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Dating SOS! Relationships and sex in a post-pandemic world

How do you even meet new people after a pandemic, and how are you supposed to behave around them? How have dating and relationships evolved?

By Giada | 17 October 2021
A woman and a man are sharing a beer

With a year so mindblowing it is hard to find the words (we’re looking at you, 2020) and another pretty complicated one in the process, everything we thought we knew seems to have dissolved into chaos. How do you even meet new people after a pandemic, and how are you supposed to behave around them? How have dating and relationships evolved?

We are, after all, in the midst of it, dealing with the consequences of a world-shattering virus. Thanks Covid!

Some of us have been luckier than others in resuming their lives as if almost nothing had happened, and meeting people again, having sex, falling in love… Our sex lives have been put to the test, and we can thank sexting, apps, solo pleasures and porn for providing precious support. Despite modern technology however, some of us have experienced deeper emotional distress on the emotional and sentimental front.

Has dating changed as well?

We are pretty resilient creatures and we do end up getting used to new normals. We will always adapt to new situations and new means of meeting people, and we most definitely will always find new ways to have sex.

Online dating and sexting have never been more mainstream than after the pandemic. They are easy, seamless, and almost effortless; to an extent, they are also more comfortable although challenging in their own ways. We might experience the same level of disappointment as we did in the offline sphere, and feel like giving up on dating. This is fair, but it would be a shame to miss out on the magic of intimacy and sex.

While we may not have definite answers or miracle solutions, but here are a few thoughts and suggestions based on our experiences and modern accounts of dating in 2021.

Dating 2.0: 6 suggestions on how to meet – and act around – new people

Live face-to-face dates means dealing with reality first-hand, reality by way of another person right in front of us. Post-pandemic, New Yorkers enjoyed old-school speed dating events, so as leave the online sphere behind to finally resume talking to strangers in bar. While the outcomes may not be dramatically different, the number 1 rule of dating has never rung truer: put yourself out there, and take risks. (Being yourself in a corner will never lead to anything.)

If you are intent on enjoying dating again, try to actually step out. While apps might give us a self-esteem boost and help us get going again, they only bring a very limited and short-lived sense of wellbeing and fulfilment.

1. Make your intentions known. Clearly.

What do you actually want from a date? Before attempting to navigate dating apps and first dates, try to figure out what your true intentions actually are with regards to your love life and the person in front of you. Bring intention and find awareness: it might very well help you find what you are looking for.

2. Meet up!

Shyness and nerves might get in the way but the sooner you meet, the better! Watch out: spending too much time messaging someone is likely to lead to total idealisation, which might very well lead to major disappointment.

3. Pick a comfortable spot.

Going on that first date, especially if you are to meet for the very first time, requires the right place and time. Choose somewhere where you feel truly comfortable (especially if the possibility of sex on your mind…).

4. Whatever will be, will be. (Watch for the red flags though!)

We are all human after all (give or take a few exceptions). We all come with baggage and it is likely we all have a lot of expectations, which will only make things even more difficult to navigate. Try not to let negative past experiences cripple you, and remember you, and you alone, have the power to change things.

5. Be patient.

It famously is a virtue but it is also something you can work on and improve with time. “IRL”(In Real Life), things tend to move at a slower pace: give yourself time and space.

Dates can make us a little nervous. Regardless of what is on the cards. We are unsure how to approach and act around people, trying to remember the way things used to be done or learning how to do it all over again. Let’s make the most of it and enjoy this as an opportunity to reset our love lives.

6. Straight to the bedroom?

Not all dates lead the sex, and that’s just fine. A number of sexologists often suggest the healthiest relationships stem from friendships, if becoming more than friends is potentially on the cards. And the best sex? That happens with the people you best get along with.

We know you already have a wonderful relationship with your vibrator (or maybe you guys are taking a break and we hope you work things out!). Our best piece of advice: rethinking the way you approach dates and expanding your horizons might help you rediscover a true, deeper meaning. Making new friends and new acquaintances might significantly elevate your experiences and social life; and it might just make sex and intimacy better in the process.

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