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A Guide to Dating after COVID: How to Navigate a New Normal

The time for things to go back to normal has come and gone. We have a new normal ahead of us and that includes figuring out dating after COVID.

dating after COVID

The outbreak of COVID-19 is not just something that happened and move on like it didn’t. It has changed how we live our lives, including dating after COVID. Plus, going out to eat, grocery shopping, and even celebrating life events will be changed for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic that is still at large in most of the world.

Because everything from beach trips to coffee runs have changed since COVID, it makes sense that dating after COVID would be different as well.

Dating is a time to get to know someone, grow a connection, and at some point usually, physically connect in one way or another.

COVID has made many popular date ideas obsolete. For instance, movie theaters in most of America are still closed as well as indoor dining. Some of the most popular date ideas aren’t possible and getting close to a stranger seems a bit daunting when most of us have been on lockdown for months.

So, how do you date after COVID?

[Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas you can try]

Should you be dating after COVID?

Of course, our lives and health are the number one priority. No matter where in the world you live, COVID is still a risk because there is no vaccine or cure.

Since COVID struck the world at the end of 2019, our interactions with people have changed. We talk to our family members on the phone instead of in-person. We no longer greet our delivery drivers and we wear gloves when shopping.

Since all of these things are limited for good reason, how are we even supposed to think about dating?

Is it safe? Yes and no. The way you think of dating before COVID is not safe. Going to a bar for drinks then dancing or for a nightcap, no that is not safe right now, whether you have symptoms or not. But, dating is not dangerous if you do it safely.

Now, I am not advising you to go on dates if you don’t feel comfortable. If you have a preexisting condition, are at higher risk, or are an essential worker coming in contact with a lot of people or sick people, dating may not be the best choice for you, at least not in-person dating.

But, if you think you can use self-control when dating and meeting new people it is possible to figure out dating after COVID.

[Read: 8 great reasons online dating is worth a shot]

Dating after COVID

There are a number of ways to date after COVID. Whether that means now, after COVID hit, or in the future when it is no longer a threat to humanity.

I know you are probably thinking you barely figured out dating before COVID, how are you supposed to do it now will all these restrictions and limits? Well, it will take some creativity and patience.

Whether you decide to keep you COVID dating virtual or take it from the screen to the pavement, there are ways you can be safe when dating after COVID. [Read: How to fight loneliness while self-isolating during a pandemic]

Keep it on lockdown

You know how abstinence is the safest sex? Well, online dating is the safest way to date. The absolute safest way to date after COVID is to keep it virtual. If online dating wasn’t exploding before, it certainly is now.

It is perfectly normal to continue dating someone virtually until you both feel safe meeting. That is always true but especially now.

Usually, you might chat for a week, then meet up for coffee. To be safe, after that week of chatting, have a virtual date. Video chat while eating dinner by candlelight and playing music in the background, play a game like Heads Up! or have a virtual coffee date.

You can take steps to get to know each other without meeting face to face. It will be an adjustment, but a doable one. [Read: 14 first date red flags you should never ignore]

Wear a mask

I know there is nothing less sexy than meeting someone for the first time with a mask on, but hey, it is for your safety and theirs. At least this will keep the mystery alive?

Remain six feet apart

A picnic may be a great date idea after COVID. You can meet in a public place and sit on towels or blankets six feet apart. This allows you to see each other and talk, even share a meal, without putting each other or anyone else at risk.

Have a porch date

If you’ve already met and felt safe with each other, but just don’t want to risk it, good for you. But, going out for a picnic or a sweaty date at a temporary outdoor restaurant just isn’t cutting it.

Head to your new boo’s house and chat through the door or window. This way you can still see each other and spend time together without the physical risk. [Read: How to survive and thrive living alone during the coronavirus outbreak]

No kissing

Sorry but kissing strangers is a no-go right now. If standing within six feet of someone you don’t live with is dangerous, you know kissing is. Unless you have both been tested and haven’t been in contact with anyone else for two weeks, you’ll have to bite your lip and keep it in your pants.


Since Netflix and Chill is out, a lot of your dates will probably be outdoors and in public. A part of dating is intimacy, whether you can kiss or not. So, if you are within six feet of each other, you can still show some PDA safely.

Wear your mask and gloves, and you can hold hands. I know it is very junior high. Hey, taking it slow and holding hands for a walk through the park could remind you of how sweet dating can really be. [Read: The best and worst venues for romantic picnics – The full guide to perfect picnic dates]

Do some exercise

Since almost all indoor dates are out, get some exercise while getting to know each other. Going for a bike ride or hike is a great way to get to know each other while in nature. Bonus! It also keeps you at a safe distance.

Make the most of it

Enjoy this while it lasts. One day maybe in a year or two, traditional dates may start again, but for now, get the most out of this. Instead of fighting with nerves about how your outfit looks, if your breath is okay, and if you’ll kiss at the end of the night, just focus on having a good time. [Read: How to make it through corona cuffing season unscathed]

Be creative

There are a lot of lists online for fun video chat date ideas but think of your own. If you both love cooking, have a cooking competition together. Grab 10 random things in your room and describe them to your date without showing them. Then, they must guess what they are.

Do something different. This is a chance to get to know someone in a way you never have before. [Read: The best virtual first date ideas to really get to know someone]

You’re more likely to meet someone

The risk of in-person dates include danger, waste of money, risk or nerves, etc. But you are more likely to cancel a real date for these reasons than a video chat date. There is so much less risk involved.

If things are going horribly, you can shut your laptop. You don’t need to pay the check and call a cab and escape through the backdoor. Because the nerves drop a lot when you can date at your kitchen table, you are more likely to go through with the date and do it again with the same person or someone else.

It actually makes it more likely you will meet someone and start something.

[Read: How to know if you should try online dating?]

Dating after COVID doesn’t need to be scary or lame. It can actually be a great opportunity to grow and learn about yourself.

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Samantha Ann
It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding a wonderful relationship, I have decided to...