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Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 04:08 pm

If you were single and not so lonely before the pandemic, weeks of a hard lockdown and months of social distancing have probably been enough to get you to mingle. But how?

Dating during a pandemic has given sending nudes a whole new meaning. There are is a whole new list of first times all with an element of danger not only for you but everyone you come into contact with.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon dating, date night, and romance are looking very different this year.
Forget sex, how are South African singles practicing safe dating?

READ MORE: Plan a safe and romantic valentines date at home + recipes

We’re waiting on the first kiss

Seeing a new person (anyone you met after March 26th, 2020) without their mask and being up close and personal is a big deal these days. Even sitting across a table and having a meal with someone is a risk, a bigger risk than normal.

Kissing is out of the question for many people with comorbidities. The risk of a first kiss is massive.

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“I wasn’t exactly single when we went into lockdown. I started dating my then-girlfriend in December. Her being a nurse was a plus until the pandemic hit. I live with my mother, she’s a pensioner and diabetic, there is no way I could see my girlfriend who is on the frontline every day and expose my mother,” says a male reader in his 20s.
” I wasn’t able to support my ex the way she needed then so I wasn’t surprised when she broke up with me. I’ve been single and not so ready to mingle since then. The thought of sharing a kiss with a woman at the end of a date and landing my mother in ICU is insane!” he adds.

4 Date night outfits under R500

 

Is online dating an option?

” I’ve been on Tinder for a while now, swiping dating and meeting people. For the first month or so of the lockdown, I didn’t even consider starting a conversation, it would be online indefinitely…” said one reader.
While popular before lockdown, some readers say they did not see the point of e-meeting people they couldn’t make plans to physically meet soon.
“After a while, living alone and trying to do the responsible thing and staying home I got lonely and went online to chat… nothing stuck because I just wasn’t willing to meet up with anyone,” she said.
Although being digital pen pals can be hard at the beginning of the relationship there is hope for people who have been temporarily separated.

 

Here’s to the sext

Safe sex has been reinvented by the pandemic. It isn’t just about sexually transmitted illnesses. COVID-19 can also be transmitted during sex.
Separated by distance during the pandemic, one reader’s relationship went from random lunch dates and spontaneous visits to long-distance.
” I lost my job because of the pandemic and had to move back home, from Johannesburg to Durban a considerable drive away from my girlfriend of 3years,” he says.
During long phone conversations, texting, and of course some steamy sexts, the couple has rediscovered each other found a way to keep the romance alive.
“There are definitely things about her that I have learned, that I might not have learned otherwise. I miss her, which is probably why we are talking so much which she loves,” he says.

Love is in the air! Fly from R354 with kulula.com this Valentine’s Day

 

How to have a safe Valentine’s date?

A romantic Valentine’s date can be tricky. Although getting a clean COVID-19 test before every kiss is unlikely, but taking precautions can keep things safer.
Knowing each other’s habits and the precautions you both take is important to determine your risk.
It is also advisable to check the infection rate in both your areas of work and home to estimate how likely you are to be unknowingly infected.
If either of you thinks you could be infected, it would be best to keep the romance online.

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