Personal Finance

The New Normal: Dating Etiquette

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Dating can be hard enough, even at the best of times and circumstances. For good measure throw in mandates regarding social distancing and various traditional date locations being shut down, dampening the plans of many. While we could be under the impression that many aren’t interested in dating during this time; we are seeing the world of dating thriving with the numbers to prove they are.

Over the past year, singles have been flocking to dating apps and leveraging social media to connect with people. We’ve all become more creative with what quality time looks like with our family, friends, and potential partners. Zoom, Google Duo and FaceTime dates are now a mainstay in our lives due to the various lockdowns. Something which was likely only considered by those in long-distance relationships in the past. As summer emerges, what are some ways to ramp up our social interactions while having fun but also remaining safe?

Communicate openly

Some would argue the pandemic has actually made dating easier and more financially viable for many. But there are those basic yet necessary questions we must ask. Who’s going to front the bill? Do we go somewhere expensive or are we opting for something less intense on the pockets? How often will we be meeting? It’s important to have these conversations honestly (and openly) to level-set expectations. We all have to be mindful that people have experienced fluctuations within employment as well as income. While it’s not your responsibility to bear all, it’s in the best interest of both parties involved to remain transparent while exploring each other romantically.

Embrace all elements of change

As states begin to relax their Covid guidelines, it is clear that some of the new norms of dating etiquette will for sure be here to stay. There will be those who enjoy virtually getting to know one another before initially meeting. Not only does this eliminate cost, but it also helps you to be more selective with who you choose to engage with in person.

Depending on where you’re located – dating expenses can rack up quickly. Instead of being tempted to pick up a new outfit, shop around in your closet. We all spent more money than we’d like to admit on clothes and shoes while things were closed and there are plenty of outfits that went unworn during lockdown. Become your own muse and create some looks with what you already have! Many are choosing to embrace nature, such as park meetups and hiking trails as new date ideas. Get creative, remain open-minded and try new things without putting your wallets at risk.

Discuss boundaries and remain safe

Remember, your personal comfort levels aren’t reflective of everyone else’s boundaries. Have discussions and understand what would make both parties comfortable. What does the future look like as virtual dating is more socially acceptable? Dating app companies are reporting a huge update in virtual dating, with some stating that 31% of their users liked engaging in virtual activities while 25% prefer video chat dating over meeting in person. There’ve also been reports that dating apps have been sending users free mail-in Covid test kits to promote healthy and safe physical interactions.

Allow creativity to reign

At the inception of the pandemic, we witnessed everyone getting back to the basics. Creating mini home gyms, testing out new recipes in the kitchen, and trying new activities quickly became the highlight of our days. There’s no reason dating can’t make the same headway! While we are able to move around a bit more freely, we don’t have to completely throw away the qualities that have shown up in our lives front and center.

Here are a few fun and creative date ideas that are also easy on the pockets:

  • Picnic dates are a win! You can grab your favorite snacks, wine and enjoy some much-needed fresh air. The good thing about this is that can be as simple or extravagant as you (and your date) would like. There are now businesses that specifically set up the ambiance for beautiful picnics and can customize based on your needs. Not only is this thoughtful, it places the focus on getting to know one another more intimately – while also being in a public space.
  • Leveraging attractions that often fall under the radar is a great way to explore your city, as well as your date. The museums, drive-in movies, or other local attractions have a great balance of simple and exploratory. When looking for date ideas, pretend like you’re new to the city and want a crash course on what it has to offer.
  • If your dating muse isn’t within driving distance, this doesn’t mean you all can’t enjoy the fun. Creating virtual experiences is just as important! A virtual date night could consist of you all cooking dinner together using video chat. Not only does this provide both of you something to do, but it also generates conversation while completing an exercise. The reward, in the end, would be to enjoy a home-cooked meal – but also enjoy a togetherness element until you are able to safely meet in person. If cooking isn’t your thing, ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant and chatting over dinner also is a good option.
  • Stream your favorite TV shows or movies together. You can create quality time around any and all of the activities we often do alone without even thinking about it. Grab your favorite movie snacks, curl up on the couch and enjoy each other’s company – virtually. This way, you’re able to be completely comfortable in your own space and still get to know one another while unwinding from the day. This can be something you plan each week or whatever time best works for both parties. It gives you something to look forward to and somewhat eliminates the feeling of being alone.

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