More than ever, people want to connect and share experiences. For those of us who are single, the desire to date and hook up doesn’t shut off with quarantine.
Staying home doesn’t just keep you safe, it may save the life of someone with a weaker immune system who you encounter. So avoiding sexual intimacy is part of social distancing protocols, rightfully so. Doesn’t mean that’s fun, though.
We put out an ask on our Facebook and Instagram and got some solid replies from you all about what the experience has been like for singles right now. People are scared. They’re lonely. They’re HORNY! And none of these feelings have off switches, no matter the regulations in place to keep you at home. So what are people doing right now?
While the cover photo of this article is indicative of taking a spacious walk outdoors, it’s increasingly seeming to be an unsafe way to gather, as the maneuvering through paths and around other people will inevitably expose you to one another. New protocols are slowly coming out suggesting walking outdoors alone or only with those with whom you’re quarantining. When restrictions are lifted, but you’re still uncomfortable sharing the same personal space, this might be a good place to start. Conveniently, it removes the anticipation and gamesmanship surrounding “Are we hooking up tonight?” “Are we kissing goodbye?” People have said that while trying this out in weeks prior, they were able to give a “Namaste” style hands together near their hearts acknowledgement of the person before departing. How simple! A bow? Why not! Let’s have fun together, but maybe not for a few more weeks. Catch more about walking dates outta Brooklyn below.
DRONES? PAPER AIRPLANES?
Here’s a quick aside going down in Brooklyn that has captured the attention of so many, in order as it evolves:
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In the meantime, there’s technology far better than they had in 1918 to connect with each other. For many, that desire for intimacy and something less familiar than calling family members has kept them on dating apps, looking to strike up a conversation or more. Flip on Zoom, or Messenger, or WhatsApp. House Party is everywhere right now, but did you see how it shows what you’re doing to other people? If a date’s going wrong and you say “Well I should get to bed.” to politely end it, and then start playing trivia with your sibling, or go on another date, you’re exposed. Check out the privacy options before hopping on there, because the built-in games can be a good ice breaker.
Set up a time, and determine if you may both want to enjoy coffee, or wine or beer during your conversation and voilà, you’ve got a reason to get dressed and clean up your space. Making positive mental health moves already. Position that camera to show off an interesting aspect of your home and invite that person to learn a bit about you in that way. Or do it against a blank wall if you’re uncomfortable showing anything off. You’re in your home, in a safe space, on your own terms. If something’s going wrong, end it. If it’s going well, keep talking and sharing an experience and set up another time to do it again.
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Some positive interactions on dating apps or over a first couple cyber dates may have you seeking more. Knowing that real sex is off the table, the next question is where do we go from here, if we can’t really wait six more weeks to meet physically? Or if you are just looking to have some sexual fun in a non-intimate way. What’s important is to remember you’ve got the power over whatever you want to release. You don’t need to take your clothes off. You don’t need to show your face in any photos you take. You don’t need to show your entire body. It’s likely whomever you’re interacting with is trying this out for the first time too. It’s a lot easier to discuss soft and hard boundaries, agree to privacy limitations etc over a keyboard or over video than it may sometimes be in person in the heat of the moment. Turn your lights down, leave some mystery, get creative. Think about what you’re seeking before you engage with someone. Are you just looking for entertainment? Or real intimacy? Check that against those you’re interacting with to protect your own feelings first. With all this power in your hands, use it. There’s no pressure on you to do anything you don’t want to, and anything you are seeking, just ask. Don’t demand. Be open to whatever their answer may be and do it together.
REACHING OUT TO YOUR EXES
In a time of great uncertainty, it’s tempting to seek out some familiarity. After a period of time, with some exes, all you can remember are the positives. Remember why you broke up. Remember why you broke up multiple times. You may still care about this person and really just want to reach out to make sure they’re OK, not necessarily hop into cyber bed with them. But you need to be OK with the fact that they may not reply. It’s not about you, they may just realize that’s not the best idea right now. So if you get no reply, move on. Know they’re doing fine and that’s that. No reason to keep pushing those messages out there. If that ex does reciprocate, it’s once again a wise move to put some parameters out there about why you reached out, and what you’re looking for. Don’t try to turn a “How are you holding up? How’s your family?” into “Send some nudes?” right off the bat. Really try to make the ex outreach a last resort, would ya?
WHAT ABOUT YOU, SPECIFICALLY? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
We heard from a Buffalo Schools teacher who was out there, kicking ass again, and then was locked into her home like the rest of us, feeling deflated, but said she cracked up writing this, and we thank her for this submission:
“Just recently felt like myself again to get back in the dating game after what was quite the up and down for the past couple years with someone in my life. I’m a very social person and meeting people out isn’t hard, it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere, so I went back onto the dating apps. I deleted Tinder, since it just seemed more like a young hookup app now, and focused on Bumble.