When everything else in the world is having to adapt because of a pandemic, why not throw romance into the mix! Thus “quarandating” is born.
Quarandating: Dating while in quarantine.
It’s an interesting concept I’m not sure anyone would have predicted-—though let’s be honest, 2020 has been an enigmatic year. Nonetheless, as you consider the involuntary long-distance relationship (even while living near each other), or finding yourself somewhere 6 ft in between, you should have an idea of what to think about and do.
Here are 5 Things to Know About Quarandating:
1. Take baby steps.
For your first date, start with the cameras off and just talk on the phone. Keep the conversation light and take the pressure off. Find out what you have in common, try and learn a little about their personality and see what your connection is like with just conversations.
Questions for 1st date:
- What do you love to do?
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
- When was the last time you went out of state and where?
- What’s your favorite movie? (No questions asked.)
If the phone call went well, consider a video call for your next date over FaceTime or Zoom. You both enjoyed talking, so make it more interesting, change up the conversation topics and see if you have some chemistry.
Questions for 2nd date:
- What does your ideal weekend look like?
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you travel and what would you do while there?
- Do you read spoilers? Explain why/why not.
- Give each other a tour of your refrigerators (I’m positive there will be some follow-up questions that come naturally!)
- What makes you laugh?
- Who is the most important person/people in your life?
If you feel a little something between you and want to see where else it can go, consider FaceTiming a few more times or a socially-distant date.
Some questions to ask once you two feel more comfortable:
- Someone who really knows me would know this…
- When have you felt the most capable?
- If there is an event that has really shaped your life, what was it and how?
- What tells you that you’re valuable?
- Where do you feel most at peace?
You have an opportunity to have some quality and fun conversations and learn about each other with some of the normal distractions and time-suckers out of the way.
If you’re tired of all of the dating apps and swiping, but you’d really like to get out there still, you have options. There’s a dating website that was created during the pandemic called Quarandate. Essentially, it’s a safe blind date with a twist…
“Quarandate is an online dating service that pairs singles with a potential match, but there’s a twist. The two can then go on a date that’s live-streamed with a host who asks questions to see if you’re compatible. The virtual date can last up to 30 minutes and people watching at home get to chime in and rate the pair’s connection. According to the site, it’s a fun way to safely find a match during the coronavirus crisis.”
Sounds pretty cool to me—it gives off virtual Bachelor/Bachelorette vibes.
2. Get creative while staying safe!
Dating doesn’t have to be boring while the world feels at a standstill with COVID-19 still being an issue.
Virtual Date Ideas:
- Do a virtual show and tell (the funnier the story, the better).
- You can watch a movie together while apart with NetflixParty streaming.
- Play games together on different apps like HouseParty, Jackbox games, etc.
- Perhaps you two can keep each other company while you clean up around the house and just practice “being” together.
- Try a new recipe together. Pick out something you want to try, each of you pick up your own ingredients and FaceTime while cooking!
Social Distance Friendly Dates:
- Take a hike together.
- Have a potluck picnic—both of you bring your own meal and blanket.
- Go to the zoo! This could bring up great stories from when you were a kid.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Get outside and exercise together
Find new hobbies, talk about what you want to do when the world opens back up and embrace the uniqueness of the time you have now while acknowledging it will be different in the future.
3. FaceTiming each other is a different experience than having real “face time” together.
The natural chemistry (or lack thereof) can sometimes be harder to read with only a screen to clue you in. However, during COVID-19 in particular, there’s a comfort with virtually dating. You have less to worry about, so less nerves. You have someone to talk to and the commitment feels less risky. (Not to mention you know you have other options truly at your fingertips.)
Virtual dating in general has become much more common. You don’t have to worry about it being a taboo place to meet someone. In fact, 30% of US adults have used online dating; 12% found a “committed relationship from it” according to Pew Research.
However, there are things to be wary of, like people being dishonest. “Roughly 7 in 10 online daters believe it is very common for those who use these platforms to lie to try to appear more desirable.” Remember the potential for being “catfished.” The last thing you want to happen is find out the person you have been talking to isn’t who you think they are. “Talking on the phone and messaging back and forth only provides a one-dimensional perspective of your relationship. It is impossible to be in love with someone without seeing how they interact with others, how they handle anger and conflict, or how they treat you. You may be in love with who you think they are, but you have no proof that what you have heard or seen is real.” says relationship expert, Julie Baumgardner.
Know how much information is too much to share, remember that even though they seem nice, they’re a stranger you haven’t met and keeping your personal information personal for the first little bit will keep you safe.
*Here’s a great blog on safety tips for online dating.
4. Consider dating in person for a while before taking the next step.
You may have hit it off with someone and are considering taking it to the next step. With quarandating, the steps may look a little different. You may have been dating for the last 3-5 months, but what does your relationship look like under different circumstances? During this uncertain and definitely unprecedented time, it’s important to give your relationship space to materialize into its own thing without the stressful circumstances. 🔎 People act differently under stress and you need to see what they’re like without it.
“A relationship needs time for things to normalize. Many people are very flexible in the infancy of a relationship, but as time goes by they become less flexible. By taking things slow and easy you give your relationship time to grow up and you get to see how the person will really treat you.” Baumgardner says.
John Van Epp, author and relationship expert, believes that within “three to six months you can begin to know someone, but like looking through a microscope at its lowest power, you can only see certain things in that amount of time.”
Dating someone for an extended period allows you to see certain things that may not become evident right away. Having history together gives understanding to who you really are because you have seen how each other handles different kinds of situations.
5. Decide what you want and DON’T settle.
There are challenges with dating online and even more so with this pandemic. It’s easy to feel anxious and lonely because of COVID and believe that you may as well take what you’ve got so you have someone.
There will be a light at the end of this tunnel and being with someone who is good for you and makes you better is more valuable to your life than someone who is just there so you’re not alone. Figuring out if you’re in a heart-healthy relationship or if there are some red flags that are being avoided out of convenience will help prevent you from compromising what you want and need.
Times are difficult and you may have never wanted to online date, but with the limited options, you have the choice to make the most of this opportunity to spend a little more time getting to know someone before you are up close and personal. You get to decide what’s best for you and how to go about it.
Now that you know what to think about, hope you meet someone special!