What it’s like to date in a post-COVID world

words Al Woods

Since COVID-19 swept across the globe, much has been made of its impact on the workplace, school, and how we conduct our lives online. But for many singles, isolation has its own unique challenges when it comes to dating.

As social distancing continues to be our reality for an indefinite period of time, we can only ask: How has dating changed amidst COVID-19? And what will it look like post-COVID? From virtual dates during lockdown to the boom in casual dating, we delve into what it’s like to date now.

Intimacy has become more precious.

dating during COVID

Image credit: Unsplash

Meeting someone new, much less a potential partner, has been difficult for most people during the pandemic. Worse, being unable to walk on the streets or hug a friend during lockdown has only amplified our need for social connection in a time of isolation. This has meant that dating and relationships – whether virtual or IRL – have become more precious than ever.

Just as work has moved entirely online, so too has dating. But on a virtual date, there is none of the constant stimulation we’re used to on a physical date. Strip away the rituals of prepping for a date, the restaurant ambience, the probability of sex, and what are you left with?

Instead of relying on our external environment as a conversation-starter, we have had to truly focus on getting to know the other person without any distractions. Being on a bare-bones Zoom or Skype date also compels us to invest more effort to keep things interesting. And since there was a longer waiting time between each date due to COVID restrictions, there was also plenty of time to get comfortable with a date online before finally meeting in person. If anything, the upside of this is that we’ve had to relearn what intimacy and relationships mean to us, which is most definitely a good thing.

Virtual dates will now be a way to pre-screen a date.

dating 2021

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Just as quickly, not only did virtual dates emerge as a way to assuage feelings of isolation, they also became a way to pre-screen someone before deciding if they were worth our time – and health risks – to meet in person.

While virtual dates can never accurately reflect the chemistry and connection you might experience with someone IRL, they are a good way to gauge if you at least have some level of chemistry. You also get to be more relaxed on a virtual date without leaving your home, so if you find out that your date is utterly incompatible, you wouldn’t feel like you wasted your time. As for virtual dates that do go well, chances are higher that the in-person date, when you do finally meet, will go well too.

People dating now are more intentional about their choices.

dating during COVID

Image credit: Unsplash

Having had to spend a lot of time alone during lockdown, we’ve also had time to reflect on what we want out of dating and our relationships. This period of introspection, along with the unpredictability of the pandemic, has prompted us to date in a more intentional way. Not knowing when the next lockdown will take place, for example, has pushed us to be more upfront with ourselves, and with others, about our needs. We could be less willing to put up with toxic dating behaviour like ghosting, or red flags like a lack of respect for quarantine rules.

Conversely, when we do meet someone we’re interested in, we’re more intentional about showing interest. And whereas in the past it was easier to quickly move on to the next person, we now have had to learn to build a connection slowly and more seriously. One can only hope that these positive outcomes like better communication and more intentional dating will have lasting legacies beyond COVID-19.

Table For Two is redefining what it means to be social in our modern dating world. As your personal dating curator, our social matching truly connects you with like-minded people through our dating experiences.


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