Virtual vs Face-to-Face Dating: Will singles adapt to the ‘new normal?’

By Loren Dondo

As we transition into the new year of 2021, leaving behind the most dreadful year known to the 21st century, there seems to be uncertainty as to when the disastrous Covid-19 pandemic will end.

Not to forget, the current lockdown has left many who were looking forward to a festive introduction to the new year disappointed.

The most disappointed victims of the lockdown seem to be those who are the lonely and hopeless singles who are struggling to navigate the dating scene during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Additionally, an ever-growing concern among young singles is the rise of inter-personal relationships during this time.

As coronavirus cases surge in various countries, there are a vast majority of singles whose social lives have halted.

It is common knowledge that some have ignored guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has led to a second wave and lockdowns in Africa and beyond.

Some lost their loved ones, who succumbed to the deadly disease, leaving behind a sense of panic over who could be next.

This is a reminder that life and freedom are precious with or without coronavirus.

Despite a seemingly calm atmosphere since the announcement of Covid-19 vaccines soon to be distributed, it is still a cause for concern how singles are going to build relationships when they are expected to maintain social-distancing.

Dating can be a bit of a scare for those who take safety guidelines seriously. Although online dating has presented an opportunity for those in quarantine to find love, it can be challenging to create emotional intimacy with a person you have never met in person.

Dating sites could be having their breakthrough, considering most singles are stuck at home. However, what is the point if people cannot meet in person?

The author believes that the average person will be left hopeless about dating under the above circumstances.

For those who prefer face-to-face interaction when searching for a partner, it can be a nightmare to get tested for Covid-19 after every possible exposure to a person who might have the virus (not to mention expensive).

Most can no longer meet at a restaurant without feeling guilty for leaving the house or gaining paranoia as per the chance they may have been infected.

With the assumption that some singles are faced with unemployment or a delay in further studying, the last thing on their mind is looking for a stable relationship.

The mounting pressure on singles whose families are expecting wedding bells and grandchildren is mind-numbing and the author poses the question as to whether it is still important to get married or have children during a pandemic.

Watching newly-weds opt for a watered-down version of a cheap wedding with only 2 guests and everyone in a face-mask can also be discouraging to those with lavish matrimony in mind.

Very few are patient enough to have a long engagement and wait until the rollout of vaccines to have a normal wedding ceremony.

The average single adult looking for a stable relationship will think of every possible scenario that could steal the joy out of dating and choose to remain alone, in the comforts of their quiet but ‘peaceful home’.

It is a bargain for those preferring to play it safe and obey health safety measures in order to survive but a gamble for those who prefer to break the rules.

Only time will tell how singles adapt to the “new normal”.

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