Dating During a Time of Plague
It may seem strange to ask about the impact of Covid-19, as the Coronavirus is officially known, on dating, but it is worth thinking about because it is going to have a huge impact on dating and romance at least for the next six months.
In China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran it already has wreaked havoc on the love lives of tens of millions of people.
Now, obviously International Love Scout site is not a health site, so every statement about the nature of Covid-19 will have a high-quality link to an authoritative site where you can read more about the nature of the disease.
But before we can understand why dating and romance is going to be severely impacted by the Coronavirus, first let’s review some basics about the disease that I will refer back to during my discussion of dating.
Covid-19 is one of a family of coronaviruses first isolated in the 1960s. The viruses infect both humans and other animals. The virus can grow and mutate in many species of mammals and birds and then jump to humans.
It has done this several times in the past thirty years, most notably with the case of SARs in China in 2002, and MERS in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012.
Here is a more detailed history of the from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to many flu-like infections. The Mayo Clinic explains that the symptoms can include fever, coughing and “shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.”
Covid-19 was first isolated in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 and it spread rapidly. According to Public Health England, “As of 19 March 2020 (9:00am), over 211,000 cases have been diagnosed in 164 countries and areas (including mainland China), with over 8,800 fatalities.”
The best coronavirus tracker online is probably at CNN. It is updated daily and includes a lot of easy to read graphics. Here is the direct link to the page: Tracking Coronnavirus’ Global Spread.
According to Harvard Medical School the virus spreads from person to person generally through…
…droplets of saliva or mucus carried in the air for up to six feet or so when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Viral particles may be breathed in, land on surfaces that people touch, or be transferred when shaking hands or sharing a drink with someone who has the virus.Harvard Medical School
Worse, as the Harvard article goes on to explain, the incubation period or the time between a person being infected and showing symptoms can be as long as 14 days. This means that a person may be infected and able to spread the disease, but not show symptoms for two weeks.
So, how does this all impact dating, especially international dating?
Coronavirus Is a Sexually Transmitted Disease
First, of all Covid-19 is a sexually transmitted disease or at least it can be a sexually transmitted disease. It is not often described that way, because most sexually transmitted diseases or STDs can only be transmitted through sex.
Covid-19 is transmitted through the air on “droplets of saliva or mucus,” and, of course, having sex normally involves an exchange of saliva and other bodily fluids which means that it is a disease that can be transmitted through sex.
There is a caveat to this. The New York Times asked several experts about whether or not Covid-19 is a sexually transmitted disease.
They all agreed that it could be transmitted from kissing, but the World Health Organization warned… “Though coronaviruses are not typically sexually transmitted, it’s too soon to know….”
This seems like a distinction without a difference because most people are going to kiss during sex, but even if they don’t, Covid-19 can be “carried in the air for up to six feet.”
Perhaps, this will come as a shock to the World Health Organization, but to have sex – real sex – people have to be within six feet of one another.
Worse, unlike traditional STDs, Covid-19 can spread from cuddling or even just sitting across the table from an infected person on a first date.
For many people, this makes Covid-19 is worse than the diseases that the World Health Organization labels STDs, because Covid-19 is putting the brakes on not only sex, but also romance.
That makes sense because Covid-19 is a social disease. It can spread whenever people are close together. It will affect all forms of social interaction from business meetings to travel, entertainment, and, yes, romance.
This means that for right now, the gas mask is the condom for covid-19. But there is a silver lining if you squint your eyes and look hard enough.
Romance During a Pandemic
In some regards, this is unknown territory because it has been a very long time since there a highly contagious disease that was so dangerous and so widespread.
There is not really an exact match, but the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 is worth considering because it was at the very beginning of the modern age of medicine and in general dating and romance in 1918 were largely the same as today.
The Spanish Flu, which actually started in Kansas, was also a social disease spread by droplets.
In 1918 ill patients were quarantined, often strictly quarantined, and the uninfected were encouraged to practice social distancing which means avoiding standing close to other people in public.
