Dating During COVID-19: Experts Say ‘Go Old School’

During this age of “social distancing”, dates are eerily similar to the pod-style dating seen on the popular Netflix show “Love Is Blind” where you don’t get a chance to see the love of your life, just talk to them through the wall. Dating profiles have even changed. As you scroll through profiles, many are now full of short, little tag-lines about toilet paper or being cooped up alone.

Let’s face it, it’s kind of a hard time to be a single right now. It sucks to have no opportunity to meet other singles in person while much of the rest of the world is being boo’d up with their loved ones. So even players who cheat aren’t even on their regular messy-ness right now, either.

And fresh relationships are being tested by self-distancing orders, not to mention old relationships too (especially those you seen.

Given all the changes, who’s to say love letters ― the kind your grandfather used to send to your grandma, or the ones we used to send in class when I was growing up, won’t come back in style?

People haven’t gone that old school yet–they are opting for more video messages. According to data supplied to HuffPost from the Bumble dating app, the app has seen a 21% increase in video call usage over the past week and a 21% increase in messages sent.

Even people’s perception of shows like “The Bachelor” have changed since the pandemic.

Two men based in San Francisco started an online dating series “Quarantined Bachelor” based off the popular television series.

James Parenteau and Tyler Cohen created the Instagram online dating series. They originally wanted to start a live dating show based out of San Francisco but had to quickly pivot and thought of doing a virtual dating series.

“We vet five contestants and then they go on a series of virtual dates and have a roll ceremony to choose who they’d like to go on a date with when quarantine is over,” Parenteau said in an interview on BBC.com.

Instead of a rose, like on the television reality serie, contestants are given a roll of toilet paper. Each series occurs over the span of a week and a half. The process consists of a group meet-and-greet and one-on-one virtual dates that are edited down to a couple of minutes.

“Modern problems, I guess, need modern solutions, and I felt like this is kind of an important way to let love grow still during shelter-in-place. Normal people asking – will you go out with me when this is over? So I think our audience really, really enjoys that. We’re not picky where you have to be pretty or too dramatic,” Parenteau said.

So what is a single person to do? In two words: Get creative.

Experts from the Black Love Dating facebook group says creativity is key. “Try setting up an evite for a virtual date or go old school by sending flowers, asking her about her day, making a mixtape with songs inspired by your mate. Create a meal and send it over. The key is don’t think that just because one avenue [meeting up in person] is temporarily off limits, doesn’t mean you can’t still make a connection.”

Tori Cignarella, a 23-year-old hospitality professional was dancing on her building’s terrace when she noticed a guy from a building across the street waving at her. He sent over a drone with his phone number and…