Dating During a Pandemic


COVID-19 has changed the way we communicate and interact with others. This means the way we meet and get to know a potential romantic partner has also changed. This guide is designed to help self-advocates navigate dating during a pandemic.

A woman and man are video chatting. The woman is on her tablet in the daytime and the man is on his laptop at nighttime. They both have hearts around them.How has dating changed during the pandemic?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have taken three different approaches to dating:

    • They have decided to take a break from dating.
    • They are trying virtual matchmaking, like dating apps and websites, for the first time.
    • They are continuing to use dating apps and websites used before the pandemic.

How do I meet someone to date?

There are apps and websites out there to help you meet people with similar interests, find friends, and potential romantic partners. See the “Additional Resources” section below for more information.

Virtual date ideas?

    • Share a meal over video
    • Go on a virtual museum tour
    • Do a craft or art project together
    • Play an online game or puzzle together
    • Watch a movie together-don’t forget the popcorn!
    • Go to your favorite spot to make the call, you can share with your date why the place is special

Meeting in person

    • You or your date may not feel comfortable meeting in person right away. During the pandemic, first, second, and third dates are typically held online.
    • After a few virtual dates, you can discuss COVID-19 protocol with a potential date to see if you feel comfortable meeting them in person.
    • If the person has different COVID-19 safety standards than you, it’s OK if you don’t feel safe meeting them in person.
      • You can say something like: “You’re great, but I think we have two different ways of dealing with COVID-19. I’d feel better if we didn’t meet until things are safer. I
        understand if you are not able to wait that long and would like to see other people.”
    • If you want to meet in person, but your date does not, be respectful of their decision and do not pressure them into meeting.
    • If you both agree to meet in person, it may be a good idea to get tested for COVID-19.
    • You may be unable to get a test because you’re not showing symptoms or it’s too expensive. If that’s the case, you can still go on a date, but remember to:
      • Wear a mask.
      • Wash your hands frequently.
      • Try to do an activity outside and away from other people.

Additional Resources:

Dating Resources for Individuals with Autism, including: Tips for a Successful Date, How to Ask Someone on a Date, and Online Dating.

Online Safety Social Story

Romance 101: Dating for Adults with Autism

Cyber Safety: Having Fun and Staying Safe Online

How to Find Someone to Date

Social Skills Resources for Individuals with Autism

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.