University of New Hampshire (UNH) students are navigating dating on and off campus during the coronavirus (COVID-19).
COVID-19 has disrupted UNH students’ social lives and made dating a difficult task. Some students have stopped going on dates altogether, while others have tried meeting people on dating apps like Tinder or Bumble.
According to a study called “For Love or For Hookups? How Are People Using Dating Apps?” conducted by ABODO, 3,500 out of 5,000 college students said they used dating apps. Most used dating apps for students are Tinder and Bumble, with 84.4% of college students using Tinder and 17.3% using Bumble.
UNH student, Brooklyn Zielie, said her experience dating during the pandemic has been limited and mainly virtual.
“I did do some [dating in person] within an existing friend group that limited my exposure and with a couple guys at UNH who I knew were testing regularly,” said Zielie.
Dating apps allow students to meet each other online without the risk of spreading COVID-19. However, this leaves students to question how safe it is to eventually meet in person.
Zielie said the pandemic has made meeting someone from online in a public setting all the more difficult.
“This makes me more worried about creepy guys using the pandemic as a way to get myself or other young girls alone,” said Zielie.
While many students find dates online, others have had luck meeting people in person.
UNH student, Allison Fischer, met her boyfriend in person during COVID-19 but used dating apps in the past.
“I met my boyfriend during the pandemic, but it was just a coincidence that he was my neighbor. I think dating is really hard right now especially since everyone is treating the pandemic so differently,” said Fischer.
She said she used to feel safe meeting a few people in person, but her feelings have changed since positive cases on campus started rising.
“I feel like I need to pay closer attention to who my boyfriend is hanging out with. Since Thanksgiving break is coming up, I really have to be cautious before seeing my dad which has been pretty stressful and challenging to manage,” said Fischer.
UNH student, Mac McCoy, said he has a few concerns about dating on campus during COVID-19 and tries to keep his circle small.
“The more people interact with each other the more COVID is going to spread. I know some people go on a lot of dates which is just more chances of it spreading. At the same time, it seems most people on our campus seem to be very careful and wear masks which is most reassuring nowadays,” said McCoy.
Melissa Cushing, director of transfusion medicine and vice chair of laboratory medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine, told Scientific American about how to date during COVID-19 in an article titled, “Dating During the Pandemic: Can you Trust an ‘Antibody Positive’ Claim?”
“‘My advice would be to take time to get to know someone before you meet in person.’” said Cushing.
She said it’s important to understand the risks your potential date takes in their everyday life.
“Their risks will become your risks. (Not wearing a mask or avoiding large gatherings, etc.) You should be comfortable with how they are handling COVID. A single laboratory test result will be much less important than everyday behaviors.” said Cushing.
UNH students have found dating during a pandemic to be difficult and jeopardizing, but not impossible. For more information on how to stay safe during COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Photo Courtesy of ADOBO