Dating in the time of COVID

Dating is never easy and it’s harder than ever during a pandemic. As with other interactions in life, taking advantage of technology and planning for safety is key. Dating apps and ways to connect virtually should be the first step. If you hit it off, the next step is a virtual discussion to vet your date and ensure the benefit of meeting in person will outweigh the risk.

It’s a good idea to find out what type of dating each person is comfortable with. Do you want to continue meet virtually or are you OK with socially distanced interactions? Ask the person “what does social distancing mean to you?” The answer might be illuminating (some people always wear masks even when distanced and outside and some do not). Another way to pose this question with tact, “everyone is at a different stage in how much they are interacting with others – what are you comfortable with?”

If an in-person meeting is on the table, you should take the conversation further. Make sure you discuss the types of places you’re both comfortable with. Do you want to be outdoors? Are you OK with outdoor or indoor dining? I recommend outdoor dates like walks in the park or other activities that allow masks to be worn over meetings with food and drink.

It’s important to know your individual risk levels. Does your date have a high-risk occupation where they are around a lot of people? Do they interact with people outside of their household without masks? Do they have children attending school or day care? Are they dating anyone else that introduces another level of risk?

If things are becoming serious, take time to discuss any move toward closer interactions before the mood strikes. This may include new COVID risks and comfort levels, you can also consider testing pre-physical contact.

Here are some other things to consider while dating during COVID-19:

  • Cancel and reschedule the in-person date if either of you are having symptoms or are aware of prior exposure situations within the prior two weeks.
  • If you become ill, or your date becomes ill, wait at least 10 to 14 days to reschedule just in case the illness was due to COVID-19 (you can discuss when you can safely interact with your healthcare provider).
  • If you decide to be up close and personal without a mask or face covering, recognize that this is the greatest opportunity for virus transmission if either one of you are infected.
  • If either of you become ill after the date, share that information and discuss getting a COVID-19 test with your provider.

UofL Health is offering community COVID-19 testing. Learn more.