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Dating & Coronavirus: Your Lonely Isolation Qs Answered

Among the many ways the coronavirus pandemic is rocking our world—skyrocketing the number of Animal Crossing players, engendering some pretty awful treatment of Asian people and causing mass job loss—it’s also having an affect on ~romance~. While isolation dating might seem wildly unappealing, social distancing is the most important thing we can do as lil parts of a big, deeply interconnected web to keep the spread of the virus as low as possible. 

So what does this mean for you and the honey you only just started dating? Can you still go see your girlfriend who is self isolating a bunch of suburbs away from you? What if the time away from your boyfriend has made you realise you’re actually not that into him? Is it chill to break up with someone if you’re both currently under coronavirus lockdowns? Like… they can still get ice cream delivered I guess? 

Everyone’s situation is going to be unique, but here are our answers to some of your more general (and therefore common) romantic/horny qs.

Can I keep seeing my bf/gf/nbf during social isolation?

Look, not to be dramatic or anything, but our main advice that applies to moooost questions people have about (physical) dates, whether they’re in a relationship or not, is this: nobody’s need or desire to see their partner is more important than tryna keep people alive. Even if you think you’re fine, or that you could happily survive the virus if it means you get to keep that D and/or V appointment, you’d be putting others at risk by unknowingly spreading it. 

Michael Chang, MD, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston puts it simply, “the effects go beyond just the two of you at this point. You should stop to consider your other contacts—not just the person you’re in a relationship with, but your family, your grandmother or grandfather.”

Even if you’re both socially isolating, and you’re not seeing anyone else (in like… both senses of the word), you risk picking it up in transit on the way there or back. Plus, even if they’re social distancing responsibly, you have no way of knowing if their roommates/family are—they could also have a frontline job which requires them to be out. I’m sorry to say it, but ya gotta stay home. But don’t fret cuz…

Can I keep dating someone and going on dates during isolation?

That’s a yes from us gang! If you were seeing someone or someones before we all became little goblins contained in our house-prisons, you can absolutely keep dating them… just not in person. 

There’s never been a better time in history to be giving long distance dating a go: make use of the zillion different social networking services you have available at your eye-ball tips for virtual hangouts. Meet each other on your Animal Crossing islands or your favourite online video game platform. Watch movies together with Netflix Party or apps like Rabbit. Write letters like ye old days gone by! You’re limited by your imagination and social distancing only.

Should I online date during isolation? Is there any point?

Alright chief, this one’s kinda on you, cos we don’t exactly know when we’re getting out of this. Your mileage is gonna vary as to how much effort you want to put into an app when you’re not sure when you might be able to meet the person on the other side of it for a while. That said, it certainly does mean you’ve got time to get to know each other’s ~beautiful minds~ before the other stuff. 

There is actually a potential positive: that dating during coronavirus is actually an opportunity to be a lil more discerning with your swiping and typing. Having a Skype or Facetime date is much lower commitment and effort than the (sometimes tiring and hard) slog of drinks, coffees, dinners, art gallery visits that we’re normally cycling through. 

Further, lotsa people out here doing the filtering for you by reusing the incredibly tired COVID-19 dating app bios. It’s the new “pick something up from Wholefoods,” and I’m swiping left on a lack of imagination lol, bye.

How do I keep someone I started dating before coronavirus lockdowns interested?

Well, first things first, continue to be an interesting person. You can already check that one off your list, baby. Next, we’d say communicate at a rate that feels natural—you don’t have to be texting every second of everyday to make sure you’re in their brain. A good general guide: If you have to force something in communication, it is probably too much. 

Even though things are really weird right now, we’d also suggest not solely chatting about how someone is suffering/prosering while in iso. Yes, it’s hard and lonely and tough if you’re WFH or doing online study, but try and keep learning and getting to know the person you met before all this shit went down. Ask about their bookshelf, or pets or what they’re listening to rn. If you’re at that level, maybe send a bunch of well composed sexts! 

Should I break up with someone during isolation?

Hoo boy. Okay, everyone’s emotions are going to be a bit wobbly during the midst of a world-changing global pandemic. Try and ask yourself where this feeling is coming from. Is it because you’re feeling vulnerable and alone and are trying to do something to feel in control? Are you frustrated because your communication needs aren’t matching up and you feel like they’re bombarding you w memes too much? Breaking up with someone, while totally your right, is usually a pretty significant step, so… pls just give it a little thought. 

Unless… isolation dating has made you realise they suck/they weren’t treating you right and you’re 100% ready to yeet them out of your life.

Anyway, if you must break up during isolation, maybe try and do it gently, and make sure to peep our guide on rejecting someone gently for some pointers that can help.

Monisha Rudhran (@monishamay) is a writer and chronic Pisces. Formerly at Syrup, she's now a Digital Content Producer at ELLE and marie claire Australia. She’s into trying to be a better person and sparkling water.

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