COVID Dating

This is a repost blog.

Original posts by Dating During Delta to advice columnist Lizzy Acker in The Oregonian. Only the original letter-writer’s words have been reproduced here; to read Carolyn’s advice, click through the links.

3 Mar 2022: As COVID continues, single mom wonders if she’ll ever want to date again

Dear Lizzy,

A couple of years before COVID hit, I got divorced and started dating again. I have two young kids so my life is way too full for a serious relationship. But I share custody 50/50 with their dad (everything is super amicable on that front), so I have plenty of free time to meet new people and just have some fun. I thoroughly enjoy the carefree dating life.

Then COVID hit and all that came to a screeching halt. I stopped going out — pretty much at all — and certainly didn’t want to meet up with strangers during a deadly pandemic. It was a long dry spell and all pretty isolating. For a while there I wasn’t even hanging out with friends and family, because I wanted to keep myself and my kids safe. I figured that once I got vaccinated I would be able to get back out on the dating scene. But … that never really happened. I’ve been vaccinated for half a year now and I haven’t been on a single date. I hit the dating apps for a bit, but I could never quite work up the energy to match with people and start a conversation, let alone meet anyone in real life. I mean, let’s admit it, dating apps can be hell already, especially for a woman. But now it just seems like the last place I want to be. While I want to go on dates again, the process of meeting people also sounds completely miserable.

Part of me thinks that it’s because I’m concerned about delta, and I’m concerned about bringing something home to the unvaccinated kids. And I do believe those are all very valid concerns. But part of me wonders if I’m just using that as an excuse, and even after the kids are vaxxed (any day now, cross fingers!) I’ll just come up with another excuse to keep me from getting back out there and having all the fun I used to have. What’s stopping me? And how do I get past it?

Dating During Delta

15 Nov 2022: Update

Hi Lizzy,

I have an update! It’s been over a year since I wrote about having trouble kickstarting my dating life in the COVID world. I was vaccinated and ready to go, but just had absolutely no will to get on dating apps and meet new people.

First of all, thank you so much for your advice, or your perspective rather. You honed in on the fact that I still had plenty of time to get out there, and that if I wasn’t ready for it yet that didn’t mean I wouldn’t ever be ready. Quite honestly it still took another year after I wrote you before I felt ready again. For the longest time, I’d avoid apps and dating like the plague. Sometimes I got bored and swiped a bit, but even after a match, I didn’t have the desire to even strike up a conversation.

In the meantime, I got the kids vaxxed (and vaxxed again), reconnected with friends, and worked on deepening the relationships I already had in my life.

Then one day, it happened. I can’t say how or why, but the fog lifted and, just like you said, I finally felt like I had the space in my life and in my brain to get back out into the dating pool. I’m so glad that day finally came. In just one short week I’ve met some really interesting people and I’m looking forward to whatever happens next.

This has been a rough couple years for all of us. It may never be back like it was before, but it’s nice to have just one small part of my life feel normal again.

Thanks again!


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October 10, 2023