COVID-19 will surely have lasting effects on our healthcare system and economy, but will we continue social distancing once it’s deemed safe? A look at possible scenarios for the dating world post COVID.

Relationships are always hard, and they’re especially hard when the world is urging you to not share space with other human beings for the foreseeable future. While many may have found or had bae well before the age of the coronavirus, what are we to do now that, even if we were able to get someone to agree to break quarantine, there’s nowhere to take them on a date?

Dude, Where’s My Date Spot?

Man on woman in a coffee shop on a date after COVID-19
Man on woman in a coffee shop on a date after COVID-19

Furthermore, will our favorite date spots still exist when I’m allowed to have a sit down meal? My game will suffer if I’m missing that spot that perfectly makes me seem like the hip, interesting, in- good-finances, swaggy, and tasteful man I was to believe I am.

Reading up on life in China now that Wuhan is on the mend, once the U.S. is finally off quarantine, we shouldn’t expect bars and restaurants to be operating at their full capacity. That could mean reservations will be harder to come by, their hours could be different, not to mention staffing and what that could mean for service.

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Let’s Get Digital

Two men on a virtual date through Skype
Two men on a virtual date through Skype

Even before Pandemic 2020 hit, technology was paradoxically connecting us more than ever before, while allowing us to distance ourselves from people at the same time. Now, everyone is forced to distance themselves with technology the only way we can be around each other. Happy hours over Zoom are definitely the in-thing now, as are games of bingo and trivia. Is it only a matter of time before entire dates are done on Zoom?

At the beginning stages of the quarantine orders in the U.S. in mid-March, Austin, 30, in San Francisco talked about first dates being done over FaceTime. While it could be people are simply trying to manage the current situation, it could be a trend that extends into post-COVID life.

Recently, I’ve employed a different dating tactic but similarly is low cost, low time investment, and an easy ask—first dates done over coffee. Rather than paying for rounds of drinks and fretting about picking a place, why not go for coffee? Everyone drinks it, it’s cheap, still allows for taking in a fun ambiance, and takes very little energy while allowing you to gauge if you might actually like your date.

FaceTime first dates could meet similar standards. Getting on your phone to have that first conversation takes very little energy, costs nothing, and you get that glimpse into what type of person your date is before you go out and drop money on dinner and drinks.

One thing’s for sure though if FaceTime first dates become a thing—whoever sent green circles pre-coronavirus is facing an uphill battle.

Can We Hug It Out?

Woman and man wearing masks and drinking milkshake through straws on date during COVID-19 pandemic
Woman and man wearing masks and drinking milkshake through straws on date after COVID-19 pandemic

Whenever we are allowed to shake hands or hug when we greet each other, will social distancing still linger in the back of our minds, affecting how we interact on those first few dates? While people will no doubt still engage with each other physically when there’s enough attraction, are we still going to stay six feet away from each other until we mutually consent to actually touching? I will not be happy if my next date starts out with a dap when we get to the restaurant.

However, deadly pandemics don’t scare everyone apparently. Shanae, 31, says that even at the epicenter of the global pandemic in New York City, men are willing to risk it all—like all of it.

“Yeah, I still get a text every now and then from guys from way back,” says Shanae. “Even with everything going on right in their backyard they’re trying to ‘Quarantine and Chill’ or something along those lines.”

Bold strategy there Cotton.

The Sooner, The Better

Man and woman embracing on date after COVID-19
Man and woman embracing on date after COVID-19

Predicting what dating will be like after we’ve overcome COVID-19 is like predicting what the rest of the world will be like: impossible to know for sure. This virus is unlike any other we have seen for 100 years, and the world then would never recognize the world as it is today. Did people even “date” around the time of the Spanish Flu?

What’s for sure though is that it will be different. Even the most incredulous can agree on that. However, while we should prioritize safety—which hopefully we all were before this—we shouldn’t hold back out of fear.

What are your thoughts on dating now or after COVID-19? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.