Many cities schools, factories, and saloons were closed and nearly all public events, including movies, sporting events, and even church services were banned. In the most extreme case, seven American cities actually banned people from entering for months.
These public health efforts did have some effect. Cities that practiced strict quarantine rules and prevented crowds from gathering did have the lowest death rates, but the combination of the flu and the public health measures to fight the flu absolutely crushed romance.
The decline in sexual activity is clear from an examination of birth rates starting nine months after the beginning of the flu epidemic. Birth rates plunged in countries around the world.
At one time scholars believed the fall in births was due to miscarriages and the deaths of pregnant women, but today it is largely agreed that the cause was a drop in conceptions. This was before any really effective birth control, so it means that people around the world were having less sex.
The most rigorous academic study on the demographic impact of the 1918 pandemic looked closely at birthrates in Sweden, which kept extraordinarily good records, concluded…
All together it is evident that if an epidemic turns deadly, fertility effects go far beyond the period of infection itself and will be felt for decades after.From demographic impact of the 1918 pandemic
And there is no reason the same thing will not happen today, because of Covid-19. In fact, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Yi Fuxian, said that in China…
The coronavirus epidemic will lead to a further decline in GDP growth, an increase in unemployment, a decline in household income, and a decline in the ability to raise children, so the fertility rate will continue to decline.Yi Fuxian, University of Wisconsin-Madison
It is hard to say what romance will look like during the coronavirus outbreak, but Saturday Night Live has an idea of what soap operas may soon look like in the following video:
Coronavirus and Online Dating
So, Covid-19 is going to effect dating and romance around the world. One of the most profound long term results is that it is going to drive even more dating online.
Today online dating is already the most popular way for couples to meet and the coronavirus outbreak is only going to increase that trend. It has to because so many people are going to have to stay away from work, school, the gym, and other places that couples often first meet.
So, the best thing you can do is try to deepen your online dating experience. Expand your dating pool.
Yes, many people loathe to get involved in long-distance relationships, but if you’re going to be quarantined for a month anyhow, why not enjoy it as much as possible? Think more about who you are going to have a good time with online as opposed to who you will have a good time with in person.
Contact daters based on more than just looks. Yes, that is a radical notion, but it can be exciting. Read dating profiles closely and start your contact by asking them about a specific point they mentioned in their profile.
No one reads dating profiles, so showing a person that you read their profile is a great way to show someone that you are really interested in them without appearing needy.
Ask more of the questions you would ask on a first date. Be willing to open the door to your inner life a little more, because that will help keep the online relationship going. That is often hard, but it can also have amazing results.
Within a few days try to move the relationship beyond just chat. Play online games with the person you’re interested in or watch the same movie or sporting event at the same time and chat about it while you watch. It is not the same thing as being in there person, but it is pretty close.
So, there is no reason to stop your online dating journey because of the coronavirus, but you will need to modify it if you want to really maximize the benefits. This will make actually meeting in person a lot less stressful and give you a better chance of establishing a successful long term relationship.
Quarantine Dating Tips
Since we first posted this article on March 12th there have been a ton of other good articles posted about tips for quarantine dating. A lot of these articles are very solid and since you are probably stuck in your home alone you might want to read a few of them too.
Coronavirus canceled a lot of things. Dating doesn’t have to be one of them, USA Today, is a humorous article loaded with funny memes and good suggestions. Right at the top of the list here is don’t call your ex. To be clear the article notes, “And when we say don’t call your ex, we mean don’t text them, don’t email them, don’t slide in the DMs and don’t send a letter by carrier pigeon.”
How to a find a quarantine cutie online during coronavirus, New York Post, discusses some really off the wall services being offered and a deep discount at Tinder. If, like half the people in the world, you have bounced off of Tinder in the last year you might want to check it out.
Love in the time of coronavirus? Around the world, dating apps finds a way, The Star, discusses how some of the most popular dating apps are addressing covid-19.
