• Elinor Shelp-Peck

To Date or Not to Date: COVID-19 Edition

Updated: Jul 24


Image courtesy of Tech Crunch

Deciding to date or not is a challenge that every college student faces. However, in this time of chaos and quarantine, it becomes an even greater challenge to find companionship. Whether a couple was together prior to the quarantine, an individual is simply looking to have some fun or is looking for a partner, the pandemic has taken its toll on all forms of romantic interaction. For those who were already in a relationship prior to quarantine, there were two routes that could have been taken when the stay-at-home orders went into effect. Personally, my significant other and I decided to stay with one another for the quarantine and so far it has gone really well. While it has significantly expedited our relationship, it has overall been a positive experience that has shone a new and exciting light on our relationship. However, for others this was not an option and they were forced to spend the quarantine period physically apart. Meredith College sophomore Kiley van Ryn started dating her significant other only a week prior to the quarantine going into effect. As a result, their relationship has been mostly long-distance, but Kiley says they were “not really prepared for a long distance relationship.” The distance has taken a toll on their relationship because they cannot see each other every day; Kiley notes that she loves “being able to spend quality time with her, but obviously that can’t happen right now.” However, Kiley feels that she is “almost closer and more connected to her now.” Taking relationships virtual reveals how technology has impacted modern dating: without computers and phones any relationship would most likely be significantly more difficult to maintain. Others are just looking to have fun — or that is what they were pursuing prior to being quarantined. The college dating scene is full of an eclectic group of people and dating apps have made it easy to find other people with similar desires. Mimi Mays, a senior, has found that even though she was previously not looking for anything serious, “the loneliness has made [her] a little more open to being in a relationship.” The online dating scene can be used for both fun and serious relationships. Therefore, Mimi’s dilemma of still being picky about a companion and wanting to have fun are not mutually exclusive; with this technology she is able to do both. Finally, there are people who have chosen to continue to look for serious companionship in this time of solitude. Kayla DePietro, a sophomore, is still actively dating. She has not been someone to take dating lightly in the past and is still not making it a frivolous matter. She has also taken to using technology as a dating resource. She met her current beau through Bumble, a dating app. They initially messaged with each other via the app and then moved to Snapchat, texting, FaceTiming and using Netflix Party. She states that “not being able to meet someone in person and really be able to communicate is difficult, but with the technology we have today it’s not as hard as it could be.” The dating scene was already being taken over by technology, but during quarantine technology has become even more so a way for people to engage in any form of romantic encounters. However, even with how difficult long-distance dating and talking may seem, post-quarantine life will also come with challenges such as reintegrating into in-person dating. By Ell Shelp-Peck, Staff Writer

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