FULLY VACCINATED, SINGLE & READY TO MINGLE: VACCINATION DATING ETIQUETTE
Fully-vaccinated, single and ready to mingle: Vaccination dating etiquette in a post-lockdown world
Following a year of on-again, off-again lockdown restrictions, England’s affectionately-dubbed Freedom Day took place in July. For many of us, the promise of coming out of lockdown represented the culmination of returning to some kind of normality. For the single person who endured lockdown in deafening silence however, the prospect of embarking on a Summer of Love is on the brink of the horizon. But for many, the emerging landscape is one that conjures up feelings of anxiety as singletons are left wondering whether a potential match is fully vaccinated.
According to The Mental Health Foundation, one in four adults (24 percent) in the UK have felt loneliness due to the pandemic. The Office for National Statistics reports that the majority of those who feel lockdown loneliness are single people. A natural passion killer, lockdown has many prospective daters looking forward to mixing and mingling in real life. The thought of locking eyes with that charming stranger across the bar, or rubbing elbows with a date at a club is irresistibly tempting following a long period of drought. After all, we are starved for social interaction and many are hopeful that this time, it will be different.
Different because the pandemic has forever changed the dating landscape. As we wake up in a world faced with the prospect of a deadly (and ever-mutating) virus, many singletons find themselves faced with a dilemma. The most popular question asked by a prospective date has shifted from “where shall we meet?” to it’s dampening successor “have you been vaccinated?”
These four words have turned social dating etiquette on its head, revealing that hopeful singletons are coming to terms with placing health and safety at the forefront of a budding relationship.
To ask or not to ask? Should we be asking someone’s vaccination status ahead of a date? The question of asking about a prospective partner’s vaccination status ahead of a first meeting will increasingly become the norm and is here to stay. Lara Besbrode, Founder and certified Matchmaker of The Matchmaker UK suggests there should be no stigma attached to asking someone about their vaccination status. “We are all coming out of this pandemic with a greater awareness of our own personal health and wellbeing, including our responsibility to the community. So we advise our clients that it is beneficial to be fully vaccinated ahead of dating, where they are meeting a stranger for the first time.”
The Matchmaker UK is a bespoke matchmaking service based in Cheshire, serving clients throughout the UK. Recently, they surveyed their database to discover that 99% of their clients are fully vaccinated.
“We have noticed that dating apps are offering users the option to add their vaccination status onto their profiles, however we do not insist this Vaccine stamp should be visible on our clients’ profiles. Rather, we recommend our couples to raise the topic for discussion on the first date.”
Have your say: Do you think we should be vaccinated ahead of the first date? What is your view on asking a prospective date about their vaccination status ahead of the first meeting?