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Online dating isn't back to 'normal' just yet

by Erika Ettin | Online Dating | April 22, 2021 at 12:36 a.m. | Updated April 22, 2021 at 12:37 a.m.

After an entire year of masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing, many singles are more than ready to jump back into in-person dating. But not everyone is as eager to move from messaging to face-to-face just yet.

Millions of Americans are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine each day, and with each shot comes hope for a return to "normal" in the near future. But just like it was during the height of the pandemic, people have different levels of comfort when it comes to meeting - let's call it what it is - essentially a stranger. While some are open to outdoor dining or a walk in the park, others don't want to move past video chats and phone calls at the moment - and that's completely their prerogative.

Take an online dating client who was recently shamed for not wanting to meet until he was fully vaccinated. In a message to a woman he was chatting with, he asked if she wanted to set up a phone call and mentioned that he was getting his first COVID-19 vaccine this week.

"What does the shot have to do with anything?" the woman responded. "Are you saying you wouldn't meet up until fully vaccinated?"

Not only is the woman quite rude, she's completely attacking him. If he doesn't want to meet until two weeks after his second Moderna or Pfizer shot, which is when the CDC says a person is fully vaccinated, that's completely logical. Even though you're willing to meet up before being fully vaccinated doesn't mean others are just as comfortable with that risk.

If you're not willing to meet in person until you're fully vaccinated, that's absolutely fair. Or if you opt to meet in person before being vaccinated, that's up to you - as long as both parties are aware and at ease.

Many online daters have chosen to add their vaccination status to their profiles - and why not? Getting your shot should be worn as a badge of honor.

Not only does adding that you've gotten the vaccine to your bio show you've done your part to stop the spread (and therefore, have a worry-free date!), but you can also give a little glimpse of your personality while you're at it. And if you feel like you're bragging a little, that's perfectly OK too.

The lesson here is one that can be learned whether in the middle of a worldwide pandemic or not: Be respectful of others. Don't make them feel guilty or ashamed for doing what they've decided to do for themselves. If it doesn't match up with your personal beliefs - and you feel it's a deal breaker - it's your responsibility to kindly move on.

Tribune News Service


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