“This is a great time to be on the apps, and to do virtual dates,” said matchmaker Emma Vernon.
For singles hoping to find a cuffing partner ahead of a second coronavirus wave, Vernon suggests seeking non-traditional avenues to connect, such as in the comments section of a TikTok video or through her “Singles of the Week” Instagram posts.
Here, she gives her tips to safely lock down a boo ahead of the frost.
1. Discuss your COVID risk tolerance
“You should know your own COVID status and that of the person you’re going out with,” said Vernon, who stresses being up-front about your risk tolerance. “Make sure you feel empowered to leave if the other person isn’t following the boundaries you agreed to,” such as leaning in for a kiss when you agreed to keep 6 feet of distance.
2. Write down your non-negotiables
Before you start mindlessly swiping, do some reflection. “If you know what you want, it’s easier for you to spot someone who doesn’t check those boxes,” Vernon said. Although she encourages singles to stay open-minded, she said making a list of ideal traits in a significant other helps to narrow the pool.
3. Pay attention to bad dates
“Reclaim how you see people who aren’t right for you,” said Vernon, who encourages singles to not think of flings that don’t last as wasted time. “Look at it as a learning experience” that will help you find the right person on your hunt for a cuff. “You can think, ‘What made me want to go on a third or fourth date with this person, but not a fifth or sixth one?’ ”
4. Use the 9-3-1 rule
Vernon advises singles to take advantage of the final weeks of warm weather by using the “9-3-1 rule.”
“Set up nine virtual dates, or over the phone, whichever you feel comfortable with,” said Vernon. “Of those nine, try and go on a second date — maybe something in-person but socially distanced — with three of them. Then from there, hopefully you can choose one person.” Think of it as a self-produced season of “The Bachelor.”
5. Be intentional in your dating app bio
“If you’re looking to be in a relationship this fall or winter, you have to make it known,” said Vernon. Still, she advises against intense pickup lines — “Don’t say, ‘I’m looking for a monogamous, serious partner,’” — and instead suggests playful ones that make a point. “Maybe say something like, ‘Looking for someone to carve pumpkins with me and who will lend me their sweatshirt when we watch movies.’”