Dating During the Coronavirus: How 5 Single Women in NYC Are Making It Work


The excitement coursing through your body as you walk up to the restaurant. Exchanging nervous laughter over a glass of chenin blanc. The thrill of, was that knee bump under the table intentional? But when all those in-person aspects of dating are taken away (thanks, COVID-19), how do you build a connection?

We talked to five single women in New York City to find out how they’re making it work. One thing they all agreed on? Meeting up in person isn’t a thing right now. “I’m not getting sick for a dude I’ve never even met,” one single gal tells us. Below, how they’ve decided to date instead.

1. Meeting for a FaceTime ‘drink’

In BC (that’s Before Coronavirus) times, when Theresa R. met a guy on a dating app, she’d exchange a few messages with him on the platform (like Bumble or Tinder) before graduating to texts. Not everyone got her number right off the bat. The next step—assuming the flirtatious conversations were going strong—was an actual date. But since social distancing became a thing in New York City, and all the bars and restaurants were ordered to close, an “actual date” looks way different today. “I had my first FaceTime date with this guy over the weekend,” the 28-year-old says. “It was weird to put on makeup and a cute shirt just to sit in my apartment. I had pajama shorts on the whole time, and he had no idea. It was awkward to just look at this person I’ve been texting, without the normal distractions like a waitress and other people, but it was cool. I’ll ‘see’ him again.”

2. Building a bank of IOUs

“I had a guy ask me to come over last week,” Ruth K. says. “Like, I wouldn’t do that normally. Why on earth would he think I’d go hang out at his apartment after chatting for just a bit right now when who knows if one of us might be sick?” Instead, the 32-year-old is making future plans with the people she’s talking to on Bumble right now for AC (After Coronavirus, obvs). “I’m going to be so busy when we’re allowed to be out again! There are a few people who ‘owe’ me a drink,” she jokes.

3. Making an old-school phone date

Forget texting—Rebecca S. is talking to her dates on the phone. “I feel like a teenager again, getting ready for a phone date after school,” she says. “But now it’s after my work-from-home day is over and my son is napping, so not exactly the same.” The 41-year-old admits, though, that spending hours on the phone with suitors is something she otherwise wouldn’t have done, and it’s given her way more to work with when she finally does get to meet them in person. “I’m actually getting to know them. It’s kinda nice.”

4. Let’s play restaurant

The social lives of New Yorkers revolve around going to restaurants, so it’s tough to date when you can’t set foot in one. But Anne P.’s date came up with a creative solution: “I was texting with this guy who was like, ‘Let’s pretend we’re going to dinner,’” she says. “It was so different from anyone else’s approach. We set the whole stage for what the restaurant looked like and what we ordered. When we were texting, he’d say something like, ‘Excuse me, I’m gonna go to the restroom, but would you mind ordering me another drink? Thanks.’ I was blown away!”

5. Getting ‘physical’ faster than usual

There’s no set timeline for taking a relationship to the next level. When you’re ready to sleep with someone, you do you—no judgment. But as Christine B. put it, “There’s no physical risk for me to engage in some sexy language on a call or through texts.” The 27-year-old says that she’d typically go on at least a few dates before sexting, but that rule has gone out the window in isolation. “I live by myself in this tiny studio. Why not have a little fun right now when everything else is so messy?” It might even be more fun than Love Is Blind reruns.

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From 2019-2020 Ariel Scotti held the role of Editor at PureWow covering trends, wellness and more.