Navigate Dating Post COVID-19
Dating was hard enough three years ago, but it’s even more difficult now that we’ve gone through quarantine, isolation, and a global pandemic. Like many of you, I feel the itch to socialize like never before. But understandably some people may not know where to start. especially in an area like Rexburg, where dating culture is its own jumble of strange rules and expectations. If you’re new to college, or you just haven’t been dating for a while, you may need a refresher course. You’re in luck, here are some instructions on how to navigate dating in Rexburg. As well as some suggestions for first dates.
Most people I’ve met already know the benefits of “hanging out”. You ask someone to hang out and suddenly there is no pressure. Sure it’s like a date, but if you’re too nervous to call it that you can just say you’re hanging out. Here’s the issue with that, it can lead to a lot of confusion and uncertainty. Which will eventually stress you out. The idea was to reduce your stress. But now how do you know if they like you? Are you more than friends or not? Now you’ll end up having to DTR (define the relationship) abruptly and without context, which will be more awkward in the long run.
So avoid the stress. You’re an adult, so be direct and ask a person out on a date. It can be something simple, like a group date or a movie. But define the activity as a date. When you ask them out, don’t worry about them saying no. Avoid thinking about it all together. Visualize success and you’ll be much more confident when you do ask.
Make it Easier on Yourself
Planning a date can be a nightmare. You know you want to spend time with a person, but are you confident that you can hold a two hour conversation on a first date? If not, then you should try group dates. First off, these take a bulk of the conversation away from you. Now you don’t have to carry it alone. Second, you’ll be much more relaxed in a group. If you have a friend or two with you, you’ll naturally be comfortable and fun to be around. And when you’re fun to be around, your date will enjoy their time more.
A good trick for group dates, bring a friend who you can joke around with. If you have a bro or a girlfriend who playfully makes fun of you, that’s the person you want to double with. Too many people worry about looking cool or confident on the first date. Letting yourself be made fun of a bit will make you look comfortable and confident. The best version of yourself is the version you show to your friends, that’s the person you want your date to see. Plus your date might even take part in the playful teasing, which is always good.
Avoid Big Gestures
Most people have seen at least one Rom-Com in their life. At the end of these there is always some sort of big gesture that people make to show how they feel and stuff. Well, in real life, these can be a little creepy. Do those things and you’ll scare them off. So throw away your Hallmark subscription and be yourself. You’re in college, not Hollywood. In real life it’s the little things that count. On your dates look for opportunities to laugh, say something nice, and be yourself. If you’re a nice guy or girl and you have things in common, odds are they’ll have a good time.
Respecting The Date
This can mean a variety of things, but for our purposes it refers to kissing. I’ve met people who have a rule of never kissing on the first date. Which is great, but you do you. The “NCMO” culture runs deep in a place like Rexburg. However, if you’re serious about dating you’ll have other goals, values, and priorities. Whether you choose to hold off on kissing on the first date or not, you feel out the situation and so long as it’s consensual go for it. Holding off on kissing can be a great way to show your date respect and show them that you truly enjoy their company and have no underlying agenda. That being said, there may be a lot of chemistry and it can be a great way to connect physically.
Well, now’s the time for some clear and honest communication. Define your relationship. Don’t make this formal, but ask if you can talk. A great way to start is by outlining how you’re feeling. Then ask them about their feelings. Be honest about what you’re looking for and see if they reciprocate. They may not be looking for a relationship, but if you are then there are some clear indications that you should see other people. If you both feel the same then talk about what that means. Try not to rush things. Even if you do start a relationship, you should both be clear that there is no rush. Just try to take things as they go. If things change, DTR again.
Some Great First Date Ideas
I always suggest a group date for a first date. Try to keep the first date casual, and avoid doing anything overly romantic. You’ll want to avoid movies or anything that limits the time you can talk. So here are some activities you should try.
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Trick Shot Mini-Golf
- Splatter Lab
- Game Night
- Thrift Shopping
- Photo Scavenger Hunt
Read one of our most popular past articles for 99 more date ideas.