Ask About the Vax: 5 Tips for Dating During COVID and Beyond
With the warm weather and vaccinations, we're all eager to enjoy socializing and achieve some level of post-pandemic normalcy. According to Bloomberg's COVID-19 vaccine tracker, at least 136 million Americans have been vaccinated so far. While this is great news, not everyone has received the vaccine yet.
Take a quick scroll through a dating app and you may notice people advertising their vaccine status as a way to entice a potential match. Several dating apps have responded accordingly by adding new sections to address COVID-19. This is creating an environment in which more people are being transparent about vaccine status and test results.
Despite these positive steps in the right direction, many of us are still nervous. Adam Cohen Aslatei, CEO of the dating app S'More Date, has seen firsthand the most effective ways to stay safe and start conversations about COVID-19, vaccines and other issues that may arise.
As you log in to apps and start to match with people and get into a conversation, inevitably the topic of COVID-19 will come up. When you find yourself in this position, one of the best things to do is be upfront.
"Be direct [and] be open about your fears and reservations," Aslatei said. "Although this is a health-and-wellness topic, it is top of mind for everyone, so make sure you are talking about it."
A discussion about current health issues can be a way for you to get a good sense of the person and determine if you want to continue talking with them. At the end of the day, your safety and comfort is paramount.
Try to figure out your own bottom line when it comes to dating during COVID-19 and vaccines, then ask specific questions that can help you decide if you're on the same page with your match. If you aren't sure what to ask, try some of the following COVID-19 safety questions:
- What types of things have you been doing to keep yourself safe during COVID?
- Have you been vaccinated? Or do you plan to be vaccinated when you are able to?
- Have you been dating or hooking up during COVID? If so, what have you done to be sure you're not putting yourself at risk?
- Are you wearing a mask these days? Where and when?
Use your time wisely on apps
So many apps, so little time. As you swipe, you should be efficiently weeding out the dead ends. Your time is valuable, so consider these tips from Aslatei to be sure you meet your goals:
- Pay attention to verified profiles. You don't want to waste time chatting with fake people. You should be confident that both their photo and their bio are real.
- Seek out high-quality bios that show different sides of a person and encourage you to get to know more before swiping.
- Pay attention to what kind of connection people want, such as a casual hookup, a relationship or friendship. Knowing you're on the same page from the jump will help you avoid a lot of frustration.
Take it slow
One of the biggest lessons COVID has taught us is to slow down. Right now, things are less about instant gratification and more about getting to know someone, and this can be a great opportunity.
"Go beyond the headshot and find something you actually like about the person first, and spend time chatting before meeting," Aslatei said.
Ask to see their vaccine card and/or COVID-19 test
Everyone is figuring out what the latest "new normal" means for them, especially when it comes to dating. If you decide you want to take the next step with someone you've been speaking to, it's perfectly acceptable to ask to see their COVID-19 card or a copy of a COVID-19 test result. It's become so commonplace that millions of people have even taken to social media to post their vaccine selfies. Having the information can give you peace of mind, and we could all use some of that right now.