Last night I went on my first public date since the COVID-19 shutdown in March.
We met on Tinder, which I believe is the best online dating app. I met my ex-wife on it so I know it works. Bumble seems to be much more serious as if women on there are only looking for “Mr. Right”. Good luck if you make their checklist. I haven’t tried Raya, but I looked at my friends account and it looked like more effort than it was worth. There’s a slew of other dating app’s, but I’m not going to go into them. I’ll just say I think tinder is the most popular, therefore it is the easiest to use.
I have to say it was strange to walk into a bar finally. Right away we talked about how little we’d been out in public since the shutdown. I’m pretty sure it was her first date since the shutdown too. There was definitely a safe social distance between everyone in the room.
We met at the front door of a local bar and we both had to wear masks to enter, have our temperature checked and our IDs at the door. The security guard said “you can take your mask down once you get to a table with your drinks but please use it when you’re walking around.”
We obliged the bouncer and settled into chairs at the back of the bar. The place was empty. Probably about 10% of the crowd it used to have. 60-75% of the seats were open.
There was clear plexiglass surrounding the bar with a cut out service area for the bartender to slide the drinks underneath. We sat at the bar facing the plexiglass and sipped our drinks. We turned to face each other once our conversation clicked and we loosened up.
The conversation undoubtedly started with COVID. We talked about what life was like now. If this was our first time sitting down in a bar or restaurant. What it’s like seeing someone not wash their hands after using the bathroom.
I’d say we talked about COVID for half of our date, although we only met up for about an hour and a half. We had some great things in common like: surfing, gardening and outdoor lifestyle. We talked about business, careers and family a bit. I’m impressed with how easy she was to talk to. I don’t think either one of us is the “20 questions” type. Some dates want to know a list of things right away, to see if they can check off somethings on their list. Neither of us were like that. We were there to vibe and we did vibe. We both agreed we wanted to meet up again.
I don’t feel like meeting at a bar again though, and restaurants seems strange to dine at still. I think I’m going to ask her if she wants to go on a hike and then do a picnic, or go to beach with snacks and drinks. As comfortable as we both were in our conversation I think we are both slightly involved in the awareness of how serious COVID still is. She even made a comment about it being “a little bit scary” how real this pandemic is, and how nothing like this had happened yet in our lifetimes.
Dating post COVID is going to be nearly impossible without dating apps. At least it seems that way to me. How do you ask someone out who’s wearing a mask? They can’t see you and you can’t see them. Maybe social media is a possibility but then again many people make fun of you if you “slide into their DM’s.” Maybe blind dates and arranged dates between mutual friends will become more of a thing. I’ve only been on one in my life but I’ve jokingly suggested it to friends to set me up.
I’m aware that some places are not abiding by the local and state ordinance to social distance and wear masks. The idea of rebelling against the recommendations of doctors, scientists, nurses etc., just doesn’t make sense to me. Those are the people that will be trying to save your life and take care of you if you get sick. So why flip them off and rub it in their face? Is it really that hard to do? Does it make you suffer in anyway?
I think until there’s a vaccine and better knowledge about how to curb this disease we should do what they say. If that means setting up dates on an app and not hanging out in crowded places I’m ok with that.
Here’s what I suggest for Post COVID-19 dating:
- Use the apps. Try them out and see which one you like. Instead of using multiple at the same time narrow it down to one that you like and focus on creating a profile that’s welcoming but strong in your convictions. Don’t shy away from staring what you’re looking for on the app but also don’t have a laundry list of things most people don’t want to see.
- Be patient. Dating is a marathon. Don’t expect to just jump into it and meet someone amazing right away. Plan for a few months of trial and error. Or a few faces that don’t match the pictures exactly (old pictures, filters, angles etc). Don’t expect to have a full date each time. Meet for coffee, tea or a drink to see if there’s any vibe. Be polite if there isn’t and just let them know you have an early night for work or that you have something to take care of. Be nice and patient!
- Don’t have crazy expectations. Love isn’t something that always appears right away. Maybe it’s something that grows. Maybe it’s something that appears later on. Maybe it takes certain people a few dates to loosen up and be themselves in front of you, or for you to realize that they’re funny and charming and you’re into them. Don’t expect perfect conversation or to click right away. Just see where it goes. See if there’s anything in common. If there is take it slow, wear a mask and wash your hands.
Let us know how it goes and which apps you like best and why!
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