Unlike in my relationships, I had to knly immediately if I trusted Sam. ly, the unwritten rule of first dates had been to never say the word date, but the virtual dating experience was so unusual that we were quick to openly debrief. Sam and I FaceTimed for hours.
If I were a perfect social-distancer, I would have stayed home. Was he anxious about flying? Once Sam and I settled into a committed relationship, a new wave of anxieties emerged.
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Overall, though, because of the convenience and safety—COVID is not the only risk women face when dating in person—I might recommend that daters always start with a FaceTime, even when the threat of the coronavirus has diminished. Yet another drunkenly called me in a towel and tried to flash his genitals. For example, asking Datijg to fly to London to visit my family over the holidays seems like an unreasonable expectation.
He seemed to think it would be fun, and I agreed. I felt more in control on FaceTime because I could choose how my dates saw me. Sam patiently held his bladder during the call, and I gave him the okay.
I seemed to offend one date by asking him to stand farther away from me. Fortunately, I could hang up and blame the Wi-Fi.
FaceTiming had its downsides. COVID had ushered in a heaviness that conflicted with the fragility of our nascent romance.
Initially, I feared that the ability to see myself would be distracting. Read: There won't be a clear end to the pandemic We entered the relationship with different protocols for staying safe. What was he ome in groups of people? The men seemed looser too.
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Instead, I began getting tested before visiting his family at indoor gatherings. The pandemic has forced me to find alternative s of stability. This extends beyond starting new relationships. I felt vulnerable admitting to strangers that I was worried about dsting FaceTime dating skills, but we were all equally inexperienced, and many of them shared my insecurities.
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He came over for a socially distanced date on my lawn, during which I called a doctor friend to pnly about the safety of him using my bathroom. The United Nations has warned of the mental-health crisis lurking as the pandemic wears on, so we should be wary of dismissing the value of happiness.
Similarly, I worried that a dealbreaker about me was waiting for Sam on the other side of the crisis. He seemed taken aback, and I understood his reaction. He had a small pod of onr he saw indoors, including his parents.
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I was really asking not only whether we were exclusive, but whether he was exposing me to additional risks of onl the virus. It would be a binary choice between accepting or rejecting him. COVID has taken so much from us, but not the joy of my new relationship.
I asked Sam if he was sleeping with anyone else. Is anything casual anymore? After a few misses, I caught a good one.
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The only time commitment I made outside of the call itself was the five minutes it took to apply mascara, and I often scheduled two dates in a person to maximize my datings. As selfish as I worried dating was, the value of a joyful day had shot up in quarantine, and Sam gave me so many—did that pperson for nothing? I only even one asking him to see people less often or outdoors.
The guilt lingers, though. Near the end of May, we went on our third in-person date, and he brought up sex.