8 Tips for Using Dating Apps in a Pandemic

Building relationships isn’t impossible in 2020

Written by Daniel Ziolkowski

It’s tough to meet new people when you can’t go out anywhere, so it might just be time to download a dating app if you’re looking for a relationship. But that first meeting is more awkward than ever, and it can be a challenge to gauge the comfort levels of someone you’ve never met before. So whether it’s where you go or how you first interact, here’s eight tips for using dating apps in a pandemic:

1. Utilize technology

Meet dates virtually on platforms like FaceTime before committing to meeting them in person. This makes sense even without even considering the possible spread of COVID-19, as it confirms the identity of the person you’re about to meet.

2. Do your research

It’s important to explore someone’s social media presence to get a general sense of who you are meeting and whether or not you might be interested. You may feel like a stalker, but you’re not. Everyone does it, and in a time where coming in contact with the least amount of people as possible is crucial to your own health, it’s a good way to sort through your options.

3. Ask questions

Subtly ask your date questions about how often they go out to bars, restaurants and other densely populated areas. This can help gauge if they are more likely to asymptomatically carry COVID-19.

4. Know what you’re comfortable

Set conversational boundaries early in regards to what you’re comfortable talking about and what you’d like to keep to yourself. Many people’s lives have been completely altered by the pandemic, so consider that a lot of people are still trying to figure things out.

5. Explore your options

A lot of people are eager to find someone to get coffee or dinner with since they’re stuck in the house so often. These apps provide a great opportunity to help make up for all the events and parties you’d usually use to meet new types of people — so don’t limit yourself.

Photo by Daniel Ziolkowski

6. Use them for more than just romance

Apps made to meet people don’t need to be used exclusively for finding a romantic relationship. Bumble BFF is a great way to meet people to chat with online, and a lot of Tinder dates turn into at least casual friendships if things don’t work out.

7. Get creative with date ideas.

People are moving past traditional sit-down dates in favor of getting outdoors and doing more recreational activities. Things like hiking, walking and ice-skating are all pandemic-safer ways to get to know someone. It is crucial, however, to make sure you are comfortable with the person before wandering into the woods with them — we’ve all heard plenty of Tinder horror stories. This may apply more to second or third dates.

8. Be up front with your intentions

It’s okay if you’re just looking for a hookup or something more long-term, but it can get pretty uncomfortable when two people want completely different things. Make it clear what you’re looking for on your profile and you’ll connect with more people who want similar things.