How To Meet Someone Without Online Dating During Covid

The worst of the pandemic may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. If you want to meet someone the old-fashioned way while a lot of people still aren’t going out much, is that even possible? The short answer is yes. Here’s how to meet someone without online dating during Covid.

  1. Communicate your needs early. This isn’t the time or place to piss around with the other person. First of all, you have to know in yourself what you want. Establish what feels right for you and whether you have the means to achieve that. If you know that your goals are too aspirational or demanding for the delicate situation that Covid brings, maybe it’s time to lower expectations and reassess. Or, to shelve your plans because you won’t be satisfied. Either way, tell the person you’re interested in these thoughts so that they know you’re on the same page.
  2. Be respectful. Consent is always the most important part of a relationship and something that makes you feel safe. That is never more true during the time of Covid. You never know what the other person’s living arrangements are, their risk threshold, or whether they themselves are in a high-risk category. This is where it’s important to put your ego aside and just ask. There doesn’t need to be a great sense of romance and mystery at the start of your relationship. Questions and directness show intentionality and confidence. Listen to their values and don’t take them personally when they might be different from yours.
  3. Build healthy boundaries. These boundaries should span all aspects of your life and relationship. Not just whether you put out on the first date, or how many times per week you want to see each other, but precautionary measures too. Just as you might ask a new partner to take an STI test before hooking up, it is now just as reasonable to ask them to take a covid test first too. Or, back in the early days of the pandemic, to both isolate. These are gestures that improve your safety and make them feel safe too. Hear them out and you will be able to date more successfully.
  4. State your expectations early. This avoids disappointment later down the line. Poor communication and different expectations are always red-letter days for relationships, let alone in covid, where you invest even more time and effort than usual to make things work. Not only do you have to align schedules and timings, but now add to the mix isolation periods and traveling bans… Don’t faff about or lower your expectations or lie to the other person to string them along. You’re better than that.
  5. Be open-minded. Yes, everyone made sacrifices during the pandemic, but that is never felt more keenly than in relationships. Think about how many partners didn’t see each other for months on end during those hard times initially. We have to be thankful for what contact we can have and be grateful. With that in mind, to date successfully and not need dating apps, keep an open mind. Use your friends’ contacts and blind dates and see who is on their depression walk at the same time as you. You never know…
  6. Walks are your best friends. Well, your friends are your best friends. But you get what I’m saying. Use exercise in order to boost your mental health and get some fresh air, but also as a key socializing tool. You can go on walks with your friends to brainstorm and then plan actual dates or picnics or lakeside hikes with your partner in the future. You’d be surprised how much range of activity is possible with just a walk…
  7. Second base looks different now. Know that you might need to start with zoom calls, even if you didn’t meet online in the first place. Accept the ways that things are different now and keep the faith that things will improve. People’s perspectives change all the time, in both directions. If covid has taught us anything it’s that nothing can be taken for granted and you have to make the best of what’s in front of you. Second base might now be holding hands and making eye contact. We live in a less physical world now, but that also makes it more special and all the more intense when we do get together.
  8. Bubble up and trust them. Covid’s impact on dating is permanent, culturally. It either ends relationships prematurely or rushes them into more commitment. Extreme situations cause extreme responses. Bubble up and commit to them and you’ll get to see a more real side of them. No screens, no interferences. It’s a new way of doing things, but well worth a go.


Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.