In a very real way, dating during this uncertain time is the ultimate form of optimism: You know things will get better, people will once again come together, and love—or at least lust, and like, and all the shades in between—will find a way. So if you’re asking, “Wait, can we still date right now?” the answer is you absolutely can… and if you feel like it, you definitely should (while still honoring social distancing). Here’s the way forward, for now:


Wish you could talk to a potential match without giving out your real number? There’s an app for that… and it’s Bumble. The platform’s Video Chat and Voice Call features are ready to go, so you can tell cheesy jokes, show off your newest social-distancing coloring book creations, or give a tour of your kitchen (the color-coded spice rack is really cool, okay?!), all while keeping your personal phone number on lock.


Some people can keep any conversation going… and going… and going. (If this is you, quick question: are you a fire sign?) Others need a little more structure to strengthen a connection. Either way, organizing an activity is a great way to start conversations, spark teamwork, and have a really good time while wearing sweatpants…again. Whether it’s a Bumble Video Chat as you each try to make a cake, a Zoom game of Uno, or a Netflix Party movie night, pick something you both think is fun and make it a date.


Yes, cocktails are completely allowed on a virtual date. (You could even mix them together as an activity before sitting down for a remote sip session!) But being hungover can be a bummer when you can’t crawl to brunch the next morning, faintly whisper “pancakes please,” and slowly syrup yourself back to health. For maximum “great date” results, please be kind to yourself (and your liver).


We get it—connecting with someone is a rollercoaster rush. But even if you’re talking to Michael B. Jordan or Ashley Benson, it’s not safe to make physical contact with someone new right now, and by doing so, you’re not just compromising your own health—you’re also putting other vulnerable people, and our hardworking healthcare professionals, at risk. For an alternative, take a page from the classic love stories of Shakespeare and Jane Austen. Write letters, send drawings, even chat from your balcony while your feuding families bite their thumbs at each other… just don’t pull a West Side Story and let them climb your fire escape, at least not until health experts give the all clear. 


This is a crazy time. Some days, you’ll crave the potential of new connections. Others, the only match you’ll feel like making is between your head and your favorite pillow. Either feeling, and all those in between, are totally valid. Be honest with yourself about what you can handle, and empower yourself to honor your feelings, whether you’re gung-ho for a new crush, quietly optimistic about connecting with someone new… or if first, you really need a nap.