Dating During A Pandemic: College Edition

Picture this. You’re walking down the street with your significant other, six feet apart, and you look at each other, smiling behind your masks. Not exactly the sweep-you-off-your-feet romance you were anticipating, huh? But during a worldwide pandemic, dating and relationships have gained a new face and become more difficult to entertain. Take it from me, a college student already struggling with the responsibilities of life with online school, internships and living off-campus, dating right now is hard. But it’s not impossible. 

To help out my fellow hopeless romantics, I have compiled a succinct list of what to expect if you’re planning on or currently dating in college during Covid. 

Be Prepared to Get Creative

Although most establishments have opened up to allow at least 50 percent capacity, businesses have seen an increase in take-out and delivery for almost everything. This means fewer people are going out and more people staying in. Your original idea of a perfect date might not be attainable like it was pre-Covid. Instead, look for ways to be together without jeopardizing the safety of both you and others around you. Some of the best ways to do this are to go on walks, be out in an open space where there is minimal close contact with others, and even staying in together can be a great way to really get to know the person you’re dating. 

Expect Last-minute Cancellations

This one can be a real bummer, but life happens. This fact isn’t exclusive to Covid, but life for everyone has proven to be full of surprises recently. This pandemic has created new hurdles for people to jump over and sometimes, this makes dating even less feasible, especially in college. My only tip is to establish rules for the situations you find yourself in. If your instincts are telling you that your date actually had an emergency and didn’t just stand you up, then trust it. But there is a clear difference between someone who has a hectic schedule and things going on versus someone who doesn’t actually want to put in the effort to be with you. 

two people holding hands Photo by Albert Rafael from Pexels

Increased School/Work Stress

Now that school has transitioned to mostly full-time online this semester, college just hasn’t been the same. Most students learn better when they engage in in-person lectures and labs. And staring at a screen all day and basically becoming your own teacher is hard to do alone. Not to mention, a lot of students also have jobs to get them through college. This fact and this fact alone has made dating ten times harder. If your situation feels strained, then maybe it wasn’t meant to happen right now. I’m the reality checkpoint telling you that although it sucks, sometimes relationships can happen in the right place but at the wrong time. 

Constant Covid Testing

Normally when you say, “Hey, we should probably go and get tested together,” Covid screening isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Nonetheless, it’s important to pay attention to your health. Whether it’s your sexual, mental or physical health, both people in the relationship should put their own wellbeing first before anything else can continue to work out. 


Covid has definitely taken a lot from everyone, but that doesn’t mean that good things can’t still happen. My final advice would be to really analyze your own situation before jumping into something that you can’t handle or aren’t fully invested in. When the time is right, someone will walk into your life and make the idea of a relationship less stressful. Whether that’s now, during a pandemic, or later is up to you. Just remember that. 

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