If you’re single and ready to mingle or are finally getting serious with your quarantine boo but aren’t sure how to keep the magic alive, don’t fret! Here we present our 4 basic pandemic dating tenets to keep dating fresh, fun and healthful during this unprecedented time.
If you’re nervous about how to approach your first IRL date interaction during the pandemic, consider this: There’s no time limit. Our editor recommends:
Take a deep breath and know that there are no rules/expectations/hard lines for you to meet other than the ones you’ve personally thought through and established…
“Setting boundaries (with others and yourself) is essential.”
If you aren’t comfortable with having a date over, then be real with yourself about those concerns. Write out a pro/con list, consider your feelings AND THE FACTS, to decide (by and for yourself) how you truly desire to take next steps.
If those next steps are still virtual, A-OK, as we’ve discussed, our team has found virtual dating to be a viable option. Once you’re clear on what you want, have an open discussion about it, because:
Transparency in times of crisis brings people together—even when you don’t agree. Coming to an understanding about diverging views builds bonds. Ambiguity breaks bonds.
If you’re concerned, speak up! Recommend that you and your partner get tested before any type of reunion/IRL dating scenario. And remember: Every person has the freedom to feel however they feel about this situation, and it’s very likely those feelings will differ somewhat from yours. Be respectful of other people’s views. We can feel differently and still manage to respect each person’s unique set of boundaries.
“Anyone who is unable to do the above, is not someone you should be dating. Take that to the bank.”
2. Plan Ahead
There are a multitude of ways to plan a fun date night if you’re itching to spice things up from home. Order ahead from a favorite restaurant, or a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. New food experiences outside of a restaurant setting are fun and more intimate! Especially if you ritualize it with candles, and details – such as setting the table. Have fun with this! Get fresh flowers for the table, whip out those serving platters, opt for exotic cuisines.
Picnics are a great alternative if you want to avoid crowds, but also step out of the house. If a good picnic park isn’t nearby, or you’re looking to craft a more private experience: Drive out to a beautiful spot and create your own drive-in movie theater in the car by grabbing a laptop, fun snacks, blankets etc.
If you and your date are spending physical time apart due to health concerns, digital dates can be equally fun and help develop/support your bond. Here are some of the reasons we think it’s a worthwhile IRL date alternative. Most importantly:
Don’t let distance stop you from planning special moments together.
Suggest a coordinated at-home wine tasting kit to liven things up and try something new. More great ideas for digital dates here by Maude.
3. Turn UP The Heat
With everyday life becoming more and more hectic, intimacy can be the last thing on your mind, however, in order to have a healthy and blossoming relationship, we need intimacy. Intimacy helps bring you and your partner closer, whether it’s through emotional or sexual connections. If you’re in a new relationship make sure you take safety precautions before engaging in any sexual activity. We recommend new partners getting tested for COVID-19 to ensure neither partner is putting the other in harm’s way.
Although it might feel overwhelming, life will not always involve a screen, so:
Prepare yourself for when you and your date/partner are ready to connect/reconnect IRL.
If you’re feeling anxious because you haven’t had sex since before quarantine, know that’s more common than not! We recommend taking it slow. Just because you had a sexual relationship pre-quarantine doesn’t mean you’ll be ready to dive right back in 4 months later! Be patient and kind to yourself, and to your partner. Get to know one another again in the physical sense without added pressure.
If you’re highly concerned, companies like Hims specialize in medications and therapies that can help ease sex-related nerves for men, as well as support groups, mental health resources and specialized therapy for All. No matter what: Sex and conversations around sex should be open and honest. How do you really feel? What do you really want?
Do not fear a discussion that prioritizes your pleasure and enforces boundaries. This is what great sex is made of.
Get creative, talk about and try new things/products that have piqued your interest (for example, this article is all about great personal lubricants). And in the meantime, utilize technology (if you feel comfortable) to stay connected.
4. Turn DOWN The Pressure
Life is challenging right now, so if dating seems harder than usual don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have it all figured out. If the uncertainty of this time is causing you stress: Take active steps today to prioritize and improve your mental and physical health.
Consider meditation, online therapy, virtual sound baths (our editor recommends MNDFL), the list goes on. Try new things, find what works for you and slate for a regular, scheduled frequency. As we all know, dating is fun, but it’s also hard work that affects our confidence and sense of wellbeing. If you are struggling/lonely/feeling lost, know this: Healing comes from within:
“Dig deep to uproot and heal from negative self talk. It’s your mind. It’s your body. Take care.”
In closing, if you’re holed up with someone and spending too much time on that person’s agenda/life: Take a time-out to do some of your favorite things, or just to relax! Prioritizing your happiness and development helps you to reinvigorate, recharge and refocus.
For those ready to date IRL, our very own fashion maven Evyenia is here for outfit inspiration! Her top advice: “Confidence is always the sexiest thing you can wear. Wear what makes YOU comfortable.”
The old adage of: ‘Don’t look like you’re trying too hard’ is not only dated, but often more work.
Evyenia says: “It’s perfectly awesome to wear that new dress or get dolled up in something that makes you excited to wear. Be yourself, wear that piece you’ve been wanting to, and take no prisoners!”