Featured Image: My coworker’s cat on a group date over Zoom.
Some of you were lucky enough to go into quarantine with a significant other. Others, like myself, panicked at the idea that not only could we not have random meaningless sex anymore but that even dating was out of the question.
Exclusive relationships are the ideal in times like these. The problem is finding that one person that you don’t mind sticking to for the rest of this seemingly unending pandemic. You can’t just endlessly try new people whenever you get bored of them.
Even more frustrating is that you’re not meeting anyone outside of dating apps. I know a few working relationships that started on a dating app, but I still wouldn’t call it the best place to meet someone. Most of these guys are still just looking for one night stands in a goddamn pandemic. Plus, when my mom asks me: “where did you meet this one?” I cant use the same lie I usually use that I “met them at a party.”
So say you do your due diligence: you text for a few weeks, you Facetime, you go on a CDC approved date– but how will you know if they’re a terrible kisser until you swap spit? How do you know if they talk with their mouth full until you have a meal with them? How do you know if they’re a disgusting slob until you see their apartment?
How can you really get to know someone through just texts and video chats?
Should we just completely give up on dating this year? I know I always say it’s okay to be alone and you should be spending this time working on yourself, but frankly, that was before I realized quarantine was going to last this long. Giving up over a year of my prime is a hard pill to swallow.
From what I’ve observed, though, not many people have thrown in the towel. In fact, for some, it’s business as usual. I’ve even had guys literally say they don’t care if they get sick after I explain that I won’t see them not only for my safety but for theirs. Suddenly asking a guy if he’s seeing other people means more than just the base level of relationship exclusivity; I need to know who else’s air you’ve been breathing.
The one thing 2020 has done well though is weed out the people you definitely shouldn’t date in 2021. The ones who tweeted memes about running over protesters. The ones who shared posts about how they won’t wear a mask and will continue to live their life “free”. The ones who shouted the loudest about rugged individualism when we brought up Medicare For All and bailouts for the unemployed, small businesses, and student debt borrowers. 2020 has lowered the curtain on the inherently selfish and the willfully ignorant.
So, proceed with caution. I can’t tell you to be abstinent– we certainly learned this year that telling people what to do never works– but I do ask that you take precautions. If dating isn’t your thing, find an exclusive partner to have sex with. If sex isn’t your goal, talk to them for a while and video chat before meeting up with them to make sure it’s not going to be a waste of your time and safety. Don’t be afraid to ask what they’ve been doing and how big their bubble is. If they’re reticent to say, that’s a red flag.
Be safe, stay healthy, wear a mask, wear a condom.