In a quick amount of time corona has grown from being your spring break beer of choice to a worldwide concern. Officials are calling for us all to practice “social distancing” to prevent the spread of Corona Virus and COVID19. There are so many aspects of our lives that are being impacted including work, travel and yes even dating. “Social distancing” is the opposite of what we normally consider to be the process involved in dating and meeting someone we can connect with. What if we can redesign dating so that it can be health promoting for you, society and still build connections?
All of us are in a different place of concern and risk but hopefully some of these strategies might fit your needs and values.
- Take a break from dating. This might be especially relevant if you haven’t met someone recently who you want to see again and you are just browsing online. Spend the next couple weeks or month dating yourself. Get creative. Work out at home. Meditate. Practice self-care. Do what you need to do to work on becoming that awesome person you are meant to be.
- Adapt your in-person dating to virtual dating. Many of us are online dating already and using apps and websites to meet someone in person. What if we delay the in person meeting but do so in a way that still builds on connection? Maybe you were going to meet at a local wine bar. Can you instead both buy the same bottle of wine and do a FaceTime wine tasting together? What about you both decide on the same movie to watch, then call and have a movie debrief after (Maybe skip Contagion)? You can still do things together at the same time and share in the experience.
- Keep dating in person but decrease your risk. Maybe instead of meeting at a crowded coffee shop you opt instead to grab coffee to go, or bring your own, and take a walk outside. Decide to greet each other with a funny gesture that is preplanned instead of a handshake or hug (I prefer superstar pose). It’s going to be hard not to touch each other but kind of hot too when you have to resist! It’s just temporary and this can build desire. Plus you still get to use lube, the kind that has at least 60% alcohol. You can also wash your hands to the song “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye if that’s sexier than Happy Birthday and gets your 20 seconds of time needed.
- Practice safe sex… use hazmat suits. It worked for Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun 2 ½ !
Social distancing is physical but it doesn’t have to be emotional. I’ve been binge watching Love is Blind on Netflix and their method of no physical contact for some seems to build emotional intimacy and connection. SNL took it to a new level with their Love is Blind: Quarantine Edition!
Maybe we bring back those long phone calls we did with our high school crushes. I recommend using these questions shown in a study by psychologist Arthur Aron to enhance connection The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.
Hygiene is sexy. Distance builds desire. Love in the time of Corona could still turn out to be a great love story.