Tips for virtual dating in the age of coronavirus and social distancing, cnet, offers a slew of geeky tips on how to survive a virtual date. It has some good basic points to consider, but, remember, everyone is nervous about trying to get through this pandemic.
How to Date Online in the Age of Covid-19, Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance, is a good general overview of the situation. It mentions a variety of apps and explains how confusing this situation is for singles. You are not alone!
Coronavirus and International Dating
You can use all of the tips we mentioned for general dating sites on international dating sites, but when you are dating a foreign woman there are some additional challenges.
You have to learn at least a little bit of a new language. You need to understand a different culture, so you do not accidentally insult your new significant other and you have to deal with the logistics of international travel.
That is why normally we are a huge fan of romance tours. The video below explains how our favorite tour company conducts its business.
We really like the fact that tour companies actually do more than simply get you in touch with an attractive foreign woman. They actually help you overcome the cultural and logistical challenges and meet the woman of your dreams face to face.
That is why we are such huge fans of A Foreign Affair. They have an incredible database of beautiful women who want to meet Western men.
You can email them or even make a call to them with a translator, but the tours are what really makes A Foreign Affair special and today we cannot recommend all of the travel – not given the very real risk of coronavirus.
Most other international dating companies today offer chat based services. We are not as enthusiastic about that business model for a lot of reasons, but BeHappy2Day is offering a special .99 cent introductory offer that can be a lot of fun if you are sitting at home with nothing to do. And we know you are sitting at home with nothing to do!
Or you can use this time to educate yourself more about international dating. It is a unique part of the online dating industry. It has probably been more intensely studied than any other area of online dating, but it also has been the subject of more myths, misinformation, and flat out lies than any other type of dating.
Are Any Women Reading This Article?
Well, you should know that the infrastructure of modern international dating is designed exclusively for men. Sorry, about that.
There are a lot of cultural and economic reasons for that, but one of the main ones is that most nations are much more traditional in their view of gender relations than the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
In fact, most of the women signing up for international dating are in part trying to escape their highly patriarchal societies. This is a major reason why Western men are so much hotter overseas.
So, for most Western women the reality of marrying a conservative man from Eastern Europe or Latin America is not that attractive an option. This is not necessarily fair for Western women, but it is the result of deep cultural and economic factors far beyond anyone’s control.
Mail Order Bride Basics
We have a ton of articles here to help you understand international dating or what used to be commonly called mail order brides. But here are five articles that you can read to really give you the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not you should consider looking for love overseas.
It is not a bad way to spend a few hours if you are quarantined because of the coronavirus.
First, listen to what a feminist professor who has studied international decade for over a decade says about: The Surprising Facts About International Dating.
Second, there is a lot of misinformation and crazy urban legends about international dating that you should understand. This article explains those common misconceptions: The Myths About International Dating.
Third, it is worth taking a look at the history of mail order brides. It goes back to the old mail order bride system, which never was exactly like the name suggests, but does have a long rich history in the United States and Canada. This article will give you some great background: The History of Mail Order Brides.
Fourth, of course, one of the biggest questions that you should ask is, “Does this actually work?” Here is an article that explains the best evidence about the success rate of international dating: Divorce and Mail Order Brides
Fifth, probably the single biggest question people have about international dating is, “Why do women sign up to become mail order brides?” The article will help you understand that: It is Not Just About Money.
So, that should be enough to help you understand the pros and cons of international dating, but remember, international dating is not for everyone. You need to be particularly loyal and understanding – wise might even be a better term.
If you wonder if you’re up to it read this article: Some Men Are Not Cut Out to Date Mail Order Brides.
Coronavirus’s Long Term Cultural Impact
The coronavirus is a sexually transmitted disease and dating culture is going to adjust to it. People will keep dating, but at least in the short term, they will date differently.
More people will date online and that is not a bad thing if you raise your online dating game. That should be your response to the coronavirus regardless of who you are.
Enjoy the slower pace that the pandemic puts on actual meetings and build a deep relationship.