brave: Invite your date into a group date with your friends and see how they respond and fare.

Some health departments are putting out sexual health guidelines about saying safe during this pandemic – what are they saying?

Only have sex with the person or people in your household. The NYC Health department offers the following guidelines:

“• You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.

• The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact — including sex — with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19. Have sex only with consenting partners.

• You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.

• If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.”

Sometimes when people are feeling lonely or anxious they might reach out to an ex for comfort – is this a good idea at this time?

It’s a good idea to reach out for help. We all should be asking for help. But an ex may not be the right person. It can feel right because it’s familiar, but if you’re not already friends, this high stress, high pressure period may not be the time to rekindle that connection. Of course, you know your own needs best, so do what feels right for you after you’ve considered the pros and the cons.