This essay is part of a series from Autostraddle writers about how they’re approaching dating and relationships at our current stage in the pandemic – read the rest here!
As soon as the weather started turning even more in Chicago, so much came flooding back to me. Kicking it in the park again, hanging out in my “backyard” with my neighbors, reading outside the coffee shop on someone’s stoop who lives next door to it, and of course – dating.
I’ve been doing a bit of pandi dating here and there, but I’ll admit it doesn’t feel the same — for all kinds of reasons but mainly the trust thing. I want to believe folks when they say they have been tested and have been inside, but like – you can’t just take them at their word, and I lowkey feel the same as this vax rolls out. It’s going to go back to adding that extra layer of communication that I love: receipts.
I’m ready to hit the streets, I might even be ready to go to a lil’ outdoor dining moment (MAYBE). But even if we’re just gonna be on an hours-long date at the lake, I need to know that you’ve either been vaxxed or are trying hard to get it – and I’m probably gonna wanna see your card. Just like you don’t mind exchanging screenshots of recent testing, it’s gonna work that way too. I’m not necessarily anxious about what dating would look like because, well, I’m great at dating. My dating priorities haven’t changed; they just got some things added.
I’m excited to see just how undersexed and horny folks are going to be now that it’s been a whole year of this. It’s already changed the digital dating world so much, and I’m hopeful that it will translate into people wanting to hop off the apps after a few messages and meet IRL — but that is not a possibility if they aren’t taking vaccination seriously.
Way before we even get to the date, we will def have already talked about vaccines — not just have you got it or are you trying to, but how you feel about it in general. I feel like the dating apps will jump on the train of adding vaccine-related prompts and buttons to add to profiles so that it can be easier to get the conversations started, which I appreciate, but even that will only take you so far; you still should talk about it a bit more.
I understand some folks have reservations about it and I have no interest in changing their minds — do you — but if you’re trying to do me, then you can’t really be on that wave. I think it’s going to require patience and will really let folks see if they are actually interested in someone. Because, say they haven’t gotten it yet, but are trying so fucking hard to and you really like them, will you wait it out? or what if they are only on shot one, will you kick it but still keep your distance until shot two?
There are so many factors around the vaccine that I think will encourage better dating habits for us. Communication is one of the main ones. I think folks will also learn that communication doesn’t have to be this wildly scary and long thing when you need to talk about something important; it can be a quick convo and you can move on.
It can go a lil’ something like this:
Shelli: “You are incredibly hot and dope and I am absolutely trying to kick it with you and soon asl – how do you feel about the vaxxy vax, you get it yet?”
Possible answers that I will accept that will move you closer to painting my toes in the park or drinking copious amounts of prosecco followed by me sitting on your face.
- “SAME – and yes, I am def trying to – it’s been hard to get an appointment though but I’ll keep you updated! Until then – what’s your fav prosecco so I can prepare?”
- “I got my second shot a few weeks ago actually! So maybe in like a week or two, we can chill at the lake?”
- “I got my first shot!! Second shot coming soon and then I’m all yours to step on.”
- “I’m lowkey nervous about getting it, what made you do it if you don’t mind me asking?”
I just want folks to be safe and do all they can to help us keep moving forward to get to some semblance of normalcy in so many aspects of our lives and that includes dating because — don’t you miss spitting in someone’s mouth on a random Wednesday night?