For so many of us, the global pandemic has meant 2020 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. When we look back on this period, the phrases that will most readily spring to mind are social distancing, virus hotspots, R-numbers, and lockdowns. The situation has impacted everyone’s social lives and singles seeking partners have had to adjust how they approach dating in many ways.
Going online is becoming the ‘default’ option
Long before the current global situation, more and more singles were being drawn to the convenience of joining a dating site. Being able to interact with a diverse range of potential partners on a dating platform of your choosing, and from the comfort of home, has become an extremely attractive proposition. Compared to crowded bars and soulless nightclubs, chatting with kindred spirits with your feet up and a glass of wine to hand seems a much more pleasant alternative. Covid-19 has exacerbated the situation, instilling in people the need to socialize from a secure environment rather than risking hanging around in destinations where they will be surrounded by people they don’t know that much about.
Risk assessment has always been an integral part of dating. Up until fairly recently, the biggest issue facing singles interacting with strangers was not knowing about their histories. This was particularly the case where site users might be concerned about sexually transmitted infections. Today’s medical concerns include the all-pervasive possibility of someone having been exposed to the contagious coronavirus. Singles are now likely to worry about prospective partners who might work on the front-line or live in areas that have been unduly affected by high transmission rates. These may be sensitive issues to broach during online chats, but most site users will be pragmatic enough to accept this subject should be up for open and honest discussion.
Communication has always been the cornerstone of dating for singles. This is an even more poignant aspect of establishing relationships as people now need to know about the background of the other singles they are interacting with. Anyone who appears cagey or hesitant when explaining what they have been doing in the previous months is only going to install suspicion. It would be much better to be aboveboard at all times. Singles will now be expected to be candid when it comes to admitting if they have been diagnosed in the past or happen to have come into close contact with those we have.
As with any new infectious disease that is grabbing headlines left, right, and center, there will inevitably be a degree of misinformation and stereotyping. Social media is especially responsible for the spread of what has been coined ‘fake news’ in various quarters. To maintain successful relationships, singles need to fine-tune their sense of empathy, sympathizing with people who are affected by Covid-19 in any way. Now is not the time to judge the way others may have reacted to living with the pandemic. A matter of months ago no one had heard of this virus.
Planning offline liaisons
Online dating is a convenient way for singles to get to know prospective partners. But the ultimate aim will always be to connect in the real world where they can truly get to know a potential love interest. Where this might have been an easy transition, now it is something that needs to be carefully planned. New questions have to be asked. Where would be safe to meet for the first date? What will the Covid restrictions be? What sort of health checks will be in place during your liaison?