How to have Covid conversation if you choose to date IRL
Bumble India’s relationship expert Shahzeen Shivdasani shares her tips on how to have the Covid conversation as we continue to navigate new rules of dating
You saw someone you liked on Bumble, made the first move and then started chatting. Two weeks later, they asked you out on a date, and you agreed to meet at a local restaurant or went for a movie. Good old days, weren't they? The pandemic has forced us all to slow down, and made us think multiple times before we step out of our homes to meet someone.
Bumble's recent research shows that while one in two people are ready for in-person dates, 63% will have the important conversation around their safety before their IRL dates. So, before you decide to date IRL, consider having the Covid conversation which is now an important part of building new connections.
Bumble India's relationship expert, Shahzeen Shivdasani shares her tips on how to have the Covid conversation as we continue to navigate new rules of dating in 2021:
Don't be judgmental
The pandemic is now an unavoidable topic of discussion, especially with someone you are trying to build a meaningful connection with. Not only has the pandemic taken everyone by surprise, but it has made us adapt to lifestyle changes and taken a toll on many. So, not only is the Covid conversation important, but you must also be willing to hear the other person out without judging them for their choices.
Ask the right questions
In the current situation, your safety and that of your loved ones, is of utmost priority. Hence, it's important that you are well-informed before you meet someone in-person. Some of the questions you could ask to understand whether you'd be comfortable meeting them are – do you go to work? Are you attending large gatherings? Are you going to bars and restaurants? Are you taking all the safety precautions?
Don't hold back information
A simple way to get the Covid conversation started is to begin by talking about your own status and the safety precautions you're taking in your own life. Sharing this information with the person you're planning to meet is as important as inquiring about theirs. You can also add Bumble's new badges (virtual, socially-distanced, or socially-distanced with masks) to your profile to communicate how you want to date. If you're meeting a new connection, you must also keep in mind their well-being. Ensure you share all the relevant information about where you've been, so they too can make an informed decision.
Set boundaries before you meet
Once you and your connection have agreed on meeting, you must also discuss the conditions under which you'd like to see them. For instance, you could both self-isolate for a week before meeting, or even get tested in case you'd like to be sure. It's also important to meet at a place that both people are comfortable with. The safest option would be to meet in an open, low-risk outdoor spot, for example a garden or for a walk with your masks on.
Don't compromise on your safety
So what if you've been waiting for this meeting for a long time, if you aren't comfortable, don't do it! Safety comes first, and you shouldn't drop your standards to accommodate those of someone else. But hey, don't be sad if your Covid talk doesn't go well – it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. You can instead connect through voice calls and video chats on bumble, till both of you are comfortable meeting.