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 Dating in the pandemic? It’s possible, but read this first!                                

Say you’re ready to go on a date with someone you’ve just met. What do you do? Where do you go? Here are the new rules for dating amidst social distancing.

 By April Zara Chua

 

Dating in the pandemic? It’s possible, but read this first!

Say you’re ready to go on a date with someone you’ve just met. What do you do? Where do you go? Here are the new rules for dating amidst social distancing.

 

The pandemic has certainly changed our daily lives. Gatherings are restricted to small groups, wearing masks has become a new norm, and everyone’s trying to limit physical contact.

 

It has also changed the way we interact with one another. We may long for more face-to-face interactions, yet they are still considerations to take note about going out in public and this can be challenging for blossoming romances and new relationships. Here are “new” rules to follow on how you can continue to date safely amidst the pandemic.

 

 

 

Don’t be afraid to share your concerns

If you are currently more comfortable keeping your blossoming romance to just video dates, text chats, and phone calls, be honest about it. Everyone is coping and adapting to the pandemic in their own way, so it is completely acceptable if you want to put your safety first by staying home. 

 

It’s also perfectly okay to ask them about their contact history and if they’ve been in contact with any COVID-19 patients. As we navigate our way through the pandemic, social responsibility takes centre stage in keeping you and the people around you safe.

 

How your potential date reacts to this can also give you an insight into how they handle situations that may (or may not) be favourable to them. Explaining your situation to them may soften the blow of not going for an in-person date yet. Besides, it’s not a rejection, it’s merely, a postponement.

 


 

 

You can be touchy about being touchy-feely

Is your date is leaning in for a handshake? Try waving in response instead and diffuse the situation by explaining that you’re being socially responsible by minimising physical contact. Or you could do a light-hearted elbow bump (the new fist bump) if you’d like. This should set the tone and boundaries for the rest of the date and prevent further awkward situations. This is great news if you’re generally uncomfortable with physical contact, especially with people you’ve just met. 

 

But if the meet-up is going great and you’re syncing non-verbal cues with your date, a light touch on the arm here and there can sometimes happen—it’s a reflex and we’re wired to crave physical touch after all. Under normal circumstances, this shouldn’t be a problem but during pandemic times, it’s best to wait until you’re more comfortable and assured that your date hasn’t come into contact with anyone infected.

 

This may sound like it’s sucking the romance out of the date but think of it this way: minimising physical contact will allow you both to bond over other aspects of the date, such as having quality conversations. By refocusing your energy to the conversation, you are also building a better foundation and allowing yourselves to connect on a much deeper level.

 

 

 

Look to the great outdoors

When planning your in-person date, try to avoid crowded places or malls. Instead, get creative and look for alternative date ideas that are not your usual dinner-and-a-movie fare. Why not avoid the crowd and go on an early-morning hike? There are lots of nature reserves with trails friendly for people of all fitness levels that could be a fun date idea. Or opt for a relaxing sunset walk at the park. 

 

You could even take it up a notch and go on one of those one-day tours to one of Singapore’s offshore islands for something that’s more off-the-beaten-track. Sharing new experiences together can even help strengthen your connection and discover new facets of each other’s personalities.

 

And lastly, give the relationship time

The pandemic has forced everyone to slow down—and this may not be a bad thing when it comes to relationships. Ever since the resurgence of dating apps, people have become too quick to write off potential dates without giving it much thought. 

 

These days, with people being cooped up at home, they have become more willing to spend more time getting to know someone before making a decision. So next time you meet someone new, be it through an app, an event or a mutual friend, be open to possibilities because you never know where that’ll take you. And if you do decide to meet IRL—mask up!