Sex and a pandemic are two things that don’t go well together. If you’re in a relationship, that’s one thing. But if you’re single, wow, now that’s a challenge. With Covid here (and not going anywhere any time soon), for singles, it’s become a serious problem dating, especially when returning to intimacy.
On the one hand, you want to go on dates and potential matches. On the other hand, you don’t want to contract Covid and pass it on to your family and friends. The stakes are pretty high when you think about it. Sure, your friends may walk away from it, but what about your grandparents? Your mom? Your dad? And this is a concern for many people.
But what do you do? Not leave the house and avoid meeting new people at all costs? Even if you’re vaccinated, it doesn’t mean you’re fully protected.
There are a lot of questions floating around without many answers. Most people have completely stepped back from dating yet are longing for connection and intimacy.
Well, if there’s one thing I want to tell you is that you shouldn’t put your life on hold. While living during a pandemic is scary, it doesn’t look like it’s disappearing anytime soon. In other words, we need to adapt to the current situation.
I had one guy message me recently, telling me that he’s been out of the dating game during the pandemic but wants to try dating again. The only problem was he’s completely forgotten how to date or engage in intimacy.
And I completely get him. The rules have changed a bit. So how do you return to intimacy during the pandemic? While there’s no rulebook, here are some ways to help you navigate the turbulent dating world we live in.
#1 Consent is key
Whether we’re in or out of a pandemic, what’s important is you get their consent. You can use this situation as a way to practice communicating with your partner and seeing each other’s comfort levels.
Are they comfortable with French kissing? Do they enjoy oral sex? Knowing your partner’s boundaries are important and when returning to intimacy, it’s all about communication.
#2 Talk about Covid and your boundaries
It’s annoying that this has become a part of the dating scene, but it’s something that’s here to stay for now. Talk to the person you’re dating and see their opinion about the pandemic and what they do to stay safe (if they do anything).
Does it align with your opinion and boundaries? Are they seeing other people? Are they sleeping with other people? If you’re someone who’s very cautious and they’re not, this could be a problem.
#3 Be aware of the risks
What can I say? I don’t want to sound like your mom, but remember there are risks to everything. This doesn’t mean you should become a priest and live a sexless life, but it does mean you should be aware of the risks during this period of time.
If you or your partner are not vaccinated (or if you are), understand that when you two are intimate, you’re exposing each other to Covid-19.
If this concerns you, talk about how you two will reduce the likelihood of contracting this virus – whether it be wearing masks at grocery stores or washing your hands at work.
#4 Be tech-savvy
If you’re on the edge when it comes to meeting people for the first date, why not take advantage of technology before returning to intimacy.
#5 Slow things down
The silver lining of the pandemic is that you can slow things down. Before, we would rush through the first date, and most couples would have sex by the second or third. But now, perhaps it’s time you try to slow things down.
Instead of rushing to have sex with them, go on a couple of dates where you two just talk. Get to know the person before returning to intimacy. Now, if you’re only looking for sex, that’s one thing. But if you’re seeking a relationship, invest this time in getting to know them.
What I can tell you is that couples who spend more time talking and connecting increase their intimacy. So there’s no need to rush. Enjoy the process.
Returning to intimacy after a frightening pandemic isn’t easy – and we’re not really out of the pandemic yet. In intimacy counselling, you learn what’s important is communication and being honest with yourself and your partner.