Dating is hard enough already! We’re approaching almost a year of being in a global pandemic, and the stakes have gotten worse for us single people out there. It isn’t easy knowing where to draw the line between keeping ourselves and others safe while responsibly balancing a social life. It’s frustrating to find ways to leave our homes to connect with others, only to find out they’re too fearful of coming out even in a social-distanced manner.
Meeting in person for a date is ideal for most of us; however, take advantage of the dating apps. On most dating profiles, you can indicate what you’re comfortable doing once you match: Virtual date, socially distanced with a mask, socially-distanced without a mask, etc. Inquire about whether your match is on the same page about what you’re comfortable with regarding COVID-19 precautions. Take advantage of virtual hangouts! Video dates can also be a great way to see if you have any common interests and or attraction to each other. If there’s a connection, it’s a great way to discuss the COVID-19 risks and what both of you are comfortable with while taking the next steps. Remember that it’s normal to be uncomfortable meeting new people naturally and especially during this time. Recognize this feeling and find a way to lean into the discomfort while also not violating one of your boundaries.
It’s essential to keep in mind that whatever you decide to do after meeting someone new, you’ll never be able to be perfect. There’s always more that we can do to keep ourselves and others safer. We’ll never get the amount of risk of infection down to absolute zero. For example, if I decide to never get into an automobile again for the rest of my life, I would decrease my risk of dying in a car accident by a significant margin. Knowing the risks involved in getting into a car, I believe that the benefit of traveling in one outweighs the risk of potentially being exposed to COVID-19 and getting into a car crash. When you meet someone in person on a date, there will also be an element of risk.
Just because you know someone else taking more or fewer precautions than you doesn’t mean you need to do the same. Please don’t place a value judgment on yourself about what you feel comfortable doing/not doing. We can all be better humans, and we are neither holistically one thing or the other. We make good and bad choices in life, but it doesn’t render us altogether a good or bad person. Happy dating!