Virtual Goes Virtuous: Dating During the Coronavirus… As Told by Leslie

Leslie chats with millennials on what’s it like to date now.

During the time of the coronavirus, the need for human connection is ever-present. Yet while the dating scene has vastly changed, the desire to meet someone and connect on a deeper level remains the same.

Dating apps, once used as a means for casual hook-ups, have become a breeding ground for richer conversation and an outlet to get to know a person before engaging in nonchalant sex.  Flirting has returned to the banter that is now being had.

Video chats and lengthier voice calls have become the norm of the pandemic. All too popular dating sites have become a haven for singles to explore a variety of suitors without the pressure of the expected casual meeting.  A throwback to a more traditional era where people spent time getting to know one another, and the conversation was an intimate part of any relationship, allowing another inside your thoughts and then your heart.

It seems that there is a willingness to reveal more of yourself and learn more about others, perhaps finding out what you share most in common, likes, and dislikes before engaging in a temporary and often fleeting arrangement. For 30-year-old, Janie from New York,  casual sex has been swapped for another form of exposure – high emotions, and fear of the unknown. “There’s a particular vulnerability that is shared earlier. Much earlier, if ever than before, giving weight to an already deeper connection”. As everyone is essentially in the same socially distant situation, it is easier to share thoughts and feelings with others as the options to connect physically have been limited.  It allows for strangers to become friends and perhaps friends to become so much more.

All the same, there is the fear for some that life will resume as it did pre-pandemic. 41-year-old Raymond comments, “while it’s great to be connecting in a substantial way, I still wonder is it all temporary. Will things go back to how it was pre-corona?” A fair question for many to ask. I believe that while there will be those who will gladly go back to casual hook-ups and limited human connection. However, I do not believe the majority who find themselves appreciating and maybe even preferring the experience will revert to their previous ways.

The coronavirus has given pause to many about a variety of life issues, yet the ability to stay connected with others and make new connections remains paramount.  Perhaps this forced return of connecting and virtual dating will lead to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life-long human connection.

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