In a time when social distancing is a must, the staying-at-home, working-from-home, everything-has-screeched-to-a-halt life has increased anxiety, fear and depression across the board. What do you do when you’re single during a pandemic? Go online to meet the person of your dreams, apparently. Match, Tinder and other dating apps have reported significant increases in both membership and revenue (OKCupid and others were up 12 percent!).

But how do you date when it’s unsafe to be around strangers? It can be done; here’s how.

Go Virtual

Yes, like everything seems to be doing these days, virtual dates are the new way of having that first, second and even third date. Hopping on Zoom, Houseparty or any number of online conference sites where you can see one another as you talk gives you the facetime you crave, in a safe environment. Each of you can pour some wine and enjoy happy hour together, albeit over a computer screen.

Light is Key for Looking Date-Ready

But when you are onscreen, be sure to look your best with great lighting. There are soft lighting attachments for your desktop, laptop and even your cell phone that will put you in your best light, such as the Ring Light.

Really Get to Know Each Other

A positive aspect of social distancing is instead of meeting someone and immediately going on a date, where an activity may provide the date’s fodder, now you have an excuse to go deeper. Spend time texting and talking to one another and truly decide if this is a person you want to meet in person. It’s okay to take your time and the right time to be picky.

Give Cyber Sex a Try

Whether you are a Cyber Sex virgin or a pro, consider online dating today like a long-distance relationship. If you are ready to take it to the next level with someone, continue to do it virtually and see how well you can push each other’s buttons through the phone. If it’s good enough virtually, just imagine how great it will be when you are together!

Wait for that Kiss

The butterflies that come with wondering about that good night kiss that may be coming at the end of a first date are gone and are now happening, on average, around the fourth or fifth date. By this time, you should have a good sense of the person you are seeing and have built enough trust to get a bit physical.

Ask for Results

Sure, it’s not sexy, but asking for the recent negative results of a COVID test is absolutely okay to do when preparing to meet someone for the first time. Akin to making sure one was protected at the height of the AIDS crisis, if someone is really interested in you, they won’t be off-put by this request. And, be sure to provide the same courtesy to your potential suitor.

Exercise Caution

Be aware of what your date is doing when not speaking to you. If he or she is actively spending time with groups of people and attending large gatherings, try a self-imposed quarantine and wait 14 days before meeting up to ensure they don’t come down with an illness.

Keep Dates Private

Once upon a time we liked to meet a date in a crowded place but now it’s time to meet one-on-one. Keep your date outdoors and away from crowds.

Don’t Worry

Now is not the time to fret over finding your soulmate. There is a lot going on in 2020 that is wreaking havoc on your emotions. Be sure not to rush into anything and fill a void as you give yourself the time to adjust to this “new normal.”

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About Lissa Poirot

Lissa Poirot is an award-winning lifestyle writer who covers health, wellness and travel. Her work has appeared on websites such as WebMD, FamilyVacationCritic and the New York Times, as well as print in magazines including Vegetarian Times and Arthritis Today.

View all posts by Lissa Poirot

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