March 9, 2020

Could the Coronavirus be the Best Thing to Happen to Dating?

There’s a new virus in town, and it’s causing mass hysteria and confusion.

Yes, COVID-19 is scary.

We don’t know much about how it’s transmitted or who’s most at risk.

On a recent trip to Costco on Monday, people were stock-piling water bottles and toilet paper, medicines and canned goods to prepare for what feels like the apocalypse.

I like to take a more conservative approach to life in general—and emergency situations in particular. So I’ve been living life as usual, with a lot more handwashing and less face touching.

As a dating coach, I realize there must be a lot of confusion about how to date in the age of the Coronavirus. There’s still so much we don’t know.

It reminds me a little of the 80s, when I was dating in New York City during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At the time, no one knew how that virus was transmitted. Could you catch it by kissing? Shaking hands? Sharing tooth brushes? Many people were afraid to date.

Without much data on the new Coronavirus, it’s easy to panic or just quarantine yourself and not go on another date. You might want to wait until some time passes and we have more information, better treatment, and earlier detection.

But, what if the Coronavirus was the best thing to happen to dating?

What if we could still date…but with some precautions? What if we spent more time prescreening our potential dates? That means more phone calls and texting before meeting.

While that could lead to a false sense of intimacy, it could also lead to fewer first dates with the wrong people. Imagine the time and energy you’ll save!

What if when we finally met, we didn’t touch—like no hand-shaking, kissing, or hugging? What if by keeping our hands, faces, and bodies apart for a month or two, it helped us get closer emotionally?

I believe it would be good to date during this viral epidemic. Go on more substantial dates. Less touching/more talking might help us deepen our emotional connection without the complications of adding sex to the relationship. Because we all know what happens to our common sense and ability to spot red flags once sex is in the picture…

I know some of you might think I’m a little crazy. Maybe I’m a little too Pollyanna about COVID-19 when it comes to dating. You might think I’m downplaying the seriousness of this epidemic.

I am definitely not. I feel terrible for anyone who’s been afflicted.

But I also believe that every crisis has a silver lining.

So if you’re thinking of going on a dating hiatus for the next few months, I encourage you to rethink the benefits of getting out there and going on some “no-touching, no-hugging, fist-bumping” kind of dates.

Talk more. Get more intimate before sex.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the restrictions of this virus lead to an upswing of deeper dating connections.

What do you think?

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