After a year without being able to legally touch anyone, people are, understandably, worried about exactly what dating after COVID will be like. Will we all be really awkward like teenagers again? Or will everything slip back to normal? Maybe it’s like riding a bike, we’ll all just remember how to socialise and everything will be fine. But if you’re asking yourself if dating will change after COVID? Here are our tips.
What can we predict about dating?
Well, it seems that we aren’t alone in worrying! eHarmony reported that around a quarter of their users are apprehensive about dating, in fact, the online dating site has coined a new term: FODA. Fear Of Dating Again. Their users have said they’re worried about potentially catching coronavirus off of anyone they go out with and aren’t confident about kissing etc. again. This makes complete sense, according to clinical psychologist Marc Hekster. He said that “intimacy has been associated with risk, which will categorise dating as potentially terrifying, at least initally’.
On the other hand, social epidemiologists have predicted that we’re all going to go wild when lockdown is finally removed. They’ve said they’re expecting a 2nd ‘roaring 20s’, with a surge in ‘sexual licentousness’. Basically, just everyone doing anything they want with anyone they want. It all seems like such a foreign concept!
Our tips for the new dating scene
1. Be confident, but careful
As we go back into the world, remember that lockdown restrictions will not have been lifted without reason. So if we are allowed to hug people, you’re probably safe to do so. Especially with the vaccinations now being done so fast, the chances are by the time restrictions lift, most people will be protected.
However, when it comes to dating, especially during the Roaring 20’s 2.0, be sure to be safe. Whether that means stocking up on contraception, sharing your WhatsApp location when you go on dates, or regularly taking COVID and STI tests. Or, all four.
2. Remember everyone is in the same boat
One benefit of a pandemic is that is took place globally. So if you’re going on a date and you’re worried you’re out of practice, they will be too. We’ve all been locked in our homes, it’s okay! Hey, maybe they’ll be even more awkward than you. You never know.
3. If you can’t think of anything to talk about, that’s okay
Normally on dates, or in conversation generally, we talk about our lives. But if you start dating as soon as the world opens up again, your life will have consisted of working from home and making banana bread in your PJs for the last year and a half. If that’s not the first impression you want to make, that’s okay. Try and ask some questions, find out their favourite film, whether they like marmite, literally anything – and then just go from there.
4. You are going to feel overdressed
The likeliness is, you’ve switched between nudity, pyjamas, joggers, athleisure wear and your dressing gown for the last year. So suddenly, actual clothes are going to feel foreign. You are going to feel ridiculous in that dress or blazer, but just remind yourself that this is what actual people look like. We aren’t hermits anymore.
5. Don’t compromise
We know you might be desperate to get out there. We know you’re touch starved. But don’t compromise and go on a date with the first Tinder match you get, you still need to like them too! So be a little patient – it’s been a year, a few more days won’t hurt.
If you’re going back into the dating world after COVID, just try to remain calm. After all, dating is supposed to be fun, even if it’s a little daunting!