DATING IN LOCKDOWN IN THE MELBOURNE’S WEST

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By Angela Watters

Dating in a world of couples can prove difficult at the best of times but throw in a pandemic, curfew, 5km movement radius, no venues opened and a lockdown of almost a year – all the dating handicaps are to the next extreme. And let’s face it – its unlikely that you were fortunate enough to meet someone in the ‘real world’ during the slight ease of restrictions over winter but now is the time westside singles to cast out the nets and start planning some meet ups.

Internet dating is the easiest way to go – as I know there are only so many times I can bat my eyelash’s from a distance and give our my number at the local pizza shop (why I now can’t go to Slice Shop – hey it was lockdown 2)!

With the roadmap released it’s now time to start getting out there amongst the other local singles (within 10km of course) and line up some later dates (everyone else further than 10kms) for after November 5th – our calendars are wide open! In preparation here are some simple ideas for getting back out in the dating world.

Dating Outfits 

It’s Spring time in Melbourne which really just means bipolar weather so skirts or dresses might be an occupational hazard. As the dates consist of either walking or sitting – sporty chic is your go to. And while brand new shoes might make you look cool you don’t know what ground conditions you may encounter. Make sure you have a good jumper or jacket that can easily be carried in case of –

  1. Walking up unexpected hills and sweating which may lead to some much more sweating wearing a mask.
  2. A change of weather
  3. You have fun and want to chat for longer without standing there shivering and then actually catching a cold that you then need to self isolate for to confirm it is actually a cold and not Covid – see the reason for a coat/jumper!

Personal Hygiene

You have spent a lot of time at home alone or with housemates or family. Are you really ready for public? Eyebrows? Breath? Brushed your hair? The ‘home’ look needs to be carefully tamed but don’t over the top with your look (I know its exciting to go out and see someone new but it’s not a nightclub).

Tip – Brush your hair. I went on a date without doing that when I was hungover and my date (who was WAY cooler than I thought he would be) commented on how messy it was! I figured low expectations mean he would be knocked out on the second date, but you do need to get to the second date!

Walks

The most perfect date ever!!! You can escape, have a time limit, you can’t touch and you can’t see their face. Basically, you get in there, get a vide and get out of there! Don’t walk too close to home. And don’t date in your actual suburb or be prepared to be boxed in your street unable to walk different parts of your area – (this was an issue for a friend of mine when she went on a couple of dates with her neighbour up the road).

Tip – Don’t meet at your usual coffee shop. No need to give away your usual haunts if your date isn’t ‘the one’ or the ‘one for the next few weeks’. And read the weather – if you are a bit unsure of your date, pick a time when there is a pending an upcoming shower within the next hour so you can use the rain to run!

Picnics

What a romantic start! Imagine getting to tell all of your bored married friends that your first date was a romantic picnic! BUT what if it goes wrong? Then you are just sitting on the ground eating some type of food with a complete stranger. And the elements don’t help either! What about the terrain? What about the sitting – staring at a view or each other. And what happens when your leg falls asleep or your lower back gives out. Approach with Caution – third date only!

Tip – Make sure you have an exit plan. If you are sitting, a friend recommends being on a hill so if it’s bad you can wrap yourself in a picnic blanket and roll away – human burrito style! At least the story will get you on Bad Dates of Melbourne!

Masks

Well, it does leave a lot to the imagination. But what’s under that mask does matter when it comes to being romantic so its important to know -What is under there? What about their teeth, breath, weird tastes – Danger! Just make sure you see their face before you go in for the pash – they might be hurt if you turn away right before the kiss is due to a missing front tooth.

Tip – Meet for a coffee so you can see their face and also if they use a keep cup (it says a lot).

Vaccination Status

Might be an idea to find this out before you meet. Sometimes it can lead to strong views which may or may not work for your future romance. Sentence starters before you meet like – how do you feel about those protests? Where did you get your Covd shot? Are you on Telegram? These will help you find your people.

Tip – An Anti Vaxer may also lead to other conspiracy theories so if that’s your jam you need to find an equal who also wants to spend their weekends going down YouTube rabbit holes with you on their mothers couch – again happened to a friend of mine! Some are even cute bass players in bands.

Chickening Out

Have you lost your nerve? It does happen and sometimes you are just not feeling it. Don’t fear just postpone until you feel better or let them know you change your mind. You are in a pandemic! This means that any slight sniffle, sore throat or feeling off illuminates you from going anyway for 12 – 48 hours – no notice needed. After that you can reassess what you want to do. And if they still check in to see you are ok, they seem like a good person.

Tip – Don’t miss the boat. I did once when I was actually sick and the week went by and we missed our chance due to lockdown and after the additional 12 weeks that followed my date had faded out!

 

No matter what your usual way to meet people. There are heaps online now who might otherwise be leading their busy fabulous lives so it’s a great time while we all have the time to get to know some new people! And from experience the best ones sometimes doesn’t even get any Tinder matches which might be more to do with their marketing than their personalities! Good luck!

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