Dating & the Covid19 Virus

 

It’s time to talk about dating in the age of the pandemic. This coronavirus has negatively affected all aspects of our love lives, especially dating. How does a single person date with viral contagion fears and the limitations it has imposed on our lives, in particular our love lives? Remember the AIDs problem and how people would talk about making sure that any one they might consider dating doesn’t have the AIDs virus? Well, there are similarities that can help us now.

Let’s start with the good news, the internet has increased our ability to communicate with each other, without actually being physically present. Online dating has proven to be a popular way of meeting someone to date for a love relationship. It is common to meet someone online, spend time “getting to know them” online, and eventually, when you feel ready, and set up a physical meeting when the time is right. “When you feel ready” and “when the time is right” meaning that you have been able to experience a growing trust in the person you are interacting with online.

Another psychologist I met who actually married (successfully) someone she met online, told me that she knew this guy was different from the beginning but didn’t want to “jump into” a love relationship without first taking her time to get to know him over multiple email exchanges. She said by the time they actually set up a “coffee date” she knew a lot about him. Much much more than she would have known had the date been blind. Her first date was “sighted” (not blind) given the amount of information they had exchanged about each other prior to the actually meeting.

Trust continues to be the key factor for people considering dating in the pandemic. Just like during the AIDs period, you’re going to need some kind of proof that this is a virus-free person you’ve decided to see in person. An agreement to take a test just prior to the get together is a small price to pay when deciding to check out a person for a “serious” first date. There’s no way around the issue (risk) of trust, except to get to know the person as much as humanly possible before the date is scheduled. If the person you are interested in is serious about you, he or she will do what is necessary to keep the physical interaction safe. You can think of it as their first “act of love.” If she/he goes out of his/her way to make you feel safe, engendering your trust, you’ll figure she/he is serious about meeting the right person for a serious love relationship. Something good to know when dating seriously.

If this pandemic makes it necessary for daters to be a bit more serious about finding people who are serious about dating, then there is something good that has come out of something bad. However, the sacrifice is in the area of “casual dating,” or dating not for the purpose of finding a serious (healthy) love relationship. Some would be casual daters might say, “why take the risk,” or “it’s too much work for too little in return.”

Personally, if you are not really interested in or ready to find a healthy love relationship, pandemics are a great time to devote to the development and strengthening of yourself. Taking a little break from dating until this virus has passed so you can work on you, might not be a bad idea. If you are serious about wanting to date now and choose not to wait, then focus on trust and take your time and get to know the people you date.

What do you think? All comments welcome.

Dr. Thomas Jordan, author of Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life

Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.