The dating game has always been a bit of an enigma. But recently, less and less is getting left to chance.
Thanks to the rise of dating apps, we can – theoretically – find our perfect match (or matches) by adjusting our preferences according to age, height, political preference, whether or not they have children, whether or not they drink alcohol, and countless more specifications. And once we've successfully thinned the herd, we make an arbitrary decision – to swipe left or right on someone – based on their appearance.
Yep, we're a fussy bunch. And it only gets trickier from here, as securing the date is actually the easy part. We're now faced with a host of social dilemmas within the dating landscape, such as is it too cringe to make it Facebook official? Or perhaps you'd prefer a soft-launch, gently alerting your followers to the fact you're loved-up by posting a selfie of you grinning like a Cheshire cat while you lean on a mystery partner’s shoulder.
Oh and thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, there's now an abundance of unspoken expectations regarding social distancing etiquette, self-isolating, and anti-vaxx rhetoric. The dating app Bumble has even introduced measures to help people communicate their preferences about dating during the pandemic.
Bumble users can indicate whether they want to date outdoors or are open to indoor settings, and if they're comfortable in crowded places – as well as communicating their expectations around masks and social distancing. There's also an option to add an “I’m Vaccinated” badge, enabling people to let potential matches know their vaccination status right on their profile.
However, if you're not vaccinated or not taking Covid-19 seriously enough, you may find yourself being 'Fauci'd', which – according to Urban Dictionary – means "To end a romantic relationship based on one's view of social distancing, vaccination views, or other opinions based on the COVID-19 pandemic."
The term originates from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States and the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. Following the onset of the pandemic, one of his main recommendations was for people to stay at least six feet apart.
As well as helping to reduce the transmission of Covid-19, singles everywhere took it one step further and applied it to their dating lives. Let's face it, we all have a friend (or a friend of a friend) who has experienced this phenomenon.
Phoebe*, a writer from London, told GLAMOUR, “My friend dumped the girl he was dating because her astrologist told her not to get the vaccine,” while Melissa*, a journalist living in London, found herself on the receiving end of fauci-ing, saying, "My friends and I did something pretty bad to do with breaking [Covid-19] rules. I told one guy and he seemed to like it in a 'you're such a fun naughty rule-breaker kind of way'.
"So then I told another guy on only the second time we'd met (and second time I stayed at his place) and he seemed shocked and was like 'that's so f*cked up'. I felt like he was judging me morally and then had me down as shallow and selfish, which is not the effect I'd intended to have. We texted for a bit after but then he ghosted me."
Taly Matiteyahu, who co-founded Blink Date, points out that "the pandemic [has] shifted the stage at which people raise important lifestyle questions to a much earlier point in the relationship."
So while it might feel irritating to have yet another factor to consider while dating, it's probably best to make sure you're on the same wavelength about this stuff before you start planning the wedding.
*Names have been changed.
This article originally appeared on Glamour UK.
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