We’re a nation isolated by illness, and we can’t deny it’s taken a toll on our mental health. One of the largest reported issues? Individuals feeling lonely, estranged, and depressed. That being said, don’t forget to check in on your friends whose love languages are time spent and physical touch (hi, it me!). But seriously, humans are not built for complete seclusion. We are made to mate, interact, and feel states of deep connection. If you’re single right now, you may be feeling like your social life took a hit due to COVID. And that’s because it did. We don’t have concrete direction on a lot of things regarding the pandemic, and we have questions. Will we ever receive a stimulus check again? Will we ever receive stimulation again? When is it safe to start having sex again?
When our go-to haunts started reopening their doors, there was a moment of optimism. However, we may have gotten a little over-zealous. Before you start booking an evening IRL with your quarantine-sweetheart, it’s important to take the numbers and safety measures into consideration first. While you may be craving normalcy, the time might not be right just yet.
When deciding whether or not it’s time to hang with a new potential partner, it’s smart to study the number of COVID cases in your area. If your city is seeing an uptick in cases, it’s best to put off the romance for a little longer. If you’re in an area that has successfully seen a flattening of the curve, it’s at your discretion. No matter what, we still suggest following mask-wearing and hand-washing guidelines.
Just like consent for physical acts, it’s important to seek consent for hanging out based on where both parties have been spending their time. Before pulling the trigger, make sure you’re both being transparent about how seriously you’ve been taking the precautions. Are one or both of you back at work and interacting with many people, or living with individuals who may be high-risk? Is your crush anti-mask (yes, that counts as a red flag)? Set your non-negotiables for hanging out and make sure you’re both considering those boundaries. It’s not just about respecting each other, but also all the other individuals you may come in contact with post-romp.
“Will we ever receive a stimulus check again? Will we ever receive stimulation again?”
There Will Be A Test
Like an STI check, it’s fair to ask that your potential partner gets tested for COVID before you cuddle up close. We cannot stress enough the importance of both parties being on the same page and having clear communication regarding testing expectations. It may feel a little clinical approaching intimacy with a cautionary prelude, but these are the times we’re living in!
Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
So maybe it’s not your time to get back on that proverbial horse yet, and that’s okay. If you’re still feeling lonely, we do suggest you seek connection in other safe, healthy forms. For our own happiness, it’s important that we are still creating moments to experience intimacy, closeness, pleasure, and joy — it may just mean getting a little more innovative. In the meantime, we have some ways to make the most of quarantine dating, as well as a guide for experiencing pleasure while in isolation. And if the one you’ve had your eye on is pressuring you to get physical before you’re ready, they weren’t the one for you to begin with.