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Dating In The Time Of Social Distancing


If you're following the guidelines for social distancing, how are you supposed to go on a date? Some users of online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble and Hinge are making that work.


Yeah. Stephanie Kendrick (ph) is from D.C. She's 32 years old. And she'd been off of dating for a while, but she decided to start again. And then coronavirus got really bad.

STEPHANIE KENDRICK: So I was like, wow, thanks, world. You're not going to get me down. I'm going to still do this.

INSKEEP: Yeah. Kendrick matched up with somebody on Hinge and decided to meet him face-to-face or, rather, FaceTime-to-FaceTime.

KENDRICK: I brought it up, and he was like, yeah. There was an acknowledgment that that's a weird thing to do, but we'll go with it.

INSKEEP: Kendrick says the FaceTime date on an iPhone lasted 3 1/2 hours.

KING: And she says she actually felt less nervous than she normally is on a first date because she didn't have to get all dressed up.

KENDRICK: In my, like, sweats, unwashed hair and didn't put on any makeup - and I felt very comfortable with myself (laughter).

KING: A lot of dating apps are now encouraging people to do this - to do video chat instead of meeting up in person.

INSKEEP: Andrew Strofford (ph) is a 30-year-old grad student at Colorado State University who also had a successful first date via Google Hangouts.

ANDREW STROFFORD: It's very similar to just meeting up with someone for coffee. It's a little nerve-wracking at first. But then, yeah, you just start talking, and you can ease right into it. You crack a joke here and there, and if they actually laugh, it just makes you feel really good.

KING: Strofford says he knows people who are afraid to date right now, but he thinks they should think about it this way.

STROFFORD: When you can tell that there's something there - when you can tell that there's the spark and you're just kind of blaming coronavirus for not being able to meet up with them, why not just go for it?

INSKEEP: Cupid's arrow, even the algorithm-assisted digital version in a scary world, can find its mark.

(SOUNDBITE OF WMD'S "MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.