Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Dating in The Age of COVID-19 [OPINION]

In 2019, I started dating the girl I plan to marry. As the leaves were falling off the trees, we were falling for each other.

We have a lot in common: early 20’s, recent college graduates (although she is getting her master’s degree currently), same faith, living with our parents, love dogs, Tex-Mex, cookies n’ cream ice cream and we both like pineapple on our pizza. We went on some fun dates at Sundance Square, Main Street Grapevine during Christmas; we even took a road trip to Tulsa, OK and Fayetteville, AR. We talked about fun dates we would go on once it gets warmer: hiking and adventuring, going to Texas Tulips, picnics, concerts and other shows.

Now, as I write this, we haven’t seen each other in 10 days.

COVID-19 has made dating a lot more challenging. Granted, if we lived by ourselves I probably wouldn’t be saying that. Since I live under my parents’ roof, I respect and do what they ask of me, and right now they would rather me only leave to go to work and other ‘essential’ activities as defined by the federal, state and local governments.

While it is unfortunate that ‘seeing the love of your life’ isn’t considered essential, there are many blessings. I get to leave my house to go to work (and provide readers with content and news.) I have the technology to talk with my girlfriend every day, and we can still see each other even it is by Facetime. I’m also thankful that we aren’t in the honeymoon phase and are just starting to date. Both of us have quality time as a top love language, so if we weren’t able to see each other a lot when we started dating, it be much more difficult.

One of my buddies, Zach, has recently started seeing a girl. I asked him what it’s like dating in the time of the novel coronavirus. Zach met her on the dating app Tinder in late February, and they had their first dates well before the shelter in place took effect.

The coronavirus affected their relationship before the shelter in place. They planned to go axe throwing for their second date. That was around the time when the cases started popping up in Dallas, so they decided not to go to a public place where people were touching the same objects over and over.

Since the shelter in place, they’ve been on a date where they walked around a park and have frequent Facetime calls, some lasting for up to eight hours.

Despite all this, Zach has found positives. He told me even though it’s difficult to be dating right now, the fact they are both making an effort shows a higher level of interest in each other.

That makes me happy for Zach and I hope turns out well for him. I realize my girlfriend and I are separated by only about five miles, and we will see each other again. I know one day we will get to live with each other and weather our pandemics and other tragedies together. I also know she’ll still be here for me, as I for her.

Dating during the COVID-19 pandemic is more challenging. But if not seeing my girlfriend helps stop the spread of the virus and prevents people from dying, then I would say it’s worth it.