Your guide to getting back in the dating game post-pandemic
The last year has been one of the hardest, loneliest times in history. With the pandemic hard-hitting every corner of the world, lockdowns and social restrictions have led to people feeling more alone than ever. Globally, stress, anxiety, and loneliness have increased exponentially. People have had to learn new ways of life. A lot of it has had to do with learning how to be comfortable on your own and how enjoying your own company can be an integral part of the new normal.
Today, the restrictions are much lesser. With masks and hand-hygiene still being in play, dating grounds have opened up and people are finding new, creative ways to get social.
Vaccinations and rapid, inexpensive testing have made people more hopeful of a less isolated future. Many singles are venturing back into dating through apps, platforms, and even networking in-person. Whether you’re virtually connecting with new people or are ready for in-the-flesh socialising, this is your guide to getting back into dating post-pandemic.
- Identify what you are comfortable with- Before deciding to get back into dating, it is important to ask yourself what are you comfortable with. Are you comfortable with meeting someone at a restaurant? Would you like to stay isolated because you have a high-risk family member? Are you high-risk yourself? Are you vaccinated? All of these questions can help you understand what kind of socialising works for you. With this, you would be able to figure out if you are ready to venture out or need to stick with good ol’ Zoom dates.
- Look for creative means of communication - Getting back into dating after being isolated for so long can send even extroverts in a frenzy. Our social skills aren’t brushed up. The best thing to do is to find channels of communication that you are comfortable with. Find dating apps that align with your values, understand if you are more comfortable texting, talking over the phone, on video calls, or meeting someone in-person. It can be difficult to network and socialise again but starting at a slow pace and with a medium you are well-versed in can increase your confidence and help you communicate effectively.
- Be clear of what you are looking for- When talking to someone new, especially after so long, it is normal to get carried away and engage heavily. Ensure you understand what you want before you raise someone else’s expectations. It is important to ask yourself what is it that you are looking for. Are you looking to date casually and meet new people? Are you looking for a relationship? Are you looking to settle down? Communicating these things with someone you start speaking to can set the tone for both of you. It can help avoid miscommunication and set the right expectations from the get-go
- Be honest and open about your medical history- With health becoming everyone’s primary concern, it is important to be honest and open about your medical history if you decide to meet someone in-person. Whether you have had the virus in the past, recently, or came in contact with someone who had it play a very important role in your dating life. Talking about these things can help the other person make a more informed decision based on their circumstances. It is also important to let someone know whether you have been vaccinated or not or if you get tested often. Also, talking about how socially distanced you are/were can also help people.
- Set up virtual dates and get to know people or find socially-distanced activities to do- Many people have used video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meet to connect with new potential partners. These virtual dates can be made fun by preparing your favourite meals and having some wine together. More and more people are turning to old-school, social-distance-friendly activities like picnics, long walks, and outdoor dining. These fun activities can help you socialise without worrying about spreading the virus and coming in contact with people in public spaces.
Remember, wear your masks, sanitise your hands often, and have fun!