Distancing is still a good idea these days
The old “Would you like to go out for dinner?” is more appropriate nowadays. But even so, it takes times to get to know someone. You’re the only one who gets to decide if you’ll meet and date someone who hasn’t been vaccinated. There, I said it.
The important thing is, he’s nice and you think he’s interested. And you’re game. How to get together when distancing may still be a factor, depending on your comfort level?
First, let him know you’re willing to meet as long as you both either stay outdoors, (difficult as the weather gets colder) or research an indoor spot that’s got ample space for a first meet. Again, your comfort level.
Try on something a bit different from the usual dinner date
Here are a few examples. Feel free to inject your own special touch. Work together. Special times and all that. Agree to when/if you’ll wear masks indoors.
Keep in mind that what we learned from distance dating is that you can get to know someone without the pressure of “instant” physical intimacy. If that subject eventually comes up, you’ll need to discuss how to proceed with some caution. Taking it slow never hurts.
Taking it slow is an opportunity to get to know someone without pressure
Wine tasting outdoors in a public park. Be discrete. Decant. If alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed, or you’re uncomfortable, switch to a variety of juices. The thing about a tasting is there are those little crackers (found in any wine store), and you get to banter. Plus it takes time to do all that testing. Oh, here’s a helpful hint. Wine tasting doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can go with a single bottle of your favorite zinfandel and it still counts. “Wine tasting” is the secret password to “Let’s get together.”
Take it up a notch, especially if you’re able to swing dinner along with a couple of bottles of wine to juggle and taste. Cover the labels. Seriously, this is great fun. You’ll probably want to learn a little jargon, so have phones handy for research purposes. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner. A sandwich will suffice if you’re not into cooking. Keep that distance and enjoy.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, take your wine tasting indoors. Restaurants host wine tastings. Find a new favorite that operates according to guidelines you and your date feel comfortable with.
If the temperature cooperates, visit a botanical garden, a rose garden or a cemetery. As for the cemetery, choose one with really old headstones, preferably from the 1600’s. My hometown is New Haven, CT, and the cemetery downtown is a treasure trove of history. Pretend you have the heebie jeebies and she’ll appreciate your vulnerability. Go for an ice cream cone afterwards.
Other fun activities
Take a hike in the woods. Bring organic bug spray. On the trail, there’s little danger of encountering a crowd. Where I live, there’s no hiking. A man-made hill called Celery Fields passes for a mountain. I still count it as a hike.
Dance. I’m thrilled there’s dancing again at many of my favorite spots. Now, however, I dance only with my partner, whereas I used to dance with all the boys. We still practice our moves at home.
Meet at the beach for an off season shore walk, depending on where you live. (Where I live, the beach is always an option.) Walk during low tide, and collect sea shells. Watch the birds; they endlessly entertaining.
Go ahead, play miniature golf. Be silly.
Miniature Golf. I know, you’re laughing. Miniature golf isn’t just for middle school kids back in the day. It’s goofy, doesn’t require a high skill level, and you can make a fool of yourself. While getting her to laugh. Ladies, if you’re good at golf, you can show off.
Invite her to a meteorite shower. Ask him if he believes in UFOs. Look at the stars through a telescope. Ask her if she watches Ancient Aliens on the History channel. Bring chairs, binoculars, and treats.
Lawn parties are the New Thing
Host a lawn party for two. Get out the chairs, the beer or wine, a few treats, and enjoy the company. Take turns inviting each other over and writing topics or questions on paper. Fold them and drop them into a hat. Answer honestly. No one-word answers allowed. Once you’re at the third date, invite another couple to join you. You’ll learn unexpected things about one another, and maybe even your friends.
If you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, as a friend of mine recently did, follow the experts’ advice. My friend met her “keeper” as she calls him, online a few weeks into the Covid crisis. Since they’d both been in isolation for over two weeks before they met, they worked out a plan and discussed how to proceed. This in an individual decision, of course.
Share your dating-during-Covid experience if you have one. Did you date during 2020? Share it here, in this space, and I’ll respond. I may even add your idea to this article. Seriously.