So, normally my post this month would be something like a book review or my latest writerly news. I’ve also been meaning to discuss that new reality dating show Love Is Blind. Except now were in the middle of this crazy coronavirus pandemic.
Romance novel and reality TV show reviews are going to be pretty damn welcome once everybody’s been shut in for another week or two. But I recently had a more pertinent topic come to mind.
You see, my sister lost her husband almost 2 years ago. Not long ago, she realized she was ready to reenter the dating pool. Maybe even have sex. Then the coronavirus hit here in the US. Which begs the question, “How, exactly, is dating going to work in the foreseeable future?”
By their very nature, dating and sex are social activities (at least once you’re done swiping right or left). They both require getting very close to someone. Often more than one someone, especially over time or depending on your personal preferences. Traditional dating is not a recipe for good social distancing.
Which brings me back around to show Love Is Blind. On it, people “date” by sitting alone in separate pods and talking. They do not get to see each other until they are engaged. This lets them get to know each other without looks or physical attraction becoming a factor.
Maybe more single people need to start doing something similar. I can’t think of a better excuse for really getting to know someone before you date in person—or have sex—than government mandated self-isolation.
Thankfully nowadays, virus or no, it’s easy to connect with new people online. But instead of meeting up in bars and coffee shops and restaurants, I suggest we go back to talking for hours on our phones. And bringing back the long-lost art of writing heartfelt love letters.
Remember back when it became normal to ask if you’re potential sexual partners had been tested for STDs (Okay, maybe you’re not as old as I am, but this started as a result of the AIDS epidemic). Will we now ask potential romantic partners to show us two negative coronavirus tests in seventy-two hours before we’re willing to even sit in the same room? Let alone sit across the table from them and share a meal or drink?
Let’s not forget about good old-fashioned phone sex. Only nowadays you could be having more FaceTime and Skype sex, too. It would be a perfect opportunity to explore mutual masturbation, sex toys, dress up, and role-playing.
At least that way you’d know what kind of sexual partner(s) you were getting before you hopped into bed with them. This alone could greatly reduce the number of date rapes, and the amount of plain old bad sex being had the world.
We’re only at the start of this coronavirus pandemic in many countries. It could be weeks or months before our lives return to even a remote semblance of normal. Maybe longer. Some experts believe that even if the virus dissipates a bit over the summer, it could come back with a vengeance in the fall.
Coronavirus or no, folks still want to date and get together. And a lot of people, especially people who live alone, could really suffer from social isolation. Maybe we can use dating apps (and/or social media) to reach out and invite people to get together online, on the phone, or via video chat.
Earlier today, my sister and I met via phone and queued up the same yoga video. Then we called and discussed the video and our experience after. I’m also planning a “tea and FaceTime” with one of my friends. Why not “meet” online for coffee, drinks, or dinner? Maybe we’ll discover it’s a better way of dating.
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