COVID Dating – How 2020 Changed The Way We Do Romance

Happy New Year Rinsers. Yes, I’m well aware that 2020 was a ridiculously quiet year for the blog. But I doubt that dating and relationships was topmost in many people’s mind. Well, except maybe mine because you know I have an irrational fear of dying a virgin (or even being mistaken for one!).

Anyways, as we enter 2021 no-one really knows what the future holds when it comes to love and finding that happily ever after. Although, its highly unlikely things will go back to what they once were anytime soon. So, whether you’re a single gal stressed about your ovaries drying up or pretty sure you’re shacked up with the one, you can’t really deny that 2020 really did change our approach to romantic relationships whichever way you look at it.

Let’s break it down:

Online Dating Is Pretty Much The Only Option (Unless You Want To Die A Virgin)

Despite the fact that anyone under the age of 50 is likely to have done a stint on Tinder at this point in time, pre-COVID there was still some stigma attached to online dating. I don’t know about you but I still encountered people (not that they were supermodels or god’s gift to humanity) who felt they were above the act of swiping and openly expressed only wanting to find love the ‘natural’ way (no clue what that even is.).

I’m sure lockdown was a bit of a rude awakening for anyone of this mindset. When we were all forced to retreat into homes – it put a stop to any sort of ‘natural’ way of dating. It meant no more sarging down Kloof Street looking for talent on a Friday night. The chances of meeting an eligible bachelor/bachelorette at say a running club or the gym became less likely too. I mean if. there people are being selective about the friends that they deem worth seeing, what are the chances you’d be willing to randomly strike up convo with a random whose COVID protocol you’d not have a clue about?

Yeah, so say what you will about it but it really does seem like online dating is the best way forward for most of people. Unless of course, you plan on meeting the love of your life at Woolies? Or just giving up already and accepting spinsterhood?

Do One Night Stands Even Exist Anymore?

You know I’m not one to judge and all but if you can’t really meet randos at the club, how do one night stands even happen? Because it seems now that those who are so inclined need not only worry about STDs but also about COVID. Go figure.

I think if casual sex is your MO, then the best thing you can possibly do in the age of corona is to look up at FWB from the past who you have a good enough rapport with to discuss a COVID safe arrangement of sorts.

It’s Made It Harder To Hide From An Unhappy Relationship

Despite all my cynicism, I’m really not one that advocates settling for anything less than butterflies. But the truth is that many people do just settle for the facade of a relationship and what not. Perhaps its that they need to have kids or maybe its due to pressure from the family but you can’t also blame them, after all dating is frigging hard work sometimes.

Sure, the relationship might not be truly magical but if you have a job, hobbies and friends to keep busy then your relationship only becomes one element of your life, making it somwhat easier to dismiss the unhappier bits of said relationship. But this isn’t the case during corona times. Being forced to stay ‘safe’ at home with someone you can just about tolerate in peacetime becomes way harder under lockdown conditions.

In South Africa, we’ve had to endure prohibition because unfortunately it happens that people do beat up their wives after a few bevs and I’m sure domestic violence is on the up elsewhere in the world too. Even when things don’t get all that horrific being in close confines with anyone you don’t genuinely like or respect is bound to be problematic and I expect divorce lawyers are one group of people that’ll benefit in the aftermath of this pandemic!

We’ve Started To Prioratize Quality Over Quantity

Although my days of double-parking were over a long, long time ago, part of me will always think of dating as a bit of a numbers game. As I recall #zlotybaby once saying once, you have to try everything on the sushi conveyor belt until you find yourself a salmon rose 😉 I’m guilty, like much of my generation, of treating people of the Tinderverse as disposable (to be honest, most of the are!).

In the pre-COVID world, we were all probably a little more inclined to dismiss someone we didn’t have instant butterflies for. It seems, however, that now its the time for the slow burn to take centre stage. With limited options available we are more likely to give people a fair chance and this isn’t a bad thing necessarily. Seeing that we can’t just jump each others bones as easily as before, we might actually invest time in people that we can have 3 hour zoom conversations with rather than just coming home from a first date and declaring you’ve met the arm muscles you are going to marry 🙂

And Is This ‘New Normal’ in Dating Going To Be Forever?

Well, thats the million dollar question now is it. While I don’t think it helps to be all doom and gloom about it, the fact is none of us are getting any younger so we might just need to accept that some of these changes (both positive and negative) are here to stay for the near future at least. Of course, if you’ve been a serial dater all your life the pandemic might have just provided the perfect opportunity for a dating hiatus but removing yourself from the market for potentially years at a time won’t do much in terms of helping you find happily ever after but it might lower your chances of getting COVID. So pick your battles. And hope that maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who gets a good story out of this whole episode.

Rinsers, please share your lockdown stories in the comments below. Has lockdown changed the nature of dating and relationships for you? Do you think the changes have been positive?


  1. I can’t speak for others in this pandemic but I am glad I am with someone I love and like and we get along very well. We find humor in this insane time in history and neither of us likes drama so we avoid many of the pitfalls many others are having.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds good. But its good that you’ve found the right person to be in lockdown with.

      There was once this cartoon that said the best place in life to be is in a happy relationship, then happily single (you are just a step way from attracting a good egg) and then unhappily single like a spinster and finally the worst place is to be in an unhappy relationship because you need to muster the strength to leave first. I think this is exacerbated during lockdown!


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