Should We Cancel Our Hinge Dates—Or Prepare For Coronavirus Cuffing Season?

Should We Cancel Our Hinge Dates—Or Prepare For Coronavirus Cuffing Season?
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I’m a huge fan of cancelling plans, and I’ve been known to use some pretty far-fetched excuses to get out of Hinge dates in the past. But as far as coronavirus dating app safety goes (insert Carrie Bradshaw musing voice) I couldn’t help but wonder: Is fear of sickness a good enough reason to break a date? The short answer is yes, probably. I mean, I’ve literally cancelled a date last-minute because it looked like it was going to rain—extra, I know, but can you blame me? Haven’t we all been there a time or two, making plans in the moment and dreading them as they grow nearer? Do you really want to meet up with a complete stranger who may or may not look like his or her profile and who might have flu-like symptoms? I’m leaning towards a no. Too risky!

That said, I rarely follow my own advice, and I actually have been on a date or two in the past week. Granted, these dates went south for other, non-health-related reasons, but coronavirus really did add an extra layer of “Oh my gosh, please don’t try to kiss me when we say goodbye.” Luckily, I managed to get away with just a peck on the cheek (Can I spray hand sanitizer directly onto my face? Asking for myself). Still, I almost wish I’d coughed a little more during drinks to avoid the awkward moment entirely.

But enough about me: Should you cancel your dates? Again, I’d argue yes. The trademark awkward hug that starts literally every we-met-on-an-app date definitely goes against the CDC’s warnings about shaking hands and unnecessary touching. Tinder even sent out an alert to its users to “maintain social distance” to stay safe and healthy. At this point, I might as well change my go-to dating app opening line to “Hey, so when’s the last time you washed your hands?” A sexy start to any budding relationship, if I do say so myself.

You can date absolutely no one and stay home, binge-watching Love Is Blind and spooning your hand sanitizer, or pick one person and quarantine yourselves together until #coronaszn reaches its end.

However, if you’re easily swayed by the prospect of a free happy hour and you do manage to force yourself on a date (at which you greet your partner with a doctor-approved, coronavirus-friendly elbow tap), it might be a good idea to really give him or her a chance—like, if you’ve already made the effort of getting to the date, consider staying for more than one drink. In fact, with the whole world freaking out over the potential risk of disease, there’s pretty much only two options for how to proceed. You can date absolutely no one and stay home, binge-watching Love Is Blind and spooning your hand sanitizer, or pick one person and quarantine yourselves together until #coronaszn reaches its end.

I’m calling it now! There’s about to be a new cuffing season on the horizon: Corona Cuffing™. The slogan? With so many unwashed hands out there, it’s time to find a clean one to hold. Although I’m still a little reluctant myself (I mean, I’ve cancelled three upcoming dates so far), even I can see the upside of finding someone to face the next few weeks (or longer!) with. After all, you share everything with your life partner, germs included, so finding someone who’s especially hygienic should be a huge turn-on. Plus, being forced into quarantine with someone you know and love—or can at least tolerate—for approximately two weeks is essentially your first staycation as a couple. Things are getting serious for you two! Should you choose to stick to your scheduled dates, remember this: The couple that quarantines together, stays together.

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