Physically Distant, Virtually Close: How to Date During Quarantine

Too Hot to Handle has predicted one of the most dire consequences of social distancing practices: lack of physical interaction with romantic partners. Who would’ve thought that Lana would serve as the Oracle of these trying times? However, just because the contestants in the show failed in their promises of total celibacy doesn’t mean that you have to. 

We’re all confined to the virtual realm -- one in which we sequester ourselves with memes, Zoom calls, and Youtube compilations of “Top 10 Vines”. This digital space that we’re all confined to actually provides for great freedom and creativity in modern dating. It may seem like there are limited options, but there are many ways to date during quarantine. 

#1: Download ALL the apps - you’re single and desperate.

I know. You never considered yourself one for “The Tinder” or Bumble or Hinge or any one of the countless dating apps. However, these apps have responded in turn to the current predicament. Tinder unleashed Tinder: Passport, a feature allowing users to virtually travel/swipe in any region of the world, to all members instead of their subscription-service members (until May 4th). Bumble has followed suit, allowing you to expand your radius so that you’re connecting with people from all over the world. Who knows? Maybe the next love of your life is a shoe salesman in Fresno, a sommelier from Venice, or even that weird guy from high school who never moved away from your city!

#2: Go on Omegle and risk getting doxxed

Omegle is a website best known for being the hushed-over activity at every middle school slumber party. A website where you can talk to random strangers from all over the world, there are options for you to test out your comfort level. You can start off with a simple text chat, fully anonymous, or saturate yourself in adrenaline as you press the video chat button, revealing your face to a stranger as you converse. Sure, you may end up getting doxxed, but that’s half the fun of it! Bonus points if you and the person you’re dating try to find each other on Omegle. 

#3: Club Penguin Date

Nostalgia is a romantic friend. Always there to guide us to bad choices, she is ever present now. Club Penguin was the basis of many a night in my youthful days. Relationships grew and faded on there -- seeing a nasty breakup fight at the pizzeria, or a young romance blossom over at the club was a common phenomena. Although Club Penguin shut down for several years, it is now back in play. Go out and waddle over to your next penguin lover! If you already have a partner, go tip the iceberg together as a nice, romantic activity. 

netflix selection page#4: Watch a depressing documentary together on Netflix

Nothing screams romance more than sobbing profusely together over the deeply troubling story behind Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father or the sorrowful pickings of Kingdom of Us. As both you and your partner lay there, snot-heavy and hearts weighed down, you can feel closer together with the shared experience of open emotional vulnerability. Alternatively, you can take selfies of yourself crying and send it over to your partner. Even better than a nude!

#5: Have a Zoom Fiesta

You need some excitement in your life. Turn down the lights, turn up the salsa music. It’s time to dance. Arrange a Zoom date with your partner -- listen to the sultry voice of Pitbull or DJ Khaled as you dance the night away to music with your screen-adjacent partner. Warning: the audio feedback will probably be terrible and you will spend more time trying to troubleshoot the connectivity problems than you will be spending quality time with your partner. Eh, still works, right?