Have you been on a social distancing date? It's like a normal date, but so much better.
When you’re first getting to know someone, it’s hard to navigate whether you should hug or kiss or awkwardly shake hands. If you’re about six feet apart during your date, guess what’s off the table? The awkward greeting, and the even more awkward parting touch. Honestly, removing any expectations of touch on a date helps take some of the pressure off, and allows you focus on getting to know each other. If you’ve been on many dates and are officially a couple, then sure, you can navigate touch in your relationship differently. But why not, going forward, just get rid of the physical aspect of those first few dates with someone new?
Here are 5 reasons why touch-free, six-feet-apart first dates are superior:
1Your dates have to be a bit more creative, which is a good thing.
Dinner and a movie are off the table … unless you figure out a way to set up a laptop that you can both watch on separate picnic blankets with your individual take-out containers. Bowling might not be an option, but what about tennis with gloves? Sitting and chatting while watching the sunset at a local park is much less stressful than having to sit across the table from someone and figure out how often to make eye contact while navigating small talk.
2The main objective becomes getting to know the other person (and not what you can get out of a date physically).
This is especially helpful when you are meeting someone you have never met in person before, like a match from a dating app. Even if you have been chatting for a while over text, you are still strangers to some extent, so having parameters to the date helps with safety. That being said, plan your first date with someone you’ve never met before in a public park or some kind of setting where there will be other people around in case the date goes south.
3If either of you have a contagious virus, the chances you'll end up catching it are much lower.
This goes without saying. Even as society opens up, the reasons for social distancing are still real: we want to minimize the risk to ourselves and others from a virus that some people may not even know they have. If you or your date have any kind of virus — cold, flu, etc. — you are less likely to get or pass it on to each other if you’re not physically touching.
4It makes moving on easier.
If getting to know each other from six feet apart without touching goes well, then there’s a good chance other dates will go well. If it doesn’t go well, and you can’t imagine spending more time with each other, it’s easy to say “no thanks” and move on.
5It has a built-in way to test compatibility.
If you ask your date to make it a social distancing date, and they respect your wishes without complaining about it, that’s a good sign. If your date complains about the date or the distancing the whole time, or ignores the guidelines you’ve said you’re comfortable with, then it’s a sign you might not be a good match.
For a more memorable and safer first date with less pressure, try the social distancing option. Set the boundaries ahead of time, and then get creative with what you do. There are some silver linings to the craziness of the world right now. And maybe, just maybe, one of those linings is changing how we date for the better.
5 Red flags in a dating relationship