Looking for love has gotten even more complicated in the age of COVID-19

online dating
Online dating illustration Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Dating is stressful enough, but throw a global pandemic on top of it and it feels nearly impossible.

With restrictions on in-person interactions, more singles have been turning to online dating to meet potential partners.

“A lot of people are using dating apps, or there are also some Zoom opportunities,” Chicago matchmaker Stef Safran of Stef and the City said Friday.

Dating has proven to be especially difficult for single parents juggling their own careers, a social life and now online learning.

“People who have kids are in an entirely different situation than people who don’t have kids, because if you have young kids, you are dealing with a lot of help with online school and being their teacher,” Safran said. “If you have kids who are in junior high or high school, you have to be a role model for them. So, if they can’t have play dates, you can’t really have play dates.”

It’s also created a stigma surrounding healthcare workers.

“If you were a nurse and you put that on Bumble, people might skip you because people are really concerned about anybody who might be on the front lines,” Safran said.

That concern translates to any face-to-face interactions as well. Safran says a negative coronavirus test only goes so far, and it’s critical each person establishes boundaries before meeting.

“We literally have to know every single thing that we’re comfortable with and we’re not comfortable with and really put it out there because of what the risks are.”

In some ways though, COVID-19 has made dating simpler.

“I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about bringing somebody home for the holidays this year. That’s one thing,” Safran said.

Plus, it allows singles to take time for themselves.

“The advantages might be if you’re single now, that when you do start meeting people again, you might be more comfortable stating what you need and what you want when a lot of people would not say much and expect the other person to pick up on things.”