Be safe while dating with these socially-distanced activities

By Caileigh Alexander, Staff Writer

The pandemic has negatively impacted all of our social lives. Whether it be meeting up with friends, having in-person classes or dealing with isolation, it has been hard for everyone to adjust to our new living conditions. As Valentine’s Day rears ahead, the biggest concern for many of us is being single. Yes, the dreaded words. Single, alone, uncommitted, untaken, companionless, whatever way you want to put it ­— not having a partner can be challenging as Feb. 14 comes closer. 

Of course, being single can be empowering and a meaningful way to find yourself in your early adult years. However, for those looking for a partner(s), how can you date safely during a pandemic? 

Dating Apps 

In the middle of a pandemic, it can almost feel impossible to meet someone organically. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Dating apps do not always have to be scary. Although using apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge may seem hopeless and tedious at moments, remember that it may take a few tries to find someone you can connect with on a higher level. Try to choose pictures that you feel confident in and show off parts of your personality. Making your bio can also be a fun part to show off yourself and may give other people potential conversation topics. Also, don’t be afraid to start the conversation. Send that a cheesy pick-up you think is funny. Ask them about something in their bio, such as why they chose their major. Make things happen for yourself!

Zoom Dates 

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Zoom dates can be a great way to get to know someone on a first date. It takes away the stress of meeting at a coffee shop, bar or restaurant. There’s no need to worry about who’s going to pay because both of you are in the comforts of your own homes. Both of you could try a cooking date over Zoom while you get to know each other. The best part about Zoom dates is you don’t have to be afraid to wear pajama pants. Zoom can take the pressure off how you look on the first date and make the both of you focus on the conversation. Zoom is also an easy escape if the date is going bad. No longer do you have to come up with an elaborate plan with your friend for them to call you if the date has gone south. All you have to do is press the “End Meeting” button. 

Movie Dates 

Movie theater dates are a classic date idea, especially with Valentine’s Day around the corner. Unfortunately, movie theaters are closed, but that doesn’t mean the two of you can’t enjoy a nostalgic, romantic comedy. Pop some popcorn and buy your favorite candy (which is much cheaper at the store than at movie theater concessions). Find out which streaming platforms you both have and start the movie at the same time. You can do this on FaceTime or Zoom, or you can try apps such as Rabbit, Watch2gether or Syncplay. 

Take it Slow 

If there is one good thing that came out of this pandemic, it is taking relationships slow. Don’t be afraid to draw out the talking stage when you are first getting to know someone. There is no pressure to meet in person, so take the time to know each other before forcing the first date. Whether through text, phone calls or video calls, getting to know a partner is the most critical part. When you are ready to meet in person, tell each other what you are comfortable with emotionally and sexually. Whether it be a mask or socially distanced date, let the other person know your boundaries.

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