What is love like for a single person in their thirties in a less than progressive town? How do you find a like-minded person when you feel like you are different from everyone?

Our culture is so divided right now it’s really difficult to find someone you will get along with. Dr. Fauci has recommended that online dating take a halt due to COVID-19. Yes, this is where we are at... a medical professional is giving advice on dating. Are people who live alone supposed to completely isolate?

Those with families are going through the stress of being quarantined together. We singles don’t have that privilege. We are alone. I talked to a friend the other day who said that at some point you have to meet the person you are video chatting with on a dating sight, then once you meet and they turn out to be an asshole you have risked your health due to the pandemic. I am an essential worker and don’t have the option of staying home. I guess you could say I’m partially quarantining. I see a pattern that the people who aren’t fully quarantining are hanging out with people they deem ‘worth the risk’.

So back to the main idea of this article. What is love like right now, whether you are quarantined with your significant other or you don’t have one? I have the benefit of not having to worry what other people in my household are bringing in because it’s just me and the cats. I don’t, however, have the benefit of the support from a significant other to manage the stress of the pandemic (and life in general).

Is the pandemic a good time to look for love? When is the right time for love? Your twenties? Your thirties? There is so much societal pressure to find ‘the one’ that finding what we want and what is best for us is put on the backburner. I need to ask myself: what is my ten year plan? Five? Four? three? Two? One? What’s my plan for tomorrow?

Does it include a significant other? Others? Do I want to live like the Golden Girls? Having friends as companions doesn’t sound too bad right now.

Now that we are in modified phase 1.5, restaurants are opening and things are getting back to the ‘new normal’. This opens up the opportunity for ‘new normal’ dating. Some are concerned with what this will do to the number of people who contract COVID-19.

It’s a very personal choice as to how much risk you’re willing to take. Is a COVID-19 test going to be something you ask about before you meet? This is an awkward conversation. With the STI talk, you get to wait awhile, but this is right off the bat for some of us. Also, do we require our date to wear a mask?

This can be an awkward situation with the varying opinions on mask wearing. It lets a person know where their date stands. Right away. Weeds them out, so to speak. First dates (and dating in general) become about the physical risk of contracting the virus versus the mental/emotional risk of remaining isolated.

Life is changing and so is the way we find love now. Maybe love has changed, too, from something we take for granted to something we have to work hard for.

It’s a lot to think about. This is a time for a lot of us to do some extra thinking. It might be safe to say that everyone in our country is thinking more about things than they did pre COVID-19.

Be sure to take extra care of yourselves during this stressful time, whether it be in finding love, or just getting by with the extra stress. Be good to yourself and others.

Anna Sapp works and lives in the Tri-Cities. She is getting her degree at W.S.U. in Strategic Communication and Business Administration.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash