10 Ways COVID-19 Has Changed Dating Forever

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it, and dating and relationships are definitely included in that. Trying to find love without a global pandemic is hard enough and now things seem downright impossible. They say that there is a silver lining to every cloud, however, and even though COVID has made dating a lot more difficult, there are definitely a few benefits to our new way of living.

  1. It’s harder to meet in person. Obviously at the beginning of quarantine, none of us were going anywhere and that can make setting date plans pretty impossible. Dating apps consisted of text chats, then maybe a phone call or FaceTime once you were ready to take things to the next level. Now that it’s been a year and we know how to better protect ourselves from the virus, places have slowly started to open back up and some people feel more comfortable leaving their homes, but that’s not the case for everyone. Some people are at higher risk for the virus or have family members that are, so meeting up for a date with a new person is simply not possible.
  2. Relationships can take time to develop. On the other side of that token, not being able to quickly meet up in person gives the people chatting through dating apps time to really get to know each other before going on an actual date. Having deep conversations with someone and learning all about them helps us feel more connected to a person and because of the inability to meet up in person right away, we have all the time in the world to talk about everything right now.
  3. Casual hookups aren’t really a thing right now. The people who aren’t looking for a serious relationship and are simply looking for a casual thing might be disappointed to find that it’s not really possible right now. With COVID-19 still such a danger and social distancing and mask-wearing still highly encouraged or even required, it simply isn’t safe to be intimate with someone you don’t know and is something most people are probably avoiding at the moment. It can be frustrating for some but worth playing it safe for your health.
  4. The physical side of relationships can take a back seat. The positive side to the elimination of casual hookups is that those who are looking for something real and long-term have tons of time to really get to know the person and decide how they feel about them before getting physically involved. Even if you feel comfortable with meeting up with your date in person, social distancing is still encouraged, so taking things to a physical level quickly is not something many are doing right now.
  5. Many popular single hangouts are shut down. Bars are typically popular places to meet other singles and with many of them being shut down, it cuts out a lot of opportunities to meet new people. Also, with the virus affecting so many events where it’s easy to meet someone such as weddings, parties, concerts, and festivals, it’s a lot harder to find eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.
  6. You can still meet people at more niche locations. Just because large gatherings have been canceled doesn’t mean meeting new people altogether is! You can still meet other singles, and now that loud and boisterous events aren’t happening, you have the opportunity to meet through more specialized places such as bookstores, coffee shops, and public parks, or nature trails. Sure, it’s not the same as a night out on the town but how cool would it be to meet someone at your favorite local bookstore that gravitates towards the same genre as you? Before, you could have missed the opportunity because it wasn’t a place you were expecting to meet someone but you never know, your soulmate might just be one aisle away from you at the market.
  7. People have been forced to stay in unhealthy relationships. Through job loss and quarantine, many couples whose relationships may have been on the rocks before COVID hit were quite possibly forced into lockdown together, creating more stress and conflict in the relationship. Many people who lost their jobs or live with their significant others were forced to stay in situations that were unsavory or, in many cases, even unsafe. This can be a very scary situation and one that can break relationships apart completely.
  8. Those in unhealthy relationships have come to their senses. On the flip side, as difficult as quarantine might have been with an unhealthy or abusive partner, many people realized that they needed to walk away from their relationship once and for all. It might have taken being stuck in a house together for several months to realize that this wasn’t the right situation for them but it could’ve also been the push they needed to remove themselves from a toxic situation and free themselves up for a new, better future.
  9. The stress of everything has negatively impacted so many. Unfortunately due to COVID, so many of us were left in extremely stressful circumstances such as financial stress, job loss, family health issues, and more. With so much happening at once, the pressure can really weigh on a person and cause them to not be in the right place for dating. Many most likely took a break altogether from dating apps and trying to meet new people, not necessarily because they wanted to but because there was so much going on in all of our lives already.
  10. You now have something to bond over. With so many of us experiencing the same devastation, one of the comforts that helped to get us through was knowing that we weren’t alone in any of it. If you did continue to get online and look for people to talk to, chances are you were going through the same things as so many of them. It is never fun or easy to go through tough times but the bond that we can create with other people through experiences is sometimes a bond like no other. You might find your person through confiding in them about what you’re going through and helping them get through their own obstacles too.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.