Retail stores and restaurants are closed or at limited capacity. Record numbers of people are working from home or are unemployed. Our health professionals are advising us to limit in-person interaction as much as possible.

So how – through all of this – is a single person supposed to date? Is meeting someone still even a thing?

As it turns out, dating is still happening. Just like every other facet of our lives though, it has changed in some significant ways. Dating in 2021 has adapted to COVID-19 and to be successful at it, you must know a few things.

The following are the top 3 dos and don’ts of dating during a pandemic.

DO: Download an App

In order to survive trying to date in 2021, you are going to need to download an app. There simply is not as much opportunity to meet a potential partner in-person anymore.

Luckily, dating apps are widely adopted and any stigma surrounding them is gone. More people than ever are on apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge. You should be too!

DO: Offer to Skype or Zoom First

While more people are on apps, actually getting to an in-person date is tricky. People are much more hesitant to actually meet because of health precautions. Going on a potentially bad first date is a much bigger risk than it once was.

What this means is that you are going to have to invest a lot more time in developing a digital relationship than before. Utilize Skype or Zoom or even Snapchat to help a match get to know you first. There are some people on Hinge and Bumble who are looking to only do this right now.

DO: Suggest a First Date That is COVID-Safe

Now that you have matched and have gotten to know someone digitally, it may be time to actually go on an in-person date. Your options for this are going to depend on where you are located, mainly because of differing lockdown measures and weather conditions.

Essentially, your best bets are going to be meeting somewhere outside that is socially-distanced. Some ideas for this would be meeting in a local park or perhaps a coffee place with outdoor seating. Of course, always bring your mask and proper protective gear to the date.

DON’T: Rely on Meeting Someone In-Person as Much

In 2021, there are just not many good opportunities to meet someone in-person. We are not going to parties and bars like we used to. More, in social spaces, everyone is typically wearing a mask now which can make communicating more difficult.

It’s impossible to catch someone’s eye and smile with a mask on. It’s difficult to have friendly small talk with a stranger when everyone is worried about keeping distance.

DON’T: Disrespect Someone’s Concerns Over COVID

If you do meet someone – either on an app or otherwise- you need to make sure to be respectful of their concerns over COVID safety. People have many differing levels of risk and safety concerns.

Always bring a mask to dates, and take social-distancing into consideration when planning dates. Some potential matches just do not feel comfortable meeting in-person and you should respect this too.

DON’T: Give up Hope!

After everything we have been through, it can be easy to stop trying and feel hopeless when it comes to meeting someone. Being single during the pandemic can be tough, but there are millions of other people out there who are single and looking too. You should not give up hope!

If you are single and want to meet someone, then you absolutely should continue to try to do so. Just keep in mind that things are a little different right now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every facet of life for us as a society, and going out with someone is different as well. While it has adapted, finding someone to date is still possible in 2021. If you are single, then use these top 3 dos and don’ts of dating in a pandemic to help you figure it out.