The New Normal: Dating Etiquette

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    Dating can be hard enough, even in the best of times and circumstances. For safety, throw in mandates related to social distancing and shutting down various traditional date venues, dampening the plans of many. While we might get the impression that many are not interested in dating at this time; We see the world of dating flourish with the numbers that prove they are.

    Over the past year, singles flocked to dating apps and used social media to connect with people. We’ve all gotten more creative about the quality of time with our family, friends, and potential partners. Zoom, Google Duo and FaceTime appointments are now a mainstay in our lives due to the various locks. Something that in the past has probably only been considered by those in long-distance relationships. How can we intensify our social interactions in summer while having fun, but also staying safe?

    Communicate openly

    Some would argue that the pandemic has made dating easier and more financially profitable for many. But there are these basic but necessary questions that we need to ask ourselves. Who will take care of the bill? Are we going somewhere expensive or do we opt for something less intense for our pockets? How often will we meet? It is important to have these conversations honestly (and openly) in order to live up to expectations. We all need to be aware that people have experienced fluctuations in both employment and income. While it is not your responsibility to bear it all, it is in the best interests of both parties to remain transparent while you explore each other romantically.

    Embrace all the elements of change

    As states begin to relax their Covid guidelines, it is clear that some of the new norms in dating etiquette are sure to persist. There will be those who enjoy virtually getting to know each other before they meet for the first time. This not only saves costs, but also helps you to be more selective about who you want to get in touch with personally.

    Dating costs can skyrocket quickly depending on where you are. Instead of being tempted to buy a new outfit, browse your closet. We’ve all spent more money on clothes and shoes than we’d like to admit while things were closed, and there are many outfits that were left unworn during the lockdown. Become your own muse and create a few looks with what you already have! Many are opting for the outdoors, like park meetings and hiking trails, as new date ideas. Get creative, stay open-minded, and try new things without putting your wallet at risk.

    Discuss boundaries and stay safe

    Remember that your personal comfort does not reflect the limits of everyone else. Have discussions and understand what would be comfortable for both parties. What does the future look like as virtual dating is more socially acceptable? Dating app companies report a big update in virtual dating. Some say that 31% of their users enjoy virtual activities, while 25% prefer video chat dating to face-to-face meetings. There have also been reports that dating apps have sent users free mail-in-Covid test kits to encourage healthy and safe physical interactions.

    Let your creativity run free

    At the start of the pandemic, we saw everyone go back to basics. Creating mini home gyms, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and trying out new activities quickly became the highlight of our days. There’s no reason dating can’t make the same progress! We can move a little more freely, but we don’t have to completely throw away the qualities that have shown up in our lives.

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

    • Picnic dates are a win! You can get your favorite snacks and wine and enjoy some much needed fresh air. The good thing is that it can be as simple or as extravagant as you (and your date) want. There are now companies that set up the ambience for nice picnics and adapt them to your wishes. This is not only thought-provoking, but also focuses on getting to know each other better – in public spaces.
    • Taking advantage of attractions that often stay under the radar is a great way to explore your city and date. The museums, drive-in theaters, or other local attractions strike a great balance between simple and exploring. If you’re looking for date ideas, pretend you’re new in town and want a crash course on what it has to offer.
    • If your dating muse can’t be reached by car, it doesn’t mean you can’t all enjoy the fun. It’s just as important to create virtual experiences! A virtual date night could consist of all of you cooking dinner together via video chat. Not only does this provide both of you with something to do, but it also creates conversation while performing an exercise. The reward at the end would be to enjoy a homemade meal – but also to enjoy an element of togetherness until you can safely meet in person. If cooking isn’t your thing, ordering take-out at your favorite restaurant and chatting over dinner is also a great option.
    • Stream your favorite TV shows or movies together. You can get yourself some quality time around all the activities that we often do alone without thinking about it. Grab your favorite movie snacks, make yourself comfortable on the couch and enjoy each other’s company – virtually. In this way you can feel completely comfortable in your own room and still get to know each other while you let the day end. This can be something you schedule each week or whatever time works best for both parties. It gives you something to look forward to and something removes the feeling of loneliness.

    Author's photo

    Marsha Barnes (21 posts)

    Marsha Barnes is a finance guru with over 20 years of experience committed to empowering women worldwide to be financially successful. Financial literacy and education are a passion for Marsha, providing practical information for clients that will build their overall confidence in their personal finances.

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