Dating from a Distance

How to stay connected without leaving your home.

Posted Mar 23, 2020

eamesBot/Shutterstock
Source: eamesBot/Shutterstock

By now we all know how important it is to practice social distancing in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. However, some online dating sites are reporting that a concerning number of people haven’t made any changes to their normal dating practices. Whether you’re bored, isolated, or just looking for ways to pass the time, there are options for continuing to date without putting yourself and others at risk. Here are just a few tips for how you can use technology to satisfy your need for human contact – and to make being alone feel a little less lonely.

1. Use the time to get to know someone on a deeper level. Studies have shown that some people are more comfortable revealing their authentic selves through technology and that relationships can become deeper rather quickly due to norms for self-disclosure online. Many online dating sites such as Zoosk, PlentyOfFish, and eHarmony publish questions that you can use to facilitate disclosure in your own relationships. Or you can experiment with this list of more than 200 questions to ask a Tinder date. Without the pressure to meet face-to-face, these activities can be valuable tools for getting to know others online on a more personal level.  

2. Take your relationship on a test drive before meeting in person. Maybe you decide to watch a movie on Zoom or have a coffee date via FaceTime. Some online dating services like Bumble even offer video dating features that you can use in place of face-to-face meetings. Getting to know someone through multiple modalities can also be a good way to strengthen the relationship before the time comes when you can actually meet in person.

3. Try a new dating site or app. For the more adventurous, there are new dating services designed to connect you with others while social distancing. For instance, QuarantineChat is an app that will introduce you to strangers you can chat with over the phone. There’s also the “Love Is Quarantine” Instagram page where you can request to be set up in a manner similar to that of the Netflix show “Love is Blind.” The creators note that all proceeds from merchandise sales will be denoted to COVID-19 relief efforts. These services are here to help keep you at home, so why not give them a try?

References

Caughlin, J. P., & Sharabi, L. L. (2013). A communicative interdependence perspective of close relationships: The connections between mediated and unmediated interactions matter. Journal of Communication, 63, 873-893. doi:10.1111/jcom.12046

eHarmony. (2018). 18 first date questions from the experts. Retrieved from https://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/first-dates/15-great-first-date-questions/

Lardieri, A. (2020, March 10). 92% of Americans dating as normal despite coronavirus, survey finds. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-03-10/more-than-90-of-americans-dating-as-normal-despite-coronavirus-survey-finds

Love is Quarantine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.loveisquarantine.com

Luvze. (2018). 290 questions to ask on Tinder. Retrieved from https://www.luvze.com/290-questions-to-ask-on-tinder/

Maclean, K. (n.d.). The top ten first date questions to really get to know someone. Retrieved from https://blog.pof.com/2019/08/the-top-ten-first-date-questions-to-really-get-to-know-someone/

McKenna, K. Y. A., Green, A. S., & Gleason, M. E. J. (2002). Relationship formation on the Internet: What’s the big attraction? Journal of Social Issues, 58, 9–31. https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-4560.00246

Murray, M. (2016). 97 online dating questions to get the conversation started. Retrieved from https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/online-dating-advice/online-dating-first-message/online-dating-questions/

QuarantineChat. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://quarantinechat.com

World Health Organization. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public