Updated: Apr 9, 2021
By Reagan Williams
"But the heart’s not like a box that gets filled up. It expands in size the more you love.” - from the movie, Her.
Is it safe to say that love is still in the air during a pandemic? Don’t you just crave that romantic scene in your life where someone comes to your window playing music from a boombox, a cell phone, or perhaps a car trying to win you over? This iconic scene from Say Anything, 1989 has become the ultimate romantic gesture in cinematic history. It’s been parodied in television shows, movies e.g., Deadpool 2 and recently on Netflix with Laura Jean and Peter in To All the Boys: Always and Forever. It doesn’t matter how old you are, people desire to make a ‘ human connection’ when it comes to dating. How can you accomplish this for yourself as the pandemic has impacted the norms of being single and dating?
Frankly, it’s possible to connect with someone online or through an app, have a serious relationship and even fall in love during the pandemic. According to a 2017 study published by the MIT Technology Review, reported that people have a higher compatibility and chances for marriage when they date online. Traditional dating as we’ve known it has been replaced with FaceTime and Zoom. In fact, you can go on multiple dates in your city or worldwide in one night from the comfort of your own home, while socially distancing. By the way, are you pressed for time and want to maximize your options? You can pick a speed dating event online or search for one to join on Eventbrite. Facebook is everywhere, so you might want to go in the direction of trying the Facebook Dating app, which launched in 2019.
During COVID-19, new dating patterns have emerged, but some things have not changed. According to dating coach Damona Hoffman, the standard dating rules have changed based upon meet-ups: on when is the appropriate time to ask someone to quarantine, how soon do you take the plunge to meet in-person and when to get a COVID rapid test. There are three phases she references for utilizing technology to find love through swiping, screening and virtual dating. Damona suggests trying out several different apps and maintaining many full conversations before you call and actually hear the person’s voice. Ultimately, when it comes to setting up your virtual date(s) aim to keep it to one hour to avoid virtual fatigue.
When you do decide to go on a virtual date, what can you do? The pandemic has forced people to have more conversations and be creative. You can do something as simple as take a walk together and talk, Netflix and Chill or something you wouldn’t be able to do normally. Now, you can take a virtual trip together in another country for a museum tour which wasn't a possibility before COVID.
The possibilities are endless. There are so many sites to choose from: Bumble, Hinge, and let’s not forget OkCupid, and BlackPeopleMeet for people of different ages, stages and what they are looking for in online dating. No matter what you are looking for depending on the site you choose, do not overlook safety. However, do not ignore red flags, suspicious behavior on sites and make sure to protect your identity. Despite social distancing, the pandemic reminds us that connecting to people and feeling a closeness remains important. Everyday is an opportunity to try something new to get your own ‘iconic scene’ of the heart.