When the pandemic began, we all thought it might be the end of days, right? We wondered how and if we’d ever meet someone now. We texted our exes because these uncertain times caused us to long for the devil we know.
Dating was not exactly easy before, but most of us managed to navigate it, however awkwardly. We pretty much knew the unspoken rules, at least enough to be baffled by occasional deviations like the date who wore Crocs and was a bit too forthcoming about their Captain Kirk fetish.
Whether you’ve been out here hacking away at it the whole time or are just now re-emerging, it won’t come as any surprise to you that the dating landscape has changed. The good news is, while you might find yourself relearning some things and perhaps having harder conversations sooner, everything seems a bit more real. From overcoming anxieties to kissing during COVID, let’s dig into some of the new rules and conditions for dating in 2022, shall we?
Lingering Virus Anxiety
Seriously, this past couple of years has been enough to shake even the coolest of cucumbers. And for those of us already prone to worry-warting, it’s been a straight-up mental-health event. As we have seen, there are wildly varying levels of risk tolerance around this virus. If you know you lean toward caution, then how do you honor that while looking for love (or like, or lust)?
Know your boundaries. Write down for yourself what you are and are not comfortable with around masking, social distancing, being indoors, and physical contact. You’ll be amazed how helpful this is for those moments when you’re tempted to let something slide.
Communicate. Politely and unemotionally tell your date what your needs are—either up front or as they arise, whichever you’re more comfortable with.
Don’t tolerate. Don’t waste any more time with someone who wants to negotiate your non-negotiables. Red flag alert!
Whatever your requirements, they are valid. You deserve to have them respected. Here’s to knowing what we want, communicating it, and moving along when it’s a mismatch, for the duration of COVID and forevah! If you’re still feeling extra cautious, check out this super-informative piece from bumble.
Those talks that we used to have about sex—where you tried to casually suss out someone’s level of risk, if they’ve been tested, whether they’re seeing other people, their attitudes around protection? Yeah, that conversation, but about COVID and way sooner. Similar to the sex conversation, you’re probably looking to match with someone not too divergent from your own practices. You could always…
Do a little sleuthing. Plenty of dating sites display members’ vaccine statuses, which is pretty handy whether you are pro- or anti-. And, you know, the gentle stalking on social media that you were going to do anyway…might be fruitful.
Just ask. Open, honest communication is very en vogue for 2022. Yay, let’s all leave our comfort zones!
Life is Short
This trite phrase lends to many interpretations, but one thing everybody paying attention seems to agree on is that vapid hookup culture is not cute.
Know what you want, and be honest. It seems singles are craving straightforwardness across the board and uninterested in the old, ambiguous feeling-it-out phase. We’ve lost years here, folks! Let’s don’t waste each other’s time not saying that we are happy single but need a date for our ex’s wedding next month.
Know what they want. Likewise, if we are really listening, people will tell us their intentions. Be mindful not to hang around long if what you’re hearing is incompatible with your vision and desires.
We Are All a Work in Progress
So many of us have turned inward to undertake self-improvement journeys in the isolation of the pandemic. Working through your abandonment issues? Undergoing physical therapy to address that tension in your back? Got some dental hardware? Good on you!
Go for it. We are a dental practice, so we care extra about the dental variety of self-improvement. If you have been thinking about Invisalign, whitening, or Botox, it’s a great time to take the leap. We’ve all been behind masks for ages—come on out swinging and stun ‘em with your brilliant smile! Book a consultation now with the best dentist in NYC.
Flaunt it. No need to feel self-conscious about your best-self work. Trends in sentiment among singles seem to reflect tons of love for in-process self-improvement. Fixing yourself is hot.
Kissing During COVID
Well, it’s just a little less organic now, isn’t it? It does look like we’ll be able to bid adieu to the Zoom dates and masks here pretty soon, but we are all still looking over our shoulders a bit. We’ve gotten quite accustomed to having lots more personal space than we used to, and what even are the rules about touching people now?
Trust your instincts. It’s been a while, and we’re all a little hand-shy, but there’s no way we’ve forgotten, collectively, how to sense when someone is waiting for a smooch. It is true that some people never did seem very good at that, which brings us back to…
Awkward conversations. Consent is sexy. So, now more than ever (and forever and always), let’s talk to each other about what we want and don’t want!