By Sofi Matzaganian
COVID put the brakes on so many aspects of our lives. Dating and Casual Sex (two very fun things to do pre-COVID) took a huge hit. Sure, a lot of dating apps attempted to make COVID dating safe and accessible, but, at the end of the day, it was never really the same, was it? Now that more people are vaccinated (and if you’re not, stop reading this and go get vaxxed right now) and the world is starting to open up again, dating and hook up culture are coming back in all their glory. Here are some tips to make post-COVID dating less painful.
- Get vaxxed and make sure your date or hookup is fully vaccinated: This ensures an extra level of safety for you and them. You’re probably already nervous about meeting people post COVID – being vaxxed and hanging out with vaccinated folks will at least take off a layer of stress from the already nerve-wracking process that is dating.
- Set a date where you feel comfortable: If you feel comfortable indoors at a bar or a restaurant, set the date there. However, if you still only feel comfortable in an outdoor setting, perhaps plan a beach picnic, a hike, or a park date.
- Buy yourself a new outfit. Over the last year and a half, we have all fallen victim to the Sweatpant Syndrome, but buying yourself a new cute outfit will elevate your mood and confidence. When you look good, you feel good and feeling good will absolutely help to pull back one of those heavy layers of stress you might be carrying.
- Get to know the person a little more than you did pre-COVID. Sometimes we jump right into a date or the “you up?” thing, but post COVID, you might try taking a little more time to get to know someone before meeting up. If you’re meeting someone from a dating app, it’s easy to keep the conversation flowing without the immediate pressure to meet up. Take your time, and don’t rush until you feel ready. You’re not alone in setting a slower pace.
- Try to go deeper than the “How did the pandemic go for you?” conversation. COVID was hard enough without having to relive it over and over again every time you go on date or make small talk with someone. No need to avoid the topic entirely (it’s probably impossible, TBH) but if you do find yourself going there, try to ask how the pandemic positively affected them. Maybe they learned a new skill, got closer to some friends, or spent more time with their family?
- Dating is difficult whether you’re in the market for something more serious or just looking for fun. Getting back out there can also be scary after our long COVID hiatus. Try to have fun, try not to overthink, and definitely do only what makes you comfortable.
- PS High heels make everything sexier!