As any single person will tell you dating can be a minefield at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic, as the current rules we’re supposed to live by aren’t necessarily conducive to helping us to meet and attract potential love interests.
First of all let’s discuss wearing masks in public. How is anyone supposed to see how cute we are if we have to cover half of our lovely faces? Sadly I didn’t go to Geisha school and haven’t learned how to stop a man in his tracks with just my eyes. And even if I did have this enviable skill, I’m not actually allowed to be in a situation where I can lock eyes with anyone anyway, and unfortunately for me the only person who visits my house (the postman) isn’t exactly the Michael B. Jordan lookalike I’ve been dreaming of.
Adding to that the fact that for the last 7+ months we’ve been slowly conditioned to stay away from those we don’t already know (as if women didn’t have enough ‘stranger danger’ related trust issues already). 2020 has essentially been a roadblock on the motorway to dating success. It’s hit all of us hard in so many ways, but for those of us who are single single it’s also had a major impact on our ability to mingle.
Over the summer, with restrictions lifting slightly some of us may have taken the opportunity to lock someone down in time for cuffing season. However we’re now over a week into Lockdown 2.0 and if you weren’t able to add a new squeeze to your Winter lockdown bubble, then fear not. All is most definitely not lost and I can promise you, there are still plenty of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes out there just waiting for you to make their lockdown love dreams come true.
So if during the Spring lockdown you were too overwhelmed to even think about dating (and frankly no one could blame you) but you’re feeling that now may be your time to sparkle then I hope these suggestions for meeting new people from the comfort of your sofa will help.
Of course, the use of dating apps is by no means revolutionary in 2020 as we’ve steadily been becoming more reliant on meeting people online for many years. With the restrictions that we’ve been forced to adhere to this year app dating has fast become one of the few ways to meet new people to date. Unsurprisingly during the Spring the most popular dating apps reported an increase in usage as well as the fact that users were having longer and more meaningful conversations, meaning that singletons are more focused on connecting through this time of increased social isolation. Many of the popular dating apps have risen to the challenges the post-pandemic world created and have added features which allow users to connect via video, so you can still meet (sort of) and get an idea if you have an initial connection, and the best part? You don’t have to stress about who should pay on the first date!
Virtual Speed dating
Speed dating is a great way to meet a higher number of people, in theory increasing your odds of finding a match – or at the very least weeding out more frogs (you don’t have to kiss them all unless you want to) which will bring you a step closer to finding your Prince(ss). And with virtual speed dating you get all of these benefits without the costs of having to travel to a venue or roping in a friend to join you. The ability to pour yourself a bottle *ahem* I mean a glass of wine to chase away those speed dating nerves from your own wine rack is economical and if you’re really imaginative you can pretend you’re starring in your own virtual version of The Bachelorette.
Being confined to my house, like so many others I’ve watched a lot more Netflix and this summer a friend introduced me to Indian Matchmaking and I have to say personally I’m convinced this may be the way forward. Whether you rely on friends and family members to introduce you or hire an expert (I’ve been trying to figure out how I can get on Paul C Brunson’s waiting list, never mind whether I can actually afford him) I do believe removing that absolutely annoying vetting period would help more people to find joy in dating again. You may want to check out Melanin Matchmaker a dating app and matchmaking service designed for singles of African-Caribbean heritage.
Online Groups / Meet Ups
Although not specifically focused on dating, devoting time to hobbies or interests or even picking up something new is a great way to meet like-minded people. It’s also a wonderful way to alleviate the boredom that Lockdown 2.0 may bring to those who are used to running from one social engagement to another and aren’t quite at peace with the extra time that being at home brings. And if you happen to connect with that person with the soulful eyes in your new Zoom book club, or think your new group Spanish tutor is straight fire emoji then it’s a win-win.
I know what you’re thinking even if you do meet a potential someone, we still aren’t supposed to meet face to face for at least another 3 weeks (subject to the lockdown not being extended further *big sigh*).
So here are a few fun ideas for virtual dates to try while you’re in the getting to know you stage:
- Of course there’s the standard Zoom / FaceTime / WhatsApp video call – I’d suggest spicing this up by playing a game of ‘Would you rather?’ or pre-preparing Getting to know you Questions which you can also turn into a game perhaps by both rolling dice to decide who answers which question.
- The Houseparty app which blew up earlier this year has some fun virtual games to play or you can agree to play a board game via Zoom as long as one of you doesn’t mind moving both of your pieces.
- You can both take it in turns to recommend a favourite recipe and instruct the other how to make it and then you get to share dinner together at the end. Or for those who perhaps don’t have well-developed culinary skills (or if time is the issue) you could order in the same type of takeaway or buy the same M&S meal for 2 (then you get to have the leftovers the next day too!)
- Same as above except this time mix some cocktails or recommend your favourite wines or spirits and have your own virtual drinks tasting date.
- Some museums also offer virtual tours, although they’re generally limited to one or two exhibitions it’s still a nice way to connect and you can take it in turns to invent your own history about the pieces. I went on a virtual date earlier this year to the Louvre and it was a very enjoyable evening.
- Finally although we can’t Netflix and chill in the traditional sense, Apps like Facebook and Disney+ allow Groupwatching and Teleparty allows you to watch TV online with others at the exact same time.
The global pandemic has already taken so much from us this year, we don’t have to let it take dating from us too!