The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly altered every aspect of life — especially, for single folks, dating. Many apps have attempted to keep up with the demands of the times and create new features to help dating from home be a bit less painful. New data out of Bumble suggests, however, that users want to meet-up in person again.
Eighty percent of Bumble users in the United States are open to meeting a match versus virtual dates, said a release shared with Mashable. That doesn’t mean that they’re all confident about what that looks like, though. A bit less than half, 44 percent, are unsure about what exactly is acceptable in this “new normal.”
Unfortunately, the new normal is going to be decidedly different than what we’re used to when it comes to meeting new people. Given that many coronavirus cases occur indoors according to research out of China, the usual first date spots — restaurants, bars, movie theaters — could be off the table.
Yes, that also means meeting up at someone’s apartment is off the table, too.
In that case, sharing a meal outdoors or going on a walk could be preferable; if you still can’t be in close contact with those you’re not living with, then stay six feet apart. Coughing or sneezing on your date is likely more riskier than sex, according to Dr. Jay Wolfson, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy and Practice at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine.
“There are three important factors here: responsibility, respect, and exercising common sense,” Wolfson, who’s been running a federally-funded HIV and AIDS care system in Florida since 1992, told Bumble.
“There are three important factors here: responsibility, respect, and exercising common sense.”
Wolfson suggested phone calls or mailing letters to build anticipation for an in-person date if you don’t want to run the risk right now. “It’s fine to get back out there, but look at this as an exciting new way of experiencing things,” he said. “Savor the moment, and the expectation. Really get to know somebody.”
Furthermore, many Bumble users have thought about what they’d do should they have to social distance for the long haul: 60 percent said they’re seeking a bunker companion should stay-at-home orders be reinstated.
If you’re not ready for the new normal of in-person dating, just stick with virtual dating for now. While your favorite first date method may be ill-advised right now, that could completely change in a few month’s time.