This may be the worst time in modern history to be single. Vanity Fair reported that COVID-19 may have ended the one-night stand. Although some people still are dating like everything is normal, it’s definitely not.
The isolation for a single person without close friends and family nearby is very difficult, as cities and states go in and out of lockdown and the rules keep changing.
When I was single, I relied very heavily on my friends. We were out most every night. I often had one or two people staying in the guest room, just so we could all hang out more, and we had group dinners almost every evening. Now we are living a much less social life.
Even those who revel in their singleness could not have expected this kind of isolation to become a part of their lives.
Saying hello from behind your mask as you take a walk has become the new standard, but it doesn’t really count as connection. The good news is that some people are getting very inventive about connecting safely.
I saw a socially distant date invitation that went something like this: “I’ll order food from your favorite restaurant to be delivered to your house. You pick a movie that we can both stream online.
“I’ll be at my house, and we will talk on FaceTime and have dinner and watch a movie together!”
I love it. Creative, kind and touchless. What more could anyone ask for in the era of COVID-19?
Bars and indoor restaurants have closed again for now, and some may never reopen, which is very sad. It’s too soon to say what all our lives will look like when this pandemic has passed.
What I do know is that you can rebuild a life that has suffered from having to close down socially for a while. And luckily, you do have the opportunity to interact on the internet and from a distance until it’s safe to be close again.
Summer is upon us, and if you are fortunate enough to live near water, boats seem to offer a socially distant way of having fun, connecting and staying safe — and boating can be a good date option. If you’re with someone new, wearing masks and bringing your own food are good to do until you’re both sure you are completely healthy.
Right now a lot of creativity will be needed if you are looking for a new relationship, so how can you keep safe?
First off, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations. If both of you have been living in quarantine, and you both have been very recently tested for COVID-19, then that is reassuring. But I would recommend being as safe as possible until you are both positive that you are negative for the virus and are healthy.
My wife and I are being each other’s best friend, and we only socialize from a distance with very few other people who we know are also taking care of themselves. I think our little pod has done quite well as we all get through this together.
The best benefit of pandemic dating is that people are spending a lot more time getting to know each other before getting together or hooking up. Taking your time is the best way to begin a relationship that will last.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT, is an award-winning therapist and writer. He is a columnist, blogger and the author of seven books, including the newly released “Visualization For Success — 75 Psychological Empowerment Exercises To Get You What You Want In Life.” Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org