Dating these days is pretty tough. Throw in a global pandemic and it becomes damn near impossible. Meeting people isn’t a problem, in fact that’s the easiest part. We have tons of apps that make meeting people within 5 miles of us as easy as a simple swipe. Chances are you’ve spent most of your time in quarantine swiping away and, lucky you, probably got a decent amount of matches. The problem is how do you actually meet up with these matches to see if they’re worth your time.

Meeting strangers is a risky topic since you can never be too sure who has the virus these days. If you’re the extra cautious type, then maybe you just want to keep things interesting until the coast is clear and you can meet in person. Even if you wanted to go out, you can’t, everything is closed. Either way, with weeks of quarantine still ahead of us, making it to the finish line seems like an impossible task. It doesn’t have to be. Here’s some ways you can interact with your new match and take things to the next level outside of just messaging.

1. Zoom Happy Hour

It may be brutal when you have to join a video conference call with your coworkers. Hopefully, this is one meeting you don’t hate. After all, if you can’t stand talking to each other over video chat, you probably won’t like talking face to face. This call should be your first step after texting just to see if the person actually looks like the one in their profile pic and if they can actually hold a conversation in real time.

 

2. Binge A Show Together

These days, the basis of any good conversation is a good show. With the whole world on lockdown, you both have plenty of time to indulge in a variety of new shows. Just because you can’t snuggle up on the couch together doesn’t mean you can’t embark on a new binge session together. I know I know, this defeats the purpose of Netflix and Chill, but at least this gives you two something to do. Who knew watching TV could become a social activity? Pro Tip: watch a reality dating show or a true crime documentary together to get their take on certain issues. You might just find out they are completely irrational early on, saving you from wasting time.

3. Play Online Games Together

Want to put your new match’s competitive spirit to the test? Then challenge them to some of the classic games we all know and love. We’re not talking about playing eachother in COD online and talking shit for hours (unless both are definitely into it). Instead, we mean light hearted classic board games like Monopoly, Risk, or Battleship which all now have digital versions to play online. They even have some online versions of your favorite N64 games like Mario Cart racing and Super Smash Bros. These are all super easy to learn so even if the other person isn’t a hard core gamer, they can still actively participate. It may not be exactly the same as playing in person, but it should help lighten the mood and bring out that fun childhood spirit. It can also help you weed out the sore losers pretty easy.

 

4. Operation Take-Out

This one can be somewhat tricky to pull off, but very doable. Since you can’t take them to a restaurant, bring the restaurant to them. If you both met on a location based dating app, then there’s a high likelihood that there’s a restaurant in close proximity that will deliver to both of you. Find out what restaurants they like (or that you planned on taking them for the first date) and have a dinner delivered to their house. If you’re feeling very generous, you can even try having some wine delivered to accompany the meal. This plan still lets you buy them dinner without having to go outside. For this plan to work best, you should order something from the same place and have a video call during dinner. Sounds weird but if you ignore the fact that it’s a computer screen in front of you, it might just actually feel like you’re on a real date.

 

5. Take a Chance on Love

If you’ve both been quarantined for a while, haven’t been in contact with those who have the virus, and aren’t showing any symptoms, then take a chance and meet in person. The simple fact that you’re providing a new environment outside of the home they’ve been trapped in for weeks will automatically give you an advantage. Missing the fresh air? Meet up somewhere for a casual walk. Missing the gym? Not sure why, but meet up in a park somewhere for a group workout or intense run. Weather sucks? Perfect. Invite them over for a nice dinner. Whether you have it delivered or cook it yourself, food is the best way to win someone’s heart. Even though your place may not be as nice as a restaurant, you’ll still get the same vibe. Once you get that first date over with you can either move on or move forward in the relationship. Covid can’t stop love.

 

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Silent Riot