When I lamented on Saturday that I had no idea what to write about — everything seems so trivial right now, compared to the pandemic, civil unrest and rollback of healthcare protections for LGBTQ — someone suggested I do a dating post because those had always been fun in the past.
I said that I totally would — if there were anything to talk about. But the fact is that I haven’t had a dating life since mid-March.
It’s not just because my asthmatic, 62-year-old mom was here up until 10 days ago, and I was worried about bringing COVID-19 back to her.
No, it’s because Arizonans, by and large, are being idiots in the face of a pandemic. So I can’t trust someone on a dating app not to be meeting with an untold number of other people.
That was a fear even when new case numbers were “only” around 200-300 a day. Now that things are significantly scarier here — especially as a nightlife of some sort seems to have resumed for far too many people — that’s even more of a worry.
Some would-be contenders
I have one guy I was talking to pre-pandemic who has wanted to meet for a while. He says he’s playing it safe, wearing a mask and not going out much.
But who knows if I can believe him? And I haven’t even asked how many other women he’s talking to/meeting — and I don’t know whether I should believe him if he said “none.”
It doesn’t help that he tried to argue the actual likelihood of my getting sick. Which was a bad enough sign, but he did so by taking the number of cases and dividing it by the whole state’s population. That’s not how you figure that particular probability, and makes me think he’s not taking the pandemic seriously.
So he’s pretty much out.
Another guy who I’d had one date with shortly before the lockdown has messaged a couple of times. He’s been working from home and not going out, so I would probably have been willing to have over… Until he suggested that, once the bars reopen, we meet for a second date.
A bar? Are you kidding me? Major red flag.
And when I mentioned that, given the circumstances, I needed someone who wasn’t seeing a bunch of people, he replied that with the bars closed, he wasn’t meeting people. Which kind of suggests that when the bars reopen for business, so would he.
Then he said he couldn’t wait until the gyms reopened. I’d forgotten he was a dedicated gym-goer. Three strikes and you’re out, bud.
One possibility… maybe
I’ve been in sporadic contact with a guy I saw a few times before the world imploded. He wasn’t really seeing anyone else even before all this, and like me he hasn’t bothered with dating apps out of infection concerns.
As for risk, he says he wears a mask at work — which is mainly in the open air — and has spent his free time hiking or reading. In other words, he has no interest in going out into the public unnecessarily.
I consider him trustworthy, so I believe that he’s taking those precautions. Though I’d feel better if he were someone working from home — and who lived by himself. (He shares a place with his sister and her fiancé.)
He and I have talked tentatively about having him come over, but we’re both somewhat hesitant, especially while case numbers are so high. His wariness makes him more trustworthy, of course, but… I don’t know.
What’s scary is that I’m sure the dating apps are still plenty popular. Yeah, most of them are now trying to popularize the idea of virtual dates. And that’s lovely in theory, but are you going to only virtual-date until a vaccine is created? Really?
And of course, some people aren’t looking for a relationship. So virtual dating is pointless, and that’s not while they’re there.
Plus, as already mentioned, plenty of people are being idiotically cavalier about resuming normal life. So I’m sure there are still plenty of hookups or at least first dates going on — the latter probably at a bar or restaurant. And models have shown that those establishments’ A/C systems spread the virus around like crazy.
An example of idiocy
I have a friend whose friend had to kick out her live-in tenants for carelessness. They were each having multiple partners over. Even if she weren’t concerned about herself, the woman has a small child with a health condition. So out they went.
And sure enough, about a week after they got kicked out, the tenants tested positive for COVID-19. So their partners and their partners’ other partners (they’re part of the polyamorous community) were almost certainly infected too.
So many obstacles
At some point, I guess you take a calculated risk or are otherwise alone — without any human physical contact — for the next year or so while they work on a successful vaccine. Realistically, that’s too much to ask of most people. That’s probably why apparently some European countries have asked their citizens to be careful and choose just one partner — two max.
But if you’re being safe enough not to go out to bars or restaurants, where are you meeting these people? Again, you can’t really trust strangers on apps. Half the point of the apps is having multiple matches.
And even if you do find someone you trust on there — specifically, who you trust not to be meeting/sleeping with other people — where do you meet for the first time?
I’m a firm believer in not inviting someone you haven’t met in person to your house. So I guess you meet in the park and take a walk? In Arizona summers, that’s problematic. And summer temps last til about mid-October here.
One real-life example
I have a friend who is still semi-active on dating apps just to see who’s out there. “Semi-active” in that he doesn’t have the best luck with them. So he’s trying not to get too excited about a recent match, lest she ghost him. But anyway, apparently she seems cool, and she isn’t meeting people yet because she lives with her mom and is concerned about bringing COVID back with her.
Which is great, in that he can trust she’s not dating a ton of people and risking infection. But then, I asked him, how long was she thinking they’d talk before she felt comfortable meeting? He said he honestly had no clue.
I guess there’s really no answer to be had. Except, again, to be extremely selective and then take a calculated risk.
Or to settle in for celibacy and skin hunger for the next year-ish. Not an appealing prospect. Then again, neither is being on a ventilator.
Are you single, or do you have friends who are? What’s the solution you/they have cooked up?