One year after the University was forced into quarantine, many aspects of students’ lives have experienced dramatic changes—including dating.
Kayla Fonseca, a freshman journalism major, said the coronavirus has created challenges in meeting new people because of fears about catching the virus as well as the reduced density of the campus this year.
“People are more apprehensive to come up to you and start a conversation, whether to date or to be friends, because of the risk of getting infected,” Fonseca said.
Bushra Choudhury, a sophomore IT management and finance double major, said that as an extrovert, navigating the dating world has been a challenge in a remote setting.
“I need to have the in-person element of things in order to feel a sense of normalcy, but I know for some people it’s been easier,” Choudhury said. “It really helps out people who are a bit more introverted because when you have social anxiety, and a fear of being in-person, being in a pandemic eliminates that.”
Choudhury said dating apps that allow people to meet potential love interests virtually have become more normalized because “right now, you can’t have that perfect meet-cute story.”
James Bassil, a senior political science and journalism major, said that along with downloading Tinder, the pandemic led him to sign up for LoveBoat SHU, the Seton Hall-centered matchmaking service created by students. However, Bassil said he and his matches “never really clicked.”
Bassil said it has become more difficult to meet people and create long-lasting relationships.
“I made a lot of new friends in the semester before COVID-19, and while we’re still close, now it feels like we missed out on a lot of time to chill at school together that we’ll never get back," Bassil said.
Nicole Gizzi, a sophomore IT management and finance double major, said she has been on a few dates since the start of the pandemic.
“Anyone I’ve hung out with, we’ve done it safely,” Gizzi said. “There’s just a different type of experience you get and appreciate when doing things in person that you don’t get when online.”
Gizzi said that despite the circumstances, she has managed to enjoy herself.
“As long as you put in the effort to make things work or happen, there’s a chance things will seem almost normal,” Gizzi said.
Annabella Robb, a junior graphic design major, said she and her boyfriend have been finding ways to safely date.
“I love going on walks, so we will usually order coffee through contactless pickup, and then go on a long walk or hike,” Robb said. “It’s a really nice way to bond, disconnect from your phone, and an overall safe activity for the pandemic.”
Robb said that quarantine has encouraged her and her boyfriend to experiment with their cooking skills. Robb added that dining at home has become one of their “favorite pandemic dates.”
“He makes me amazing vegetarian meals, and we always try to cook the other person’s favorites,” Robb said. “We actually saved a lot of money and found out we can both cook really well.”
Nonetheless, Robb said there are aspects of pre-pandemic life that she misses.
“I miss spending holidays together,” Robb said. “I really cherish Christmas, so I felt pretty bummed we couldn’t do our usual traditions together.”
Fonseca said that despite the cons of the pandemic, it is always a conversation starter during dates.
“It’s a shared experience because you both went through it,” she said.
Peyton Hruska can be reached at email@example.com.