With the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease, economies and social lives took the brunt. What becomes of love?
Everyone’s aware of what’s rampaging continents; the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) shows no signs of slowing down. Now, it’s considered a pandemic, a once-in-a-100-years type of occurrence. Since it reached other continents, the number of infected patients and death tolls shot up. Countries are closing down borders, work and school are suspended, people are staying home.
In the solitude of your home, you’re bound to get lonely and wish you have someone special who’s with you to pull through this challenge. And that’s when it hits you: is it still rational and possible to find love? Amid a pandemic, what becomes of dating and relationships?
The answer is closer than you think—online. Pick up your phone or open your laptop. The world may have seemingly stopped offline, but online dating and relationships are blossoming amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus vs. The World
But first, what is coronavirus? Scientifically-speaking, the coronavirus (CoV) pertains to a family of viruses that, when viewed under a microscope, shows crown-like (corona) spikes on its surface. The virus is zoonotic, meaning transmission is between animals and people. It can cause cold and fever and may even be the reason for severe cases and deaths, such as the one we’re battling at the moment.
In the past decades, we’ve seen similar coronavirus diseases such as the MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, but the SARS-CoV-2 takes the crown. It’s an understatement, but this new coronavirus strain continues to ruin the world. Apart from a beyond exhausted healthcare sector, the virus also severely affected tourism, economies and work dynamics, and even our social relationships with imposed protocols such as community quarantine and social distancing.
The silver lining is that out of the many things the virus affected, your love life is probably one of the few you can still manage to find a workaround. People quickly found a way to deal with the isolation—online dating usage is currently experiencing an all-time high (see graphic).
Even if many things in life are strongly affected by the virus, your love life is one of the few things that you can continue to do. Since a considerable number of singles are now using online dating sites, you too can quickly look for a partner and even fall in love again.
Dating in the time of COVID-19
First things first, are you in the proper frame of mind if you’re still thinking of finding love with a pandemic on the loose? Yes, provided that you prioritise your safety first.
Love is a universal and consistent emotion—eras and wars passed, but here we are still welcoming Cupid’s arrow. The pandemic we’re facing now is indeed challenging, but the dating rules and means have changed.
But before we define these changes, why is it perfectly fine to still seek a lover despite the virus?
Here are three reasons:
Love over panicking
The aggressive spike of confirmed cases will surely put anyone in survival mode. But panicking doesn’t do you any good—it results in hoarding, the rise of negative emotions, and a toll on your mental health and overall wellness.
In these trying times, nurturing a newfound love is healthy compared to constant worrying. With the former, you’re hopeful and this motivates you to help prevent its spread and ultimately eliminate the virus.
With the latter, however, you continuously think of nothing but negative thoughts. It’s not the virus that’s getting to you; it’s your depressing thoughts.
A productive way to pass the time
Staying at home gets boring—there’s no better way to sugarcoat that. So, if you’re looking for ways to liven up your days (other than a barrage of schoolwork or work to-dos), dating might be the key.
Time moves fast when you’re enjoying. The day will end at lightning-fast speed when you’re talking to a person who makes your heart flutter?
Tips to date from a social distance
You decided you’re going to date amid the pandemic, but the million-dollar question is: how? Technology will gladly help you with that—go online dating.
With or without a pandemic, the market’s already saturated with various dating sites and apps. Each comes with unique features, dating intentions, or a targeted audience, so it’s not uncommon to meet couples who found love with these sites.
After all, it’s cost-efficient, convenient, and even quick. You can find love without leaving the comfort of your home—doesn’t it sound perfect for quarantined daters?
A few other advantages of online dating amid the COVID-19 spread: you reach quite many people with just one profile plus you still get to connect globally, especially now that traveling is limited or even banned.
To successfully date from a social distance, here are some steps you can do:
The beauty and curse of online dating is that you have a lot of people to meet. For mainstream dating sites, you have quite a lot of profiles to sift through, and this may get overwhelming. If not, you often revert to swiping left or right based on the pictures alone.
Now that you have all the time at home, thoroughly discern every match that comes your way. Read their bio, skim through their answers to personality questions (if any), and let them sell themselves first before you ultimately check their photo.
This tip goes both ways: stay safe by staying put at home and be careful of what you put out in the online dating world. Preventing the spread of the virus is still one of the best practices, so it’s best if you take advantage of the dating site’s functionality first.
Remember that the virus spreads through droplets; refrain from trying to see each other to either grab some coffee or “Netflix and chill.”
Also, another thing you should keep safe is your information. Keep all identification details a secret and don’t reveal your email address, birthday, location, and real name (if you can help it). Even with a pandemic, catfishers and identity thieves still roam around the Internet, so remain vigilant.
Staying at home alters your routine in a way that you don’t put as much effort into your appearance and lifestyle. But, even when you’re dating online, you still need to get a hold of yourself.
If you have a video call, do your hair, dress up, or put on some make-up. Do the things that make you feel confident and in control when in physical dates; remember, you exude charisma when you genuinely feel confident.
We’re living in a world post snail mail and astounding distances; everyone’s a call, text, or chat away. So make the most out of these advancements.
Before COVID-19 wreaked havoc, when you feel comfortable and confident enough to move on to the next stage you schedule a meetup. With quarantine and social distancing in place, go for the next best online thing. Chat or enjoy a video call with your potential beau.
Plenty of reputable dating sites like Zoosk and eHarmony already offer instant messaging functions. You can use this feature to flirt or get-to-know your matches even better. Other platforms even went the extra mile and included live streams and video chatting in their services.
Many dating sites and dating apps such as OKCupid launched new features for their users to know if the other members have already been vaccinated by showing their vaccination status on their profiles. And guess what, research showed us that vaccinated users tend to gain more matches than those who don't.
At Badoo, for example, you can host a live stream and interact with several members at once. If you want to keep things strictly private, sites like Shagle offer free video chat services for all its members.
Whether it’s chat, Messenger, FaceTime, Skype, or in-app functions, flirt with words, hear their voice and see their face. You can still virtually meet for now and catch-up in the physical world once the turn of events calms down.
You know you have powerful devices at your disposal—through it, you can do things together! Catch up on a series and discuss after you’re done watching. Cook together and enjoy a virtual dinner date. Have a little R18 fun with your video chat capabilities.
If you’re not looking into having a potential relationship and are just in it for your carnal cravings, online dating sites that are erotic in nature are also available. Webcam sites like LiveJasmin are home to professional live cam models who regularly host shows. If you’re looking for amateurs, adults sites catering to the sexually adventurous demographic is your friend. Although it’s best that you don’t meet-up for a hookup session, the video chat feature at WellHello, for example, can be a reliable outlet where you experiment your sexual fetishes.
The virtual date possibilities are endless—whether in search for love or a steamy contact, all you have to do is be creative and make the most out of your online dating site of choice.
During this trying time, your safety is your utmost priority. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun even when you’re at home.
Meeting and dating other people isn’t impossible even as the threat of COVID-19 looms. At your disposal are online dating sites plus the millions of users who are also looking and craving for human interaction.