Dating in a pandemic: singles struggle in social isolation

Dating in a pandemic: singles struggle in social isolation
WatchJust how risky is getting frisky? In a time of physical distancing and social isolation dating and sex, has suddenly become much more complicated.

Dating can be difficult enough, let alone in a pandemic.

“As a single person, I haven’t touched someone in over 60 days,” said Rita Chand.

Back in 2011, Chand carried out a campaign to hug one stranger every day.

“For me, it’s important to connect with someone every day,” said Chand while she was carrying out the experiment, which took her around the world.

So, the past two months of physical distancing and social isolation have been a struggle.

“I’m a hugger, and physical touch is one of my primary love languages, so not being able to at least hug someone it’s been really hard on my mental health, my emotional health,” said Chand.

And she’s not the only one. Singles, especially those who are living alone, are struggling everywhere.

“We’re really wired for touch, and I think in this has made it so clear in this pandemic, how important this is for people,” said dating & relationship coach Lynn Goodacre.

So in a pandemic, what’s the next best option to touch? Dating apps.

And right now, there’s more swiping than ever.

From March to May video calls on the dating app Bumble went up 71 per cent across Canada.

But how risky, is it to get frisky?

British Columbia’s provincial health officer says, take it slow.

“If you are going to start a relationship with somebody this is not the time to do rapid serial dating. So pick somebody, see if it works, and then take your time,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday.

But some say, as physical distancing restrictions are relaxed, most will likely plunge back in the dating pool.

“Dating is a part of emotional, mental, and social health. I think people are going to start dating kind of whether or not public health is ready for it or not,” said Dr Kiffer Card, a behavioural epidemiologist with the University of Victoria.

But whether it’s dating online or in-person, one thing is for sure.

“I just have to believe it’s possible, even in a pandemic it’s possible,” said Chand.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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