by Krisanne Keiser
None of us thought we would wake up one morning and be told that we could no longer make connections the way we were used to. COVID-19 became a part of our daily lives, affecting us at every turn.
Dating during a worldwide pandemic has impacted us all in unique ways, including CSH students.
Local resident and Cal Poly Humboldt alumnus Olivia Brock shared their experience.
“Dating during COVID times for me is for sure more online now at the beginning of talking to someone,” Brock said. “It definitely restricts what we do … all the dates I’ve been on have been outside usually somewhere in nature with a mask on.”
Once you’ve managed to meet someone, COVID-19 precautions also complicate bringing them home. Having roommates means that bringing over a new flame has to involve conversations about masking, exposure, and testing.
“But once enough of the outside dates and FaceTime dates have happened and it feels worth it, then we could move forward with figuring out how to add someone to our exposure bubble. It’s a lot of logistics and communication,” said Brock. “I enjoy FaceTime dates a lot, because I don’t have to leave my house and they’re easier to schedule.”
Building connections online does have its advantages, according to Brock. She says it forces her to be more engaged in the conversation, because that’s the only way there’s any hope of forging an online connection.
“Overall, COVID has forced me to go slower in relationships and communicate boundaries more effectively,” she said.
History major Victoria Bankson often worries about the vaccination status of potential partners. She says that if the person she’s interested in has purposely chosen to avoid getting vaccinated, that completely changes her opinion of them and weighs into her decision to ultimately not date them.
“I’m not going to mess around with somebody who’s unvaxxed, that’s just not right,” Bankson said. “We don’t have the same values if you’re that way.”
She also shared that conversing online isn’t the most enjoyable way for her to get to know someone, but that having a phone conversation feels more intimate and comfortable.
“I don’t like texting online, and I don’t feel like I’m the best communicator that way,” Bankson said. “I’m much more of a ‘give me a phone call’ [person,] which is very much opposite of what things are now.”
Junior Franziska Daumberger doesn’t feel like COVID-19 changed the dating scene for her personally, but acknowledges that it added some new challenges.
“People would either be careful about COVID and say like ‘oh I’m vaccinated’ or ‘I wear a mask’ or wanting to meet in outdoor places,” said Daumberger. “And then that’s further stipulation upon whether or not I was interested in them or not … if they didn’t care at the height of it I was like ‘I don’t wanna be even knowing you because your beliefs don’t align with mine.”