Take your mind on a journey back to the far-off time of last year. Dating was still considered to be a bad time by many. Online dating and apps — now the — had long been blamed for hookup culture and fostering an environment where ghosting ran amok. If people (by and large men) weren't ghosting, then they were probably sending messages horrible enough to .
To that I now say: Well, at least I was able to perpetuate hook-up culture without wearing a mask or worrying about infecting myself, my date, and every other human that came within six feet of us.
Not only is online dating now the only safe way to date during the pandemic, but online dating norms themselves have shifted quickly in this strange time. Some might believe these pandemic-induced changes have ushered in an entirely new dating apocalypse, one where masked sex is common and everyone is aggressively horny.
Yes, there are some aspects of quarantine dating — quardating, if you will — that thoroughly suck. We must either opt for virtual dates or date with masks on, struggling to hear the other person's muffled voice. We may have nothing on our minds but coronavirus and massive social unrest, making the usual light chit chat exhaustingly difficult. We may sanitize our hands every half hour. Despite these setbacks, however, I'd argue that there are some major pluses to quardating:
Weeding out people who aren't interested
It's arguably never been easier to decipher who's interested in you and who isn't. If someone isn't responding to your Bumble messages when they may be at home all day (or, if they're not, at least not going out like they used to) well, you have your answer about how they feel about you.
While that initial realization may sting, this is actually a huge boon. Now you don't have to pursue — or god forbid, — someone who would engage a bit more if you were talking in the Before Times, but would ultimately leave you hanging.
WATCH: How to go on a virtual date during the coronavirus pandemic
A legitimate excuse to stop talking to someone
On the flip side, you also don't need to continue talking to someone that you're not interested in, either. I'd never recommend ghosting unless the person in question is an asshole who warrants getting fully cut-off, but you can truly be honest with whomever you're speaking to. Has the state of the world made you not so into dating right now? Are you anxious, depressed? Any excuse for not being into someone is a valid one, but these are especially easy to understand. And the other person may feel the exact same way!
If you don't want to speak to strangers right now, it's more than warranted to take a break from dating.
Everything is going slower
If you do want to date, one advantage is needing to take things slower. This goes along with weeding unworthy people out. If they're just interested in a hookup, they'll move on if you suggest a FaceTime date.
Dating in New York City, especially, has been an experience of weaving through profiles and subsequently actual dates with people who just want to have sex. That's not a bad thing — I've been that person myself — but for someone looking for something a bit more serious, now's the time where it's not only smart to take things slow, but you could save lives while doing it.