Dating in the Times of COVID-19

. July 24, 2020.
The Blind Pig downtown now has an outdoor patio by its 8Ball Saloon. Image courtesy of The Blind Pig.

“I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole,” used to be an insult but has now become a common courtesy. How can humans find needed connections when direct human contact is discouraged? How can these contradictions coexist when you’re dating?  

Perspective is key. When dating, physical chemistry can often take charge, however, when contact isn’t an option, getting to know someone’s personality moves to the forefront. The use of online dating platforms and digital meet-ups can allow for mental connections to form before the physical.

How does one make a date seem special when it’s virtual? We got you covered.

Some local Ann Arbor businesses have created unique ways to connect. When hosting a virtual meet-up, here are some ideas to make it special:

Create a special setting for your video call 

Sit outside 

Create a special backdrop

Set your table for a restaurant feel  

Eat / Drink the same thing as your date to enhance the feeling of connection

Order food from the same restaurant.

-Grizzly Peak offers a date in a box

-Create a truly special evening, with a delivered custom meal from Chef Savur 

Surprise your date with to-go cocktails, now available in Michigan.

Alley Bar’sadult Capri Sun” bags 

-Margaritas from Isalita 

The Last Word has craft cocktails to-go

Send a gift to your virtual date before you meet.

-Send flowers from somewhere like University Flower Shop 

-Drop off a unique gift with help from local from stores like Rock Paper ScissorsRed Shoes, Catching Fireflies, Found, or Unicorn Feed & Supply

Engage in an activity together

Wine tasting from a local wine club:  Vino A GoGo (they deliver locally!)

Get healthy: virtual yoga session at Red Yoga followed by a Thrive Juicery smoothie

Cook together: Jolly Pumpkin is offering make your own pizza kits

Create art together with an Ann Arbor Art Center art box

Grizzly Peak’s Date Night in a Box includes a starter, a pizza, & a growler of beer for $30. During a Happy Hour date (mon-fri, 4-6), it’s only $20! Image courtesy of Grizzly Peak.

Once you’ve decided you’d like to take the next step and meet in person (after determining you’re both on the same page with your social distancing plans), here are some distanced date ideas to consider:

Go for a walk, picnic, or hike at Nichols Arboretum or similar nature area

Blind Pig is offering patio music & movies on their 8Ball outdoor patio

Miniature Golf at Putterz

Canoe or Kayak or River Tubing

Live music at Blue Llama every night and weekend brunch 

Large outdoor patio seating at YORK

Perspective is key… consider dating during this time as an opportunity rather than focusing on the awkwardness of it. Find ways to connect before physical contact. Write letters, send gifts, get creative, and truly court each other. Dating can be a challenge in any setting, with a pandemic making it tougher. Thankfully, with access to technology, perspective can be changed to allow for opportunity.


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