Dating in a Pandemic for Stylist Magazine

Dating in a pandemic is difficult. It is difficult anyway to find someone you genuinely connect with and who’ll put up with your love for fried chicken, extreme sports and adventure; but especially in a world where most people meet each other online, there is always an opportunity for individuals to present themselves in their pictures and on their profile, to be someone else entirely.

But dating online is even more challenging in a pandemic, where social interaction is limited. I have had my fair share of heartbreak and disappointment this year, thanks to a breakup before lockdown and dating a knight in shining armour entirely on zoom, only to find out there was no spark in real life, so I am already apprehensive about dipping my toe into online dating and it’s rituals. To hear more about that Zoom dating experience or proper pandemic love story some might say, read this article by Stylist I was featured in about why Zoom dating is not the be all to end all.

Putting romantic Italian themed dinners and hours of virtual drinking aside, it feels like I have fallen from the heights of the steep tower of love and I have had more than a bumpy landing on the way down. I decided to embrace online dating in October after a three year hiatus, after I went on a date with someone I met on Spare Room who proceeded to tell me all about his ex girlfriend and why he isn’t great at commitment, on the first date. I thought to myself, if I am going to swim with the sharks, I might as well get a wetsuit on and some decent fins.

So much has changed since I last swiped for someone and I feel that despite the lack of physical connection and even in some circumstances, the ability to meet up socially distanced (especially now being in Tier 4), dating in a pandemic has its highs. In normal circumstances, if I asked for a video call ahead of a date I would be sneered at, but in this current climate my request has been (mostly) respected. Why would I potentially threaten my health, my housemate’s health, and my family and friend’s health, by meeting up with someone who doesn’t take coronavirus seriously, doesn’t respect my simple request of a video call, doesn’t respect my boundaries, doesn’t look like their pictures and has no conversation. Err none of the above?

Am I being too demanding when it comes to dating online? Am I asking for too much? You might think so, but I’d rather catch an episode of Sex and the City with my housemates, then coronavirus from a guy I don’t know. I will continue to swipe until I find the right one who respects that.