Priyanka loves writing about relationships because they fascinate her! Analyzing the psychology behind love and other drugs is thrilling!
Quarantine, lockdown and social restrictions have become the new normal. The pandemic has altered the conventional definition of 'normal' as we know it. Social distancing is commonplace and wearing masks is a given. We are now aware and conscious of taking precautions every time we step out. When simple stepping out and meeting family and friends requires so much preparation, mingling with new people and going on dates becomes an entirely different ball-game.
Dating is difficult as it is, even with so many dating apps and social media making it easier than ever to put yourself out there. Government mandated quarantines and lockdowns don't help; in fact they can make you feel lonelier and wish you had someone to spend this time with.
It doesn't have to be this hard, though, even during the pandemic. This article provides 8 practical, doable tips for COVIDating.
Be Honest and Clear
Be honest about what you want from a relationship - both with yourself and potential partners. Are you looking for serious commitment, or do you just want someone to spend time with? Are you looking for a long-term relationship or a benefits kind of situation?
Whatever it is, be honest with yourself and also with the people you meet. This will help set expectations at the offset and prevent heartbreak later on.
Update your Dating Profile
You may be an avid hiker or enjoy outdoor sports, but lockdowns have put a damper on outside activities at the moment. Get creative and update your dating profile with hobbies and interests that can be pursued indoor (or online). This will help you connect with more like-minded people that you can actually spend some time with.
Think about it. Would you be able to hang out more with someone playing a virtual word game/starting an online book club, or someone who loves climbing, hiking and tennis, during a lockdown?
Put in a witty or thought-provoking bio, keep it original and light, don't be too brash, cheesy or tedious (think long drawn quotes or inspo-talk), and maybe throw in some recent selfies for good measure. Originality is much more refreshing than clichés.
Make The First Move
Don't be afraid to take charge and make the first move. Send that text. Just say hi. You don't have to be creative, witty, or catchy right at the start, or make a banging first impression.
Stop pinning so much on a first message. I reiterate - just say hi. If you like someone's profile or photos, there's no need to be afraid to reach out first. You've both swiped right, so clearly they've liked your profile too! What's the worst that can happen?
Connect Over a Video Call
Talking to someone without meeting face-to-face is so much easier today with video calls! It helps you actually get to know a person, how they sound, the vibe they give off, what they're actually like.
It's the next best thing to meeting someone in person. Texting doesn't always give the complete picture; looking at someone and talking to them makes a big difference. Set up a WhatsApp video call, or use Skype, Zoom or any other app that works for you. Maybe grab a glass of wine beforehand and turn it into a virtual date!
Send Photos or Share Updates
Found someone you like, but aren't able to meet them yet? You can still have fun and maintain the connection without fizzling out.
Send photos and voice notes. Talk about your day, send them updates of what you're up to. Share songs or interesting articles that you come across which you think they will like.
This will help you keep the spark and interest alive until you're able to physically meet. It also makes for interesting conversation by creating talking points.
Play Some Games!
I don't mean the emotional kind (LOL)! Find fun games online that you can play with your partner. The options are aplenty! You have your traditional board games, along with word games, trivia, multi-player games and so much more!
Set up a game night specifically for playing something fun, or download game apps and challenge them to duels or puzzles. Added bonus: it also lets you know if they're a good sport or sore losers!
Whip Up Some Grub
Just because you can't step out doesn't mean you can't go on dates! Cook a nice dinner, open a bottle of wine, and make that video call! You can even catch a good movie or TV series together. Netflix makes it possible to stream programs with other people and even chat with them on the side.
The opportunities to have fun are endless. You can start a drinking game, just have a quiet, relaxing dinner, or catch that movie. Consider sending your date some flowers, chocolate, or a bottle of their favourite drink beforehand, to satiate that budding romantic within yourself.
Virtually Anything is Possible!
You may have realized after getting through this article that you can now set up virtually any kind of date! Whether it's working out, or starting a book club, catching up on a TV series, or just getting some coffee.
The possibilities are endless and you're only bound by your creativity. Think of different ways to spend time with your date until you're actually able to meet outside.
You can even plan your upcoming physical date in advance. As I said, there is a lot you can do without actually going out, without missing out on a good time with a fun person!
Once you are able to go out, remember to be honest about your expectations, and don't be put off by someone else's. Be honest about your social life with your date and ask the same of them. Wear your mask and maintain social distancing wherever possible. Consider getting a COVID test if you're worried, or provide your date with a symptom-update before the meeting and have them do the same. Never compromise on safety, and don't be afraid to ask if you're worried.
There you have it! 8 practical tips to meeting new people amidst lockdowns and quarantines, and keeping the spark alive in a new/existing relationship. Technology has made these difficult times a tad easier and less lonely. Consider using it to your advantage when it comes to dating, and let your creativity flow.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Priyanka Athavale