SAFE ONLINE DATING IN PANDEMIC TIMES
Since I began my practice, there have been only two major disruptors to the online dating process that have required me to modify my approach: Tinder and COVID.
Online dating was always one of my favorite mediums for singles to meet but Tinder and the apps that followed made online dating accessible to all and forever impacted the dating landscape.
COVID has changed everything about how to date online, use the apps, and filter for matches. Today, the number one question I hear is: “How does dating during COVID work?” Luckily for daters, the stages of dating have stayed the same, but the way we navigate them could be a little different.
These are the phases of online dating today:
Phase 1: Online Matching and Introduction
The speed of swiping is still just as quick as before but I find that daters are slower to move on to in-person dating in the pandemic as they take time to assess someone’s dating risk.
Phase 2: Texting/Messaging
This stage, which used to drag on for weeks or months, is truncated now because a call or video date is less risky than a traditional date. Before, people had to weigh the value proposition of an in-person date based on the investment of time and money. Now that those factors are removed, there is less pressure on this decision and singles are speeding through this part of the process.
Phase 3: The Phone Call
I have been a long-time advocate of the phone call prior to the first date. It is impossible to tell compatibility over text, yet before now, many people were skipping the phone call in favor of speed and efficiency. Now phone calls have once again become an accepted phase in the dating process as a lead up to a video chat or social distance date.
For my clients who are nervous about giving out their phone number, I recommend downloading the TextNow App which gives you a free alternative number that will ring to your primary phone. That way if you ever change your mind about a match, you can change your number safely and easily and keep it moving.
Phase 4: Social Distance Date
Once you have talked on the phone or video chatted, you will need to meet up in person to see if the connection is real within a month or less. Most catfish situations come up when the daters have never connected off the app so I encourage clients to move offline as soon as it feels safe and comfortable.
For months, singles have waited for things to return to normal. So if you ever wondered how to date online in the middle of a world-wide pandemic AND election year, my answer is: it’s a lot like the old model of online dating with more precaution.
Now, more than ever, those who are uncoupled have felt the weight of their decision to stay single or the frustration of being unable to find a suitable partner. However, we are in the new normal and dating will not return to the old model anytime in the foreseeable future.
The positive side of this shift is that it has slowed down the filtering phase. What had become a rapid-fire round of swiping directly to a date and the inevitable ghosting that followed has been replaced by more mindful conversations and meaningful phone calls and video chats.
Ultimately, you have to create your own safety plan for dating in the time of Coronavirus but if you move offline quickly, I recommend downloading the TextNow App to communicate safely then meet up in a COVID-safe environment, you can still find love in today’s world.
This blog is sponsored by TextNow. The app solves many major challenges that my clients face in dating today:
- You can keep your main number private
- You can separate your personal and dating contacts
- Plus, It’s easy to use and FREE.
I’m proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. Click here!