How to Get Your Love Life Back on Track After Quarantine
Before the pandemic, being single was just that—being single. It was a part of our identities rather than the epitome of them. Maybe we were single by choice or actively dating, or something in between.
During quarantine, though, our relationship status and love life became more than a piece of us and more a definition of us. Couples quarantined together (which was both great and not-so-great, depending) while single people were forced into isolation, where being uncoupled was something on the collective's mind much more than usual.
Although isolation felt—and, let's be real, feels—lonely, there's a certain amount of comfort in being "alone together." The number of households with one person hit a record high of 28.4% in 2019. That means there are plenty of fellow singles ready to mingle.
But where? And how? In a post-pandemic world, what does dating look like? It's undoubtedly different, and maybe even more difficult than it used to be.
That doesn't mean it's impossible. Keep reading to see how you can get your love life back on track, with COVID-approved dating tips (because that will always be a thing) and ideas on how to meet new people.
Consider Online Dating, If Only to Dip Your Toes
It's not hard to believe that the popularity of online dating soared during the pandemic. In cities hardest hit by COVID, such as New York City or San Francisco, dating app downloads went up anywhere from 21 to 26%. Bumble users began using the app's video feature for perhaps the first time ever—a 93% increase across the US.
Dating apps have always been an option, but the pandemic has highlighted them in a new way. Online dating allows users to flirt, sext, and get to know one another in a safe way, aka sans physical touch. For many people, this is a plus, as it eliminates most of the risk.
We encourage you to consider online dating, if you do, as the first step in post-pandemic dating rather than a last resort. Allow it to restore your confidence and comfortability, but don't let it take the place of in-person dating. There are plenty of ways to have a healthy and safe date with someone.
Let's talk about that next.
Understand Your Post-Quarantine Boundaries
Unfortunately, the virus caused a split in our nation, where those who wore masks stood on one side and those without stood on the other. Now, vaccines have taken the place of masks—some individuals choose to get, or not get, a vaccine for several personal reasons.
Because of this, it's recommended to have clear boundaries that honor your own practices. For example—if you have taken many precautions during the pandemic to avoid risk, such as mask-wearing and socially distancing, you might not want to go out with someone who's been relatively carefree throughout, i.e. taking more health risks. Wearing or not wearing a mask on the first date can be a clear indicator, but it might even be worth discussing before that.
In general, though, the CDC says that vaccinated folks can start doing many of their pre-quarantine activities, like dating. Two vaccinated individuals should be able to have a safe outing together, whether they go for a meal at a restaurant or a walk in the park.
If you do have roommates, it's also recommended to speak with them about their boundaries. You can let them know you're planning to have an in-person date and that proper precautions will be taken. Transparency and honesty is a fantastic way to stay on the same page with your other household members.
Talk to Your Friends
This step is a two-parter.
- Talk to your friends about mutual, eligible bachelors and/or bachelorettes, and,
- Talk to your friends . . . about anything . . . at all—because your conversation skills may have suffered in the last few months
Let's flesh those ideas out a little bit more.
Part one is all about finding people that might suit you. If you're struggling with the online dating scene, or just meeting people in general, revert back to your peers. Do they know anyone they think could be a good fit for you?
This option might pair you with someone with similar views. Your friends likely know how you feel about dating in a post-COVID world, and that gives them a special edge with their match-making capabilities. See if you've got a great mutual person that is also looking to get their love life back on track.
Part two is all about practicing. When was the last time you sat down in front of a stranger and had a conversation? We're not talking about Zoom meetings, either, but rather—those face-to-face talks we all used to have. If you haven't dated in person for a while, you might find yourself a little rusty.
Dust off the communication cobwebs by having device-free conversations with your friends. Then, ask them for feedback (yes, really). Take their advice to heart and use it to better your conversations with potential suitors.
Embrace the Changes, for They're Not All Bad
One thing COVID did was shift our perspectives a bit—à la Mercury in Retrograde. It made us all a tiny bit more serious, because, in addition to coronavirus-related news, there was a slew of other things to think and worry about in the last year. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, though.
COVID might have given us a reason to be more "real" at the start of a relationship. Before, it could be ages before two people ever got into a conversation so deep as the ones surrounding this virus. That's not including all the political and other news items that have streamed on the media.
Now, these more serious topics are the norm. More people are interested in researching their opinions and discussing, even debating, about them. That allows two people to get to know each other quicker than ever.
Forget the pleasantries, the small talk, the bland questions. Instead, let the past year inspire you to ask new questions—What is your passion? What was this last year like for you? Is there anything you wish you'd done differently during quarantine?
Of course, those are just examples. You can have any manner of light-hearted conversations as you want (after the last year, we need it!). That leads us to our next tip.
Don't Forget the Most Important Part: To Have Fun
It's been an incredibly stressful year for everyone—and depending on your views, single people had it a little bit tougher than some. As if dating wasn't awkward enough already, throw mask-wearing, social distancing, and 365 days of anxiety in the mix, and it might make you question whether it's a good idea after all.
To which we say: yes, it's a good idea.
Dating and the potential for love is always a good idea. For you, dating might look like an enjoyable fling, a night of companionship, a lifelong commitment, or a satisfied craving for physical touch. Whatever dating looks like for you, we encourage you to go for it—and most importantly, have fun with it.
After all, don't you think you deserve it?
COVID introduced many of us to a side of ourselves that had been suppressed in the pre-pandemic, work- and obligation-filled world. Post-quarantine, we're able to do things a little bit differently—like, cooking fun meals at home rather than going out to eat (we're looking at you, sourdough fiends) or going on hikes in lieu of the bar. Try to approach post-quarantine dating from these fresh new eyes—the ones that appreciate a good conversation, a Rollerblading adventure, some proximity to another human being, and not much else.
Improve Your Love Life With These Helpful Dating Tips
If you dated people before quarantine, you can certainly date them after. It might take a few extra steps—like a conversation about risks or a mask over the nose and mouth—but it's still doable. If 2020 showed us anything, it's that we can handle the tough stuff, and under that umbrella includes getting our love lives back on track.
Do you want to know even more about improving your love life? We at The Psychic Line can help. We'll set you up with the best psychic for you, after which you can enjoy a session filled with valuable insight about getting back into the dating game.
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