How to Start Dating Again After COVID-19

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Before 2020, dating involved a movie or perhaps dinner in a trendy new restaurant. The pandemic abruptly changed dating. Drinks in a crowded bar were replaced with mask-wearing and social distancing. Many people stopped dating altogether. But now, people are feeling the anxiety of not meeting new matches. Time is ticking forward. If you are worried about missing out on finding “The One,” read on to discover how to start in person dating again.  

When Should I Start Dating Again?

So, when should you start dating again? That is really only a question that you can answer. The thought of putting yourself out there again can be quite intimidating. But, if you feel like you are ready, here are some tips for in-person dating. 

Ready to Date Again? Here’s How to Do It

If you are ready to return to the dating pool, I have some tips on how to start in person dating again.

Take Things Slow 

In this unusual time that we live in, it’s a good idea to take things slow when it comes to dating. Daters are really focused on meaningful connection and emotional intimacy compared to before the pandemic. More than 58 percent of daters are more intentional in dating, prioritizing a relationship versus a hookup more than before the pandemic, according to a survey by Match. This is likely because more people are craving commitment after living with so much uncertainty and fear over the last couple of years. People’s priorities have changed. They are re-thinking about what’s really important to them. 

First, make sure you are ready to start dating again. If you just aren’t feeling it, it’s fine to wait until you are ready. Don’t feel pressured into dating again before you are ready. It’s important to move at a pace that is right for you. 

If you are ready to start dating again, it is a good idea to date more intentionally and get to know dates in a much deeper way even if you are not necessarily looking for a relationship. This can help reduce the anxiety that you might have about dating again. 

Be Prepared 

Dating can be anxiety-provoking and now even more so because of the uncertainty surrounding the new COVID variant. But being prepared can help reduce the stress that comes with getting out there again. Dating will be different and it’s important to be prepared for that. It might not look the same as before. Dating etiquette has changed. People are a lot more open about topics that were probably discussed before especially on first dates. It’s important to prepare yourself for the fact that dating will look different.

Communicate 

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It’s essential to be upfront and transparent now more than ever. It can be really awkward to bring up vaccination status and your comfort level with various kinds of contact. But, the majority of daters prefer to discuss these issues right away. Almost 80 percent of Hinge users say that it’s really important to agree on pandemic safety before going on a date. To make this easier, some online dating apps prefer that individuals display their vaccine status. Knowing this information upfront before you meet with someone in person can make dating easier. 

Before having the conversation, know what risks you are willing to take and be willing to communicate your values. If the person doesn’t take your concerns seriously, take it as a red flag. You are entitled to feel how you do about your health and you deserve to date someone who will respect your boundaries. 

Get Tested 

People are still getting COVID, even after having all vaccinations and boosters. The new coronavirus variant is highly contagious. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms, do an at-home COVID-19 test before going on an in person date with someone. This shows concern for others. Additionally, you should always take an STD test anytime you are intimate with a new partner. 

Is Virtual or In Person Dating the Better Way to Go?

There are benefits and drawbacks when it comes to virtual and in person dating. A virtual date just isn’t the same as an in person date. It means you won’t be able to smell that scintillating fragrance your date might be wearing or give them a warm hug.  On the other hand, an in person date can be anxiety-provoking. 

The important thing is to think carefully about what you are comfortable with and look for potential dates with similar comfort levels. Be clear about your boundaries. 

Need some date ideas? Check out this post:

Winter Date Ideas to Keep You Warm All Season Long (Opens in a new browser tab)

Final Thoughts on How to Start Dating Again

Most people have had enough of seclusion and social distancing and are ready to start in person dating again. If you are ready to dive back into the dating world, just be clear on your boundaries and go for it! Remember that it’s okay to take a break from dating if it gets too overwhelming. The important thing is to be kind to yourself. 

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