Madelyn Morgan lives in New York with her teenage daughter and is experiencing online dating first-hand. In this short story, you will learn how to become more productive in dating during pandemic times. Also, check out Madelyn’s book «Mad About Men: A Menmoir«.
Social distancing, a new phrase I just learned, is the very last thing that we single people want to do. It’s difficult enough to navigate the dating world, but now, we’re steering clear of public places, and we’re not meeting new people. It sure would be nice to be able to have someone to hunker down with while we ride out this storm. But, for someone who is single, that means fast-tracking a relationship to that level of comfort. Compatibility is plenty elusive when there is no global pandemic lockdown, and you’re not dodging a worldwide viral infection.
“Send me a photo of you that’s not on your profile. Head to toe.” That’s a message I received from a match on Hinge.
“What?” “Why?,” I thought to myself. I already had six photos of myself on my Hinge profile, three of which are full body shots. Why does this guy need another one? Does he think I’m a catfish?
Is that harsh? Did I overreact? Truthfully, if I were really into that guy, I probably would not have been so put off by that message. It’s hard to say for sure, but it’s pretty clear I was not really into him, so it just doesn’t matter.
Another recent match messaged me, “Hey hey!” So I replied, “Hi there!” Within a few hours, he was gone. Was it something I said? What else could be said in response to such a poor conversation opener? Again, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to successfully date in New York City. Come to think of it, I’m not sure we even need to add “in New York City.” My suspicion is that it’s equally difficult everywhere. But I don’t give up. I remember the phrase, “it only takes one.” Really, it only takes one guy to not:
— Say, “You need to be spanked” on his profile
— Feature a headless unimpressive crotch shot in tighty whiteys
— Ask you to worship his BBC
— Want to introduce you to his wife for a threesome
— Wear a hat and sunglasses in every photo.
Still, I navigate the constant challenges of Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, and Raya. With way more than one option, none are “the one.” We match, and no message. We match, we message, and we never meet up. We match, we message, we make plans to meet up, we cancel. We match, we message, we meet up, we ghost. It’s exhausting, and it’s demoralizing.
As if all of that weren’t bad enough, now we have to factor in an entirely new cock blocker to contend with: the coronavirus. If you needed an excuse to not make a plan, cancel a plan, or worse, stand someone up, now you got it. Your paranoia of being infected is your get out of jail free card. For many, fears of the coronavirus are indeed real, but now it also can be used to ditch a date before you even meet up.
No one wants to meet out at a bar. No one wants to shake hands. No one wants to hug. And most definitely, no one wants to make out on a first date, let alone have a second or third date that might lead to the exchange of additional bodily fluids. So why even bother swiping on any of these dating apps if no real-life meetings are destined to happen?
Well, I have an idea for us females. Not only does it solve the “dating in the coronavirus era” problem, it can be applied during the regular dating season as well. Instead of blaming the virus for lack of meetups, I suggest we use it as an opportunity. Just think about it – you’re no longer obligated to leave the house, you have a reason to suggest… a FaceTime pre-date!
Getting ready for your FaceTime (or Skype, or Zoom) pre-date would be easy. Just look hot from the waist up. Do your hair and makeup, put on your favorite shirt, but you can still be wearing your most comfy yoga pants and cozy slippers. Pour yourself a glass of wine, dim the lights, and sit down in front of your laptop for your date. No strings attached. No strains of virus attached. No need to wear heels. No need to even shower, technically.
Imagine if your FaceTime or Skype pre-date went really well. You’d be excited to actually leave the house for a real date. Maybe the fantastic connection you’ve made online would usurp the threat of the coronavirus. And maybe before your actual in-person date, you’d even take a shower. On the other hand, if your pre-date were a dud, what would have you lost? 37 minutes of your day? Virus or no virus, the FaceTime pre-date is the new happy hour meet up.
So with this new plan in place, I will fearlessly swipe to my heart’s content. In fact, I may even swipe right on Corona, as the virus itself has a dating profile on Tinder.
Hometown: Wuhan, China
Just moved from China, currently traveling around the world.
Love being outdoors, especially in crowded places.
Masks and goggles are a huge turn-off.
Doctors swipe left.
Swipe right if you want your breath taken away, and to spend several days in bed together.