Let’s face it – when they say this is the new normal, they’re talking about human interaction. Social distancing is something that may not go away even after COVID-19 begins to recede. One big offshoot of social distancing has occurred in dating life, as virtual dates have taken off.
Imperial College London and eHarmony released a report back in 2015 that says by 2040, dating will be fully virtual. It appears they were about 20 years late.
I’ve already been on a couple of blind virtual dates via Zoom or Facetime – blind as in the old fashioned sense, as in we were set up, and had not met before. I feel the need to clarify that since adding the word “blind” to “virtual date” makes me sound like I’m saying I couldn’t see them on a video chat, which makes no sense. But to be honest, after explaining that I am now more confused than ever. I do that to myself when I try to add clarification to things that probably didn’t need it in the first place. I digress…
The notion that dating, relationships, and especially sex will ever be what it was during the era of sexual liberation from about the late 60’s until 2019 is pretty optimistic. All signs point to a more sanitized, discreet, and heavily regulated dating environment.
I personally foresee a continued decline in sexual activity among singles across the board. Studies have already shown millennials have less sex than gen xers and baby boomers had at the same age. Truth is, social distancing had already been happening thanks to social media. I just don’t see dating life (or flirting with strangers for that matter) ever being the same.
But, that could be a good thing. Not only do you need to really get to know and trust someone before you make out with them, but let’s be honest, the world already has too many people. And rather than a catastrophic calamity, like the one we seem to be narrowly avoiding these days, maybe people simply having less sex means a nice, neat, natural way to slow our population growth. At the core of all this is social distancing as a new norm. That means if you’re single, get your Zoom game on…and when you get frustrated you can’t hold a physical hand, just think – that first date was a whole lot cheaper than usual.