Advert

Latest

9 hours ago
Advert
9 hours ago
Advert

Most Popular

3 days ago
Advert

'Quarantine And Chill' Is Here - Here's How To Make Sure Your Dating Life Doesn't Go To S***

'Quarantine And Chill' Is Here - Here's How To Make Sure Your Dating Life Doesn't Go To S***

Let's face it...now isn't the best time for romance.

Advert

One unfortunate side effect of coronavirus social distancing is that many budding relationships are being cut short, Hinge chirpses are fizzling out and even established couples are feeling the strain.

But the remarkable thing about humans is that even in the darkest of times, we manage to make the best of things.

For every relationship crashing and burning another is growing and adapting, and despite the odds seeming somewhat against us, one thing is obvious: many of us clearly still want to date.

As lockdown was introduced last week, dating app The Inner Circle saw a 50 per cent increase in app users suggesting online dates, Tinder announced conversation time had risen by an impressive 20 per cent and Bumble has noticed a 35 per cent rise in messages being sent.

We all need a bit of companionship right now, whether it's talking virtually online or making quality time with a partner at home. But how do we go about it? Introducing 'quarantine and chill'.

Advert
Dating apps are more popular than ever (Credit: PA)
Dating apps are more popular than ever (Credit: PA)

Perhaps the most unexpected dating trend we've ever faced, the concept is all about making time for romance from the confines of quarantine - be it with someone you live with or even a person you've never even met.

"Quarantine and chill' is one of dating's newest terms used to capture the unique ways that romantics around the world are working to keep sparks alive during these unique circumstances," explains Maria Sullivan, the Vice President and Dating Expert of Dating.com.

"It's 2020 - anything is possible - and, as seen in the past, many true love stories can come out of pursuing someone remotely."

In an effort to help you take the plunge, we asked Maria to come up with some tailor made advice and date ideas for those looking to date during lockdown, whatever stage of a relationship they might be in.

Potential Bae

You can still talk to someone new during lockdown (Credit: Unsplash)
You can still talk to someone new during lockdown (Credit: Unsplash)

Picture this: you've just matched with the man of your dreams online, you're gearing up to suggest a date and then BAM! you're plunged into lockdown.

It can be easy to give up on pursing something new if you haven't even met the person yet, but Maria insists we should use this time to learn more about a potential suitor, decide if you're interested in them, and, if so, build a strong foundation on which to grow.

"A little distance can be powerful in this scenario!," she says. "Right now, any of the normal societal pressure to meet is entirely removed.

"Take this time to really get to know each other and shift the conversation to deeper and more meaningful topics to determine if, one the quarantine ends, this is a connection you actually wish to pursue."

Date Idea: "Give you prospective partner a call! Now is as good of a time as ever to see if their voice and personality resonates with you before making solidified in-person plans."

New Flames

New flames can struggle to keep the spark alive (Credit: Unsplash)
New flames can struggle to keep the spark alive (Credit: Unsplash)

Those who have just started dating somebody new will likely be despairing right about now. A few days ago, things were going *so* well, but now you're both stuck at home, unable to see each other and desperately trying to keep the spark you had alive.

Maria says: "Now is the time that you are your new boo would usually spend more and more of your time together - and odds are neither of you expected a global quarantine would keep you apart.

"But there's no need to stress, you can find plenty of ways to connect online to continue to develop the relationship."

Date Idea: "Plan to order a meal from a local delivery service to your partner's house, while your partner simultaneously does the same for you - the element of surprise will keep you both on your toes!

"Hop on a video call and enjoy the meal together once it arrives. By remembering their favourite foods you are showing your partner how much you care and bringing you closer - even if, right now, you are farther apart than you'd like to be.

"You could try the same with wine and have a remote wine tasting!"

