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Dating in a Time of Social Isolation

Dating online is a popular method while practicing social distancing

The world has changed a good amount in 2020. Quarantine measures and stay-at-home orders have kept a majority of people away from work, education, and play. While it can be difficult for most people to handle this shift, reports suggest it is particularly difficult for those who are single and live alone. Without the opportunity for basic social interaction, a person is more likely to feel depressed or fall into unhealthy habits. It also dramatically changes the way people go about dating. For years, the LGBT community has been dominated by apps aimed at dating. Now, it isn’t so simple. 

For those yearning for human connection and tempted by the opportunity to go out for a quick date at someone’s apartment, it is important to remain strong and commit to mandated distancing measures. Still, there are plenty of ways you can go about “dating” in the meantime. 

Remember the Power of Conversation

Though dating has become expedited with the rise of the internet, it has not become easier or better. In fact, younger generations of the LGBT community often state that dating has become very impersonal and superficial on apps like Grindr, Tinder, and Scruff. A large part of this comes from the lack of substantial communication. A few messages will be exchanged on the app, the people will meet for a date or quick hang, and usually this will be all that comes of the interaction. With COVID-19 preventing people from hanging together physically, now is an opportune time for conversation. 

Instead of meeting being the ultimate goal of the interaction, try to learn about the other person. Texting can turn into calls or video conferences in no time, helping you connect on a level you normally wouldn’t give yourself the chance to. 

Understand Current Limitations 

Perhaps you’re single in the sense that you have not really committed to the person you’ve been hanging out with. This has become common in both LGBT and straight relationships. If you don’t live with this person, you definitely shouldn’t be seeing him or her during the quarantine. A person who is asking you to risk your health and come to his or her place for some Netflix or snuggling is definitely being irresponsible. Instead, encourage healthy hangouts like the app Houseparty. Meant for video chatting, this app allows you the option of playing an array of games with others.

By the same token, don’t put any pressure on someone to come see you. Focus on current regulations in your state and county and follow the advice being released by informed healthcare professionals. Once it is actually safe and wise for you to be in the same room as this person, feel free to take action. 

Get To Know Yourself

It might seem like a cliché, but dating yourself during a pandemic can be a wonderful option to toy with. Being stuck indoors and alone offers you the chance to hang out with yourself and get to know your own likes and dislikes. Dating often forces people to diminish or ignore their own interests in order to seem appealing to a potential partner. With no one to impress but yourself, being home can be a secret perk. Try new hobbies, watch movies that you’ve always been curious about and push yourself in ways that you might otherwise not even consider.

Being single during a quarantine can be a strange experience. Whether you’re actively counting down the days until bars reopen again or you’re just a little bit nostalgic for days when you could have a casual conversation with a potential romantic partner, try not to make any foolish decisions. Stay responsible now, as doing your part to flatten the curve will help the world find a new way to move forward together. 

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