COVID-19 dating illustration

Are You Ready for a Post-COVID Dating Tsunami?

For many people, it may seem logical to reduce the number of romantic partners during a pandemic. But for evolutionary psychologists, it is the “behavioral immune system” at work – an unconscious set of behaviors that protect us from the threat of infectious disease.

A pre-COVID study from McGill University in Montreal found that people who felt most vulnerable to the disease showed less interest in prospective dates, regardless of their desire.

There are other obvious and expected changes that have occurred during the pandemic. For example, Kaplan often sees the message “I am vaccinated and ready to go!” mentality, and these same people are also looking for vaccinated partners.

“People want someone who shares their values ​​and shares the appreciation for the freedom that comes with immunization,” she says. “So much about dating is explored together.”

And there will likely be a large dating pool for returning singles to the scene, says Martie Haselton, PhD, professor of communication and psychology at UCLA.

“We’ll see a lot of relationship rotation – some people stayed in their relationships because they needed someone to be locked out with,” she says. “Now that things are opening up, people’s options are opening up.”

For Kristin Drago, a resident of the Detroit area, a 37-year-old single mother of two boys, the thought of meeting someone is exciting. Dating, on the other hand, not so much.

“I’m getting to the point where I’ve spent my year away from it all, and I’m very lonely when the boys aren’t around,” she says. “I would love to have a partner, but I don’t know how excited I am about the process. After COVID, my social skills completely disappeared. “

Once she decides to go back to apps, she says her approach will be different from pre-pandemic days. Rather than common topical dating questions, she will focus more on how potential partners handled COVID-related stressors like working from home or on leave, and what their practices were in the event of a pandemic. .

“These questions tell you how they were brought up and secretly delve into who they really are,” Draco says.

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