By @GeorgeArkley 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Dating in a pandemic is a bit like being the love-struck heroine of a Jane Austen novel. You must be six feet away from your love at all times; a country walk is the height of intimacy; and if you do give into your desires, you will be shunned from society.

Fortunately, the twenty-first century Mr Darcy is well versed in erotic sexting and selfies, instead of Shakespearian poetry. I know which one I prefer.

As lockdown 2.0 comes to an end, it is time we launched a new era of dating: Coving Season. That time of year where we find a partner to settle down with for the colder months, dreaded family festivities and the prospect of yet another, national lockdown.

It’s time to get swiping ladies, we are already behind schedule.

20th – 27th November: The Scouting Phase

Scouting is all about quantity over quality. Swipe for anyone who is remotely good-looking or funny. You never know when a reverse-catfish is lurking under a terrible profile.

Applications for coving partners are taking Twitter by storm, and oh my, these boys are desperate. Then again, aren’t we all at this point?

While you are indulging in your latest Netflix binge, do yourself (and your libido) a favour by downloading Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. The holy grail of dating apps. Next, refresh your profile. Include at least one seductive selfie, group pic with the girls and a few travelling photos for some flavour. As for the bio, anything that is faintly humorous or suggestive will do. After all, we are in a bit of a rush.

And ladies, the pandemic may have forced us back into the eighteenth-century dating scene, but even Austen was an early feminist. Fight the patriarchy and send that first text.

28th November – 4th December: Draft your Shortlist

It’s been a painful week of the same Tinder conversation over and over. You have over 200 matches and most of them have the same haircut, pick-up lines and nasty sexting vocabulary. When will they learn that “u up?” is not an acceptable opening line?

It’s time to narrow down those matches to a shortlist. Choose three qualities that are important to you and check off the matches with those traits. Remember, you’re not getting married to them (just yet.) It’s not that deep, just pick the ones with good chat and move on.

Lockdown is just about over, and you need to start booking in a few socially distanced zoom dates.

4th – 15th December: Dating Try-Outs

Hopefully, by this point in your dating journey you have found a few fitties, who don’t entirely repulse you. Schedule in a zoom date, or socially distanced walk, with them for the upcoming week. It doesn’t have to be grand and romantic – you just need to get a feel for their personality. If there’s a spark on date number one – Bingo!

If not, you have at least three more booked in for later in the week. Remember, quantity over quality.

16th – 31st December – The Home Run

One of the few perks of a pandemic is that Christmas party season is cancelled. You have escaped the feared question, “so are you still single?”, from every family member. Yes, Margret I am still single and no, I am not ready to mingle.

That is, unless, one of your zoom dates turned out to be the man of your dreams. Congratulations you have officially landed a coving partner! He can join your family Christmas zoom quiz and perhaps, even give you a cheeky snog on NYE. Pandemic rules permitting of course.

1st January – onwards: Championship Games

You survived the festive season with your coving partner. But the question remains – are you exclusive and if not, do you want to be?

Is it time to progress your coving partner to a fully-fledged boyfriend?

RELATED: Pandating, mask-fishing and quaranteams: A definitive guide to dating in a pandemic

Nothing screams romance like the stench of hand sanitiser and Boris Johnson droning on in the background of your Zoom date. Then again, ‘date’ seems like a strong word for a buffering video call with a stranger in joggers and a nice top. In fact, many of the usual dating terms don’t quite fit these #unprecentedtimes... to read more click HERE 

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