The coronavirus outbreak presents brand new challenges for those looking for love. Let’s face it, social distancing and intimacy just don’t mix. For singletons on the prowl, this can either put you at great risk or halt your romantic dreams entirely. For couples, they may be facing stressors they’ve never expected before. Either way, coronavirus is changing our love lives in more than a few ways.
These days, people are looking past hot profile pictures and cute messages. Those who are serious about the coronavirus outbreak have been checking to see if who they are interested in are also taking precautions. For example, asking someone about their day and hearing that they have spent it at an underground show or hanging out with friends could get an instant disqualification. The risk of going out on a date with someone is already a roll of the dice. The rationale is to not hurt your odds by exposing yourself to a possible carrier of the coronavirus. It is a precaution that is small but goes a very long way to keeping your community safe.
A Different Kind of Date
For those who are willing to take the risk to date in person during the coronavirus outbreak, there are still challenges ahead. With restaurants, bars, entertainment events and even parks closing due to government guidelines, finding a place to “set the mood” may be difficult. Singles will need to find new places to mingle. Drive-in theaters, dog parks, and taking walks together down the street have become popular “quarantine date” ideas. You may not be six feet apart from each other, but at least you are six feet apart from crowds.
Self-isolation can be a lonely and depressing effort, no matter how responsible it is. Working or studying from home and being banned from restaurants and bars can take a social toll. Therefore, online dating is surging right now. People are reaching out through dating apps and social media to fulfill their social needs without risking their health – and it is surprisingly easy. One of the few (if only) benefits the coronavirus has brought to the table is how great of an icebreaker it makes for online conversation. No matter what, everyone can develop a quick bond while surviving this weird, scary time.
Here lies the end-of-date kiss. Social distancing due to the coronavirus has stopped people in their tracks from getting hot and steamy. These days, being closer than six feet apart is sexy enough. Couples, for the most part, are not changing their behavior (after all, if one of you has it, the other likely will too, so why even bother?) and they’re not alone. Though there are many people who still go on dates, hold hands, and kiss like usual, there are growing numbers of people who won’t take any risks during this unpredictable time. It is a true test of temptation.
From Zero to Sixty
“Quarantine and Chill” might last longer than just a night during this pandemic. The coronavirus is speeding up romance for those who have an ongoing dating relationship. The desire to both stay safe and spend time together is leading more couples to move in together quicker than they usually would. Kelly Bechtold, a 33-year-old Bumble-user, has become roommates with her match after just a week of dating. This is just one of the many relationships which have escalated during this uncertain time. The question of whether this helps or hurts the spreading of the coronavirus has yet to be answered.
Strain on Couples
The strain of being stuck together for undetermined amounts of time is a serious threat to stable relationships. Working from home, taking care of kids during school hours, and following the guidelines of a shelter-in-place all provide challenging (and possibly even brand new) stressors to an otherwise healthy couple. Having no privacy, no childcare, disaster anxiety, and financial problems for those on leave without pay are just a few of the issues couples now face. Like the high divorce rates experienced in countries where a natural disaster has occurred, studies show couples in devastated countries are more likely to separate. Cooperation is easier said than done when cooped up together constantly.
Glove It Up
Wearing protection has more than one meaning during this pandemic. People have started wearing masks and gloves not just for trips to the grocery store, but also on dates (perhaps to make up for violating the six feet apart rule). Don’t be surprised to catch a cute couple holding latex-covered hands as they stroll through the park. Although masks are not as popular, gloves are helping to ease the anxiety of social distancing on dates – as well as sharing hand sanitizer!
“I Do” or “Maybe Later?”
Some engaged couples will have to wait to start the next big chapter of their life. Even getting hitched at the town hall may be impossible. For example, the New York City Marriage Bureau has closed during the coronavirus outbreak. This means many New York couples will have to postpone or cancel their wedding day. It is a scary reality. Those who have been planning a beautiful destination wedding were also disappointed when a travel ban against international travel was issued. For those getting married in their country, risking friends and family who may be in the target range of coronavirus getting sick while traveling is an option many couples are simply not taking.
It’s Just Not Worth It
In the end, many people – especially those are who immunocompromised – have canceled all plans to date indefinitely, as it is simply too much of a risk. Putting your health or the health of your community on the line for a six-foot-apart date outweighs the risks of a simple video chat. Some people are finding this to be an extremely helpful test when getting to know someone new. The courage to commit to an awkward virtual date, combined with the maturity to understand the seriousness of this outbreak, can be quite a desirable quality in a long-term partner.
Move over, baseball
Talk of a baby boom has been spreading almost as quickly as the coronavirus itself. As stated earlier, social distancing and intimacy just don’t mix. For partners who live together, share beds together, and who have been cooped up inside all day, a little hanky-panky can pass the time. It doesn’t take much research to find out just how many people have made this their new pastime. Just go try to buy condoms or lube in the middle of the day. Does this mean we will experience a spike in the birthrate in the coming nine or ten months? Only time will tell (probably not if we’re using condoms, right?). Either way, we know what America’s new favorite pastime is now.
How are you staying connected during the coronavirus outbreak? If you have a partner, how do you two deal with social distancing? Share your stories in the comments!
Featured image source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/video-calls-longer-conversations-dating-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/articleshow/74709865.cms?from=mdr
Hi! I'm a writer and intern for the blog site society19. I cover topics like current trends, horoscope advice, and why Command Hooks are the best home invention on the planet (sponsor me, Command!). When I'm not out thrifting for weird coffee mugs for my collection, you can usually find me at https://www.instagram.com/luree2. If you like my stuff, don't be shy! Leave me a comment!