Situation-ship

Situation-ships without a label can be tricky (Credit: Unsplash)
Situation-ships without a label can be tricky (Credit: Unsplash)

Spare a thought for the two friends who have been secretly hooking up for months. They weren't quite ready to bite the bullet and go on a date, but quarantine has now forced them apart, and the realisation they aren't going to see each other is bringing up all *kinds* of confusion and emotions.

"Situation-ships' require more face time than others," Maria explains. "This is arguably the toughest scenario in which to keep a spark alive during an extended period of time apart.

"In a situation-ship, there are no labels or long-term commitments - so quality time together is what typically gets you to that point. It's time to get creative!"

Date Idea: "Plan a group video chat with your mutual friends. This is simple way to casually spend time together - and once that ends, show your situation-ship you noticed them among the crowd by taking this more personal and directing calling them next."

Advert

Boyfriend and girlfriend living apart

Staying in touch online is an alternative (Credit: Pexels)
Staying in touch online is an alternative (Credit: Pexels)

In case you missed it, the government recently announced that couples would either have to move in together or stay apart in a bid to tackle coronavirus.

And, for couples who aren't quite ready for such a big milestone, that's a really tough pill to swallow.

Despite living apart, your other half is often a big part of your life, and the prospect of spending an extended length of time without them might leave you feeling a little lost.

However, Maria explains: "A boyfriend and girlfriend are used to spending A LOT of time together. This separation can test the strength of their relationship. It's important to find ways to connect, that are fun and don't feel like an obligated check-in."

Date Idea: "Challenge your partner to a virtual cook off! This is a fun way to keep the spark alive with some friendly competition and gives you quality time to chat while you learn something new together."

Boyfriend and girlfriend living together

Make those stay-at-home dates special (Credit: Pexels)
Make those stay-at-home dates special (Credit: Pexels)

You might have just moved in together under new government guidance, or maybe you've been cohabiting for a while, but are now on lockdown together.

Whatever your situation, one thing is for sure... spending every minute of the day together is sure to be a test for even the strongest of couples.

While, naturally, it's important you respect each other's personal space, Maria suggests that it's also about turning lockdown into something fun.

"A couple living together should try to look at the bright side of this quarantine and imagine it as a sort of 'staycation'," she says.

"Even if you are working from home most of the day, the time saved from commuting to the office alone can open a window of free time you two have never had before. Make the most of this newfound freedom and plan a special night at home."

Date Idea: "Turn your living room into your own personal theatre. Decorate the room with lights, pillows and blankets, make popcorn and grab some candy to snack on while you watch your favourite romantic show or movie together!"

Married couple

Married couples have to adapt too (Credit: Pexels)
Married couples have to adapt too (Credit: Pexels)

When you said your vows, we bet you didn't think you'd be going through this together, did you?!

While some couples are doing just fine, it's no secret that, worldwide, marriages have been struggling during lockdown. China saw a surge in divorces after lockdown lifted, and in some districts, the number of applications was so high that local offices now have a month long backlog.

And it makes sense, really. After years of living together you likely have a routine, and anything disrupting this can be tough.

However much you love someone, not being able to escape them - even for the afternoon - can really lay their flaws bare. And that's on top of juggling child-care, household chores and everything else we've got to deal with during this strange, scary time.

Maria says: "Decompress from life's seemingly constant daily stressors and take the extra time you now have at home to reconnect!"

Date Idea: "Pull out old photos and take a trip down memory lane. Share some of your favourite throwback photos with your significant other, or reminisce about the early days of your family and relationship.

"Or have a game night with your partner - you could even invite some of mutual friends via video chat for a round of charades of karaoke!"

Of course, these are just a few ideas to get you started. Use your imagination, get creative! And remember, if you want to date during lockdown then absolutely nothing's stopping you.

It's not like we have anything better the be doing, after all...

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Dating, Sex and Relationships, Coronavirus

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]

 

Next Up

Fury As Stockpilers Throw Away Mountains Of Food

Fury As Stockpilers Throw Away Mountains Of Food

2 months ago