Dating doesn’t have to stop during the quarantine
I read an article about how a guy got to date a young woman that he saw from his window by sending his phone number using a drone!
These are strange and grim times, with a terrible disease threatening us and many out of work, while those who still have to work may be risking their lives. On top of that is the stress of social isolation. With all of this going on, is dating still possible?
Here are some ideas on how to meet single people during the COVID-19 quarantine.
1. Sign Up for Online Dating
OK, this one is obvious. But, if you’ve been avoiding online dating for whatever reasons, now is the time to join. Online dating companies are reporting a surge in demand now. There are many, but some that I recommend include Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Match.com, Happn, The League, and Hinge.
If you’re interested in a long-term relationship, as opposed to a “hookup”, there might be some good news for you. There is some evidence that more folks online now are looking for long-term relationships, as more folks sign up for online dating during these times of social isolation, especially since “hookups” are actually kind of dangerous now.
2. If You’re Already Doing Online Dating, Update Your Profile
If you’re already doing online dating, now is a great time to refresh your profile to reflect the current environment. Talk about how you’re dealing with the shutdown and what your life is like now. Throw out some ideas on what dating looks like to you during these times (Facetime call? Chat?).
And, how old are your profile pictures? Why not take this opportunity to get dressed up, go outside, and take a few good new profile photos of yourself?
3. Act On a Person From Your Past
If you secretly admired someone you met a while ago, there’s no better time than now to re-test the waters. Being stuck at home might actually be a good excuse to check in with that person by text message or chat, and not have it seem so awkward and out-of-the-blue.
It could start with a quick message to see how they’re doing. Maybe something like this if you haven’t talked in a while:
“Hey Julie, it’s John, Hope you are well! just checking in. I was thinking about the great time I had when I met you at the concert at the pier last year. It’s too bad there won’t be any more of those for a while. Are you going stir crazy now or keeping busy? My company is letting everyone work from home, but I missing hanging out with people. And, it’s a challenge trying to stay fit without a gym, but I’ve been jogging and doing the stairs near my apartment…”
…and so on.
4. Set Up Facebook Dating
Did you know that Facebook has a totally free dating component? It’s called “Facebook Dating“.
An important aspect of it is that only people who are signed up for Facebook Dating can see your profile, or even the fact that you’re signed up. Your regular friends won’t see that you’re signed up.
Facebook Dating provides suggested matches who are not in your friend network. This is good if you want to avoid the awkward situation of being matched up with someone you already know on Facebook.
On the other hand, if you are a secret admirer of a friend, you can select them as a “Secret Crush”. They’ll see that someone has selected them, but won’t see who unless they’ve also selected you as a Secret Crush. That’s a pretty cool feature.
While Facebook Dating hasn’t exactly exploded in popularity, it’s worth a try because it’s free and easy to set up.
5. Reach Out to “Friends of Friends” on Facebook
I know a few folks who actually met friends of friends on Facebook, and ended up dating them. Your friends of friends are a huge pool of folks who have at least one thing in common with you – a friend. You can easily browse your friends’ friends, or just look at who is commenting on their posts. Find out as much as you can from their profile, then maybe ask your friend if they’re single and available.
6. Say ‘Hi’ to That Cute Guy or Girl Next Door
Sometimes tragic events like earthquakes (and now, pandemics) have a way of making people slow down and talk to their neighbors. It’s too bad it takes a tragedy for that to happen, but you should take advantage of it.
In addition, with everyone at home, the shutdown might bring new opportunities to meet people in your neighborhood. People are definitely out and about more, exercising, walking the dog, or just getting some sunlight to avoid going stir crazy.
So, it might be the perfect opportunity to say “hi” to that neighbor you’ve never talked to before. And then the next time you see them, you can ask how they are doing and if they need anything from the store. Who knows? You might be able to turn this rapport into a real date!
7. Sign Up for Online Singles Networking Events
Virtual singles events are now a thing. Some dating apps like Hinge and The League have online networking events.
Before the shutdown, Meetup groups were a good way to meet other single people in your town. Some singles Meetup groups are trying to continue on virtually.
This is definitely new and uncharted territory, but why not give it a try?
8. Organize a Singles Zoom Party or Game Night
This one requires a little initiative and some single friends, but it can be a great way to meet other single people in your network if you tell your friends to invite their single friends.
A great source of “irreverent online games” is Jackbox. These are easy-to-play online games that are ideal during the quarantine. Many incorporate trivia questions, but wrapped in a theme such as a murder-mystery. Jackbox is available on Mac, PC, and almost every major mobile device and game console. There is a cost to the games though, but it’s worth it.
9. Try Virtual Speed Dating
I didn’t know this was a thing until I Googled it and found this service. If you’re a fan of speed dating in real life, this might not be that different. With this service, I like how the events are separated by age group.
10. Consider a Setup by a Friend or Matchmaking Service
Under normal circumstances, you might feel awkward signing up for a matchmaking service, but these aren’t normal times.
Setups and matchmaking services are tried-and-true ways of meeting single people. I asked my friends at Matchmakers in the City if there has been an increase in demand for their services during COVID-19, and sure enough, there has been:
“We have found a surge in applicants because a lot of singletons are quarantined at home, facing their fears of being alone during a traumatizing situation. Many of our Clients cite being too busy with work/travel/their social life as the major reasons they are unable to date, but now with the quarantine, these excuses are no longer valid, and we are finding that more people are prioritizing human connection, even if it cannot be done physically in person.”Alessandra Conti, Matchmaker at Matchmakers in the City
So, now is a great time to consider using a matchmaking service! If you’re a Christian in Los Angeles, check out Christian Matchmaking LA.
Or, reach out to your network of friends to see if anyone knows someone who might be right for you.
Bonus: Join a Virtual Church Group
Most churches and synagogues are having online services during the pandemic, and many have weekly small group meetings over Zoom, where it’s possible to meet new people. Check their websites for more info. Here’s an example from Pacific Crossroads Church in Santa Monica. New people are welcome to join.
To Sum Up
Obviously, the quarantine is a major obstacle to meeting people, with bars, clubs, and social gatherings all shut down. But, technology does offer opportunities to still meet single people. Take advantage of these!
Tell us about your quarantine dating experiences. What are some other ways to meet people during the shutdown? Please comment below. – Brian