Dating From Afar
During COVID-19, dating couples of all timelines and distances are either quarantining together or separately; right now, it’s complicated.
Kayla Robertson, a physician’s assistant working long hours at a hospital in Louisville, is in a new relationship with boyfriend John Williams — they’ve been dating just five, blissful months. “In hindsight, maybe he should’ve gone home and isolated himself from me,” Kayla says about the couple’s decision to quarantine together. “But it wasn’t something I thought about until we were in the middle of it.”
Sarah Smith, a regional director and native of Louisville living in Houston, Texas, has been in a two-and-a-half-year long-term and long-distance relationship with her boyfriend who is a business consultant out of Europe. The couple communicates, despite the seven-hour time difference, through text, phone calls, and FaceTime. “A lot of people joke about the struggle of now working from home with their significant other and how it’s tough, but they’re lucky they at least get to spend this time with them,” Sarah says. “We’re not sure when we will see each other next given the travel restrictions and trying to do our part to socially distance ourselves.”
If you’re alone during the pandemic, have no fear; this just may be your time. Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd encourages the Bumble community to take all its dates virtual. The app has a feature to video chat and voice call to get to know new people from the comfort of your home. “We want to help you stay connected, even when physically apart,” Whitney says in a letter.
Coffee Meets Bagel, another online dating app, says 78 percent of users are putting a pause on in-person dates. The site has provided rolling chat extensions instead of its normal seven-day chat expiration date and suggests community and individual virtual dates. “So even though we might all have to spend some time physically apart, we’ve been inspired by the creative ways people continue to virtually connect,” says the app’s CEO and Cofounder Dawoon Kang.