“Instead of more open-ended questions, I hear folks asking WHEN did you have COVID? What date was your second vaccine shot?” Shaklee says. “More people [are] taking personal responsibility to make sure it’s been two weeks since the second shot. We are seeking signs of responsibility, self-control and due diligence in personal and public health.”
Marriage and family therapist Pharaon concurs: “Whether you’re looking for something serious, a fun summer fling or a hookup, it’s really important to get clear on what you need in order to feel comfortable and safe. Take some time to consider what matters to you: Do you care if someone is vaccinated? Are you only interested in people who are dating one person at a time? Do you want to know more about their lifestyle so you can determine whether it feels comfortable for you? She also recommends that while online or IRL dating doesn’t need to drastically change due to COVID concerns, “It’s probably good to start off a bit slower as your system acclimatizes” and “check in with yourself and how you are feeling” after swiping, texting and dating. That way, returning to in-person dates is not only a way to return to sex, but also an exercise in improving your self-knowledge about what you do and don’t like in a relationship, even if the relationship is one that lasts only a few hours.
Our favorite expert tip, though, has little to do with the “inside job” of esteem-building. It comes from matchmaker Shaklee, and it’s one we can easily embrace—shopping. As she puts it, “If you, like many of us, gained the Covid 15 or 20 pounds,” then [go out and buy] some nice, new formfitting and comfortable clothes and undergarments that rock those new curves.”