Love During COVID: Are Vaccines the New Dating Must-Haves?

Man and woman on date

After more than a year of quarantines and social distancing, vaccines are the twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel. Many singles feel like it’s finally time to get back out there, albeit cautiously. A new pandemic dating survey from Testing.com found that many daters are taking COVID precautions, including masks, testing, and social distancing. The most important finding? If you want to snag a date, you might need a COVID-19 vaccine first.

25% of people require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine

When asked about safety measures for in-person dates, 25% of all survey respondents want to see proof that their dates have been vaccinated. This varied slightly by age group with 30% of 18- to 24-year-old respondents requiring proof while only 19% of 35- to 44-year old respondents need proof. The percentage increases again for the at-risk age group of 54 and older. 

61% of daters require masks

Masks earn the top slot as the most widely required safety precaution with 61% of those surveyed saying they require masks for in-person dates. Along the same lines, 48% of daters want outdoor meetups and 47% practice social distancing during dates. Many daters also want to know what precautions their potential dates are taking daily and if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

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22% of singles require a negative COVID-19 before in-person dates

Many singles have certain parameters for potential partners, but more than 20% of people now want their dates to test negative for COVID-19 before a first date. This request is warranted: even with precautions, nearly a quarter of those surveyed by Testing.com said they contracted COVID-19 from a first date.  

33% of singles haven’t dated since the start of the pandemic

Given the added risk of dating during a pandemic, it probably isn’t surprising that 33% of singles have put their dating lives on hold until things get safer. Others want to take advantage of technology, with 16% of survey respondents saying they are sticking to virtual dates. Conversely, 10% of respondents say the pandemic has no impact on their dating lives. 

Nearly 50% of those surveyed say they’ve experienced a pandemic-related breakup 

While many singles may be wishing for a partner during quarantine, many in long-term relationships say the pandemic contributed to the end of their relationships. Of the survey respondents who had a breakup in the past 12 months, 46% say the pandemic played a role in that breakup. Meanwhile, 53% said the stress of the pandemic made their relationships more difficult. 

Among those who have had a relationship end, 20% say it was because their partner didn’t take COVID-19 safety seriously enough, and 11% say their partner didn’t think they were taking the pandemic seriously enough. 

Social distancing also played a role in break ups. 31% percent of respondents reported their relationships ended when they could no longer see their partner in person. 

COVID-19 itself caused some break-ups as well. 24% percent of respondents say they were dumped when they caught COVID-19, and 28% say they broke up with a partner who caught COVID. 

The data from this report comes from an online survey created and paid for by Testing.com. The survey was administered by online survey platform Pollfish on March 21, 2021. Testing.com surveyed 600 Americans 16 to 54 and older about their relationships and dating habits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cover photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.