Tips For Dating In The COVID World and How to Not Let It Affect Your Mental Health | By Sara Nutaitis

Now I am not going to lie and say that I am not jealous of the people who are already coupled up, or were able to find their soulmate just before or at the very start of this COVID Pandemic… I am! However, I am also super happy for my friends and acquaintances that have their significant other.

But what about the rest of us? The ones who are still single and trying to find their “person” during all of this? The world may have been on hold, but that doesn’t mean love stopped being an emotion.

As someone is who is at high risk for this virus, I was VERY careful for the first 2 – 3 months of the shelter in place order in my state (PA) – I didn’t leave my house at ALL. It was bad- I knew I couldn’t keep that up, if I wanted some vitamin D, and fresh air, but especially if I wanted to keep dating! It was stressful, but I just couldn’t deal with what, I conjured up in my mind as, the zombie apocalypse… maybe this was just because The Walking Dead, is my favorite show, or maybe because my anxiety heard “airborne” and went right to zombies. Who knows? Anyway, back to it.

March and April were especially tough months for dating, even via dating apps. Nothing was open and the only options were video chat, FaceTime, or other virtual communication methods to see someone beyond their pictures on their profile. It worked for a while, but some guys were still against the idea of a virtual date. I was not comfortable going outside just yet, and those who got annoyed over that didn’t last long on my “matches” list. I did have a few virtual dates, and they went as well as they could have- it just didn’t work out.

As the lock downs eased, and more things started to open, I talked myself into venturing outside. I was able to get my hair cut (after they were allowed to safely open), and had myself a good, long overdue, self-care day. This also means that more things are open and dates can happen more easily now- outside dinning, mini-golf courses, and parks… still fun but with built-in social distancing!

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get one of these socially distant dates. It is hard when you don’t know who the guy you want to go out with has been around. Do they have COVID? Does someone they’re around have it?? Is he an asymptomatic carrier? So many questions go through an anxious mind about these things, especially when that anxious mind is high risk and lives with her high risk mom. I did meet up with one guy, and we even kissed, but I knew he had been isolating himself due to where he lived and that we was working from home… I didn’t stand to close to my mom for a week after I met up with him just in case; all parties involved are healthy!

But I have to ask myself, will all guys I want to meet in person be able to say that- that they haven’t been out to any crowded bars, or to any parties? That they haven’t been around anyone besides their family? These are the tough questions I am finding myself asking, it is the only way my anxiety will relax and be okay with the idea of going out in public with someone I haven’t met before. If they are understanding of your feelings, and are taking the virus as seriously as you… then it just might be worth it. But remember, still wear your mask.

If you are at high risk and/or have a mental illness that is making this all that much harder, don’t be afraid to ask potential mates those questions. You are allowed to know how seriously people are taking this pandemic and if you will be able to feel comfortable around them or not. If you want to find love, go find it! Just do it responsibly and safely, please! 🙂