Ok so I?ve done the unthinkable…well in my eyes anyway..I?ve gone online speed dating and after gaining confidence in practicing my socially distant dating skills on that platform, I was finally ready to go on a virtual date with a ?Hinge Match.?
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We had already been chatting for a month. A message here and there, nothing exciting enough for me to desperately want to give him my number.
But after realizing it had been a month messaging on Hinge, (we started right when the Covid-19 quarantine lockdown came into effect in NY), I figured it was time to pass the digits on. And within a day I was already propositioned to go on a virtual date with him.
Could this be my Prince Charming?
I mean it was already a month we?d been sending meaningless-check-in-messages over Hinge, I guess it was timely and inevitable. Strangely, I was already comfortable with him, thinking there could be a possibility, that this could be the one!…
Yes the Cinder-fuc*en-ella in me can?t help but think that!
Robert was quite eager. He wanted to Zoom as soon as I gave my number. I was still in my sweats and sweating from just finishing a run. I was like, ?whoa there cowboy, I still need to shower and at least look presentable.?
I mean I know we?re all in that phase to dress waist up these days, but call me conservative, I?d still like to look cute during a date, even if it was virtual.
That zoom dated lasted an hour and even though sparks didn?t explode, there was potential, and the fact that we both wanted some kind of connection other than just texting, definitely fueled our chattiness.
I was more intrigued than attracted, but enough to still be enthusiastic about his second proposition to bike over to my neighborhood in Brooklyn from Alphabet City in Manhattan.
To meet or not to meet.
Despite him wanting to meet in person I made it crystal clear that I was NOT about to throw these weeks of social distancing out the window. I would agree to an “in-person” introduction as long as we were 6 feet apart and wearing the appropriate PPP – which is the same scenario (or actually safer) than going grocery shopping if you think about it.
So Tuesday comes, which was when he proposed to visit and sure enough he did. Mind you, before our meeting, he had already explained his unemployment due to Covid-19 since he was a chef.
Which I completely understood and had no judgments at all. I was keen to meet and hoped to be really pleasantly surprised.
We decided to rendezvous at the park by my apartment. He clearly was eager too, since he arrived forty-five minutes early! It didn?t bother me and I was actually quite calm about the whole situation.
I think mainly because I already felt comfortable with him over zoom and strangely felt like I already knew him.
Does he have protection?
I was looking forward to it, my first coronavirus dating experience. I strolled to the park dutifully wearing my mask.
It was a beautiful day, walking by everyone else also masked up. Such a strange contrast to see people?s faces covered implying death and disease while enjoying a gorgeous New York spring day.
But it didn?t phase me too long, I was on an exciting adventure to meet someone new. The birds were tweeting, the flowers so full of color, the…oh hold on!
Someone just scratched that record!
There he was, in a bright blue parka, sweats, and just not at all what I was expecting. I could spot him from a mile away?He could?ve at least tried to look cute in some sporty way!
I was hit by this awkwardness. Thank goodness I can reinforce the rules of social distancing actually to my advantage for this. Should I just keep walking and keep my mask on and pretend it wasn?t me?…
Somehow he already recognized me…even with the damn mask and waved! But, I was raised to always be polite and he didn?t deserve to be physically ghosted – and I believe in karma.
After the awkward elbow bump greeting, we found some benches with ample space and sat 6 feet apart. I endured forty minutes of conversation and way more heavy breathing than I would have liked (from the mask).
The conversation was mainly about his unemployment, and waiting for his unemployment debit card, and his unemployment and his not being able to do renovations because of his..you guessed it..unemployment… It was all he talked about during our whole conversation, and I don?t think I even remember talking much at all.
After my neck started to strain from turning to talk to him from my bench I decided to throw in the towel and make up an excuse that I had to go back to work…which was lame since he knew I freelanced and could work whenever I wanted.
Then the dreaded goodbye came and he wanted to hug!? I hardly knew the guy and I wasn’t about to risk undoing all those weeks of disciplined quarantining. Instead, I politely enforced the social distancing rules and cordially waved farewell. I felt like I had just avoided a half-assed, cringe-worthy, and uncomfortable slight hug.
Was it worth it?
I walked home, wondering if I could ever get those forty minutes back…nonetheless, I gave it a shot. I came home and wanted to take a nap, strangely exhausted by this person?s constant whining.
I?m sure it was unintentional, but still, he was like an energy vampire sucking all my positive quarantine vibes out of me! Still, I was proud of myself for embarking on that venture, diving straight into unchartered waters of dating during COVID-19.
Well clearly from my experience, Virtual dating vs Responsible Social Distancing Rendezvous are extremely different beasts! Here are some advantages I took away from each experience:
- Good lighting on Zoom
- You don?t have to deal with the awkwardness of walking away after an awkward encounter, you just log off
- You?re in the comfort of your own home
- You only see their faces and assume they?re presentable
- You can easily escape if the conversation isn?t to your taste
- You don’t get the real-deal
Rendezvous with responsible Social Distancing
- Great lighting in real life
- You have to deal with the awkwardness of walking away after an awkward encounter
- You?re out in the open and actually have to engage and possibly get infected!
- You see the whole package and realize they?re not presentable or just didn?t make any effort at all
- It?s not as easy to be impolite to a person and say you have to leave because they?ve sucked all the life out of you.
- It’s the real deal
Ok, so I didn?t have the best experience, but at least I gave it a ?naughty forty? shot. I?ve come to the conclusion regardless of what type of dating you do, in the end, you have to meet them in person anyway. So you may as well get the whole enchilada right from the get-go!
Still, it was fun to experience and I got my forty minutes back…during the nap, I took straight after the date!
How has the ‘rona changed your dating life? Comment below!
For those of you that have been following our journey, K. D Brighton is a frequent contributor to www.thenaughtyforties.com. Check out?her other articles?and feel free to have a look at?her book with 5-star reviews, “40 single NYC; The Gold Notebook” now available on Amazon.
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