by: Isabella Sarlija
Dating during covid is one of the many things in life where there seems to be no grey area; the experience can either be full of joy and mutual understanding or make a person feel as if they are treading stormy waters.
With the closure of our usual spots, there are fewer opportunities to meet new people at places like restaurants, cocktail bars, poetry readings, or dance halls. We are finding ourselves turning to online dating apps, that, even during normal times, can ignite some hesitation in an individual when thinking about meeting a stranger for a date in person. Add the component of an unprecedented global pandemic, and you now have yourself the perfect recipe for an all-around confusing time. Many of us are acting with trepidation when doing things like having simple picnics in a park with friends, which can also make us hesitant to date during covid at this very moment.
What do you do when you are into your date but don’t want to meet in person just yet? Tell them. The key to a fabulous dating experience is communication. Sure, a person may be attractive or into the same niche things as you; but if there is no solid foundation of the discussion of feelings, then the experience will be an unpleasant one. Does this mean that you don’t like them if you are not seeing them right this second? Not at all. You can communicate clearly by saying things like, I really enjoy having conversations with you, and I would love to see you in person eventually, but I’m uncomfortable meeting new people during these times. Communication is a two-way street: when you communicate your feelings of delaying a covid date, the person on the receiving end should respect what you are saying, and either accept moving forward on your terms or kindly let you know that this is not what they are looking for right now.
If you feel that your date is pressuring you to leave your home or meet somewhere private due to the coincidental closing of usual date spots, you have the right to set your boundaries and tell them that you would instead prefer to stick to regular zoom dates for the time being. Suppose a person is willing to make you feel uncomfortable about the speed at which you are currently moving during a global pandemic. In that case, you must acknowledge this clear red flag, as they are blatantly disregarding your feelings, which will only lead to more disregarded feelings down the road when things become a bit more serious. A key point we should all remember when dating during covid: A person who is unwilling to respect you and your emotions is unworthy of your time, no matter how fast or slow that might be, anyway.