In 50 years, various generations could very well be telling their grandkids “my first date with your grandfather/grandmother was on Zoom!”? Despite the discouraging news of the pandemic, there is the possibility for stories of hope and love on the dating front. 

According to University of California, Berkeley sociologist Dacher Keltner, social distancing will prove difficult for many single people who do not have physical contact with others. He says, “Touch is as important a social condition as anything. It reduces stress. It makes people trust one another. It allows for cooperation.”

This need for human contact will remain stifled in the foreseeable future, even as parts of the economy reopen. Singles rejoining the dating scene need to understand the new realities and adapt. 

Managing the New Social Realities 

People diving into the dating pool after the pandemic will need to understand the rules have changed. A shift in dating etiquette will mean more first dates happen virtually, with people using tech to filter down “second date” prospects. Finding spontaneity will challenge many daters in this new dynamic. Perhaps they will need to use Zoom or another video call application to have a picnic in the park where they stay 40 feet apart. Or, have a Netflix Party to watch the latest romcom together while they chat. Smart daters will turn challenge into opportunity, by playing the piano for virtual dates, or showcasing another creative talent.

Singles must understand social and physical boundaries after COVID-19 and understand when someone they like is hesitant to meet in person. Dating during this time will require patience and understanding, and a willingness to engage in longer courtships in order to develop deeper bonds. 

Relying on Technology

A silver lining for dating via video chat is it removes some pressure from physical intimacy early in a dating cycle. People engaging in a few dates via Zoom or FaceTime must take the time to get to really know other people in a more connected way. The focus shifts towards deeper conversations, instead of the speed of Tinder and other mobile-based dating apps that were commonplace before the pandemic. Virtual dates are also free, which should provide a relief for cash-strapped daters. 

While video dating will never replicate the physical touch and sensations that come with in-person interactions, it does at least provide sight and sound. As social distancing eases in the coming months there will still be a slow entry into going out to eat or hitting the bars for happy hour. Video dating is around to stay and will serve as an important launching point for post-COVID-19 relationships. For example, FilterOff is a video chat-based app that functions as a 21st Century speed dating. With the app, users can pick three video dates a night which each lasting just 90 seconds. The user then decides if they want to talk to the person further and ultimately ask them on a social distant date. 

Enlisting Expert Help

After the pandemic, some will jump into the dating pool to make up for “lost time” during the height of social distancing. To get the most out of their reentry into dating, many singles will consider traditional dating services that can pair them up with compatible people. 

A good dating service uses profile and interest information to match people on compatibility and lifestyle scores. For example, a dating service called SEI Club caters to a variety of different social circles across the globe, SEI Club makes it their number one goal to find members their life partner – not just a summer fling. The club’s matchmakers foresee more people using dating services as they crave social interaction. Dating services are ideal for busy individuals who may be hesitant to invest time going on first dates or perhaps are nervous about Zoom or other video call applications for dates with people who they might not have anything in common. 

Dating and forming relationships are constants. The pandemic shifted how people interact physically, but it inspired creativity and resilience. It is after all “physical” distancing, not just “social distancing.” Dating etiquette after the pandemic will adjust, but the need for deep human connections remains.