When Korrie Corrin decided to go on a date during the pandemic, she didn’t know what to expect. They were set to meet on the National Mall for a run.
As her date walked up to her and went for a hug, she was taken aback. She stepped off the curb to keep a distance, a bit surprised he was comfortable with what would be a normal interaction if it weren’t for the coronavirus pandemic.
“It took me about four dates for me to get comfortable being around him and in his presence,” Corrin, from Maryland, said. “And, I will say this, he hasn’t held it against me too much, because he’s still around.”
Dating during the pandemic has been a new experience. With an effort to socially distance and wear masks to slow the spread of the virus, people in the District have found ways to get creative — planning outdoor dates despite freezing temperatures, wearing matching masks and having dates over a video call.
Many people are turning to first dates held over a video call, but, as many have experienced, they can be tough.
Kareem Primo realized that regardless of how the first date went, some people just aren’t up for spending any more time than necessary looking at their computer.
“I think that’s where a lot of people fall off from it,” Primo said.
Other people are comfortable meeting in person, but only if they know their date has tested negative for COVID-19. Sharon Kim asks her dates to get a COVID-19 test a week before they meet up.
“It’ll weed out the people who aren’t willing to do the work, and it’s gonna weed out the people who don’t take COVID seriously,” Kim said.
Those who choose to meet in person for the most part plan a date that’s outdoors. Jesica Renée has had a few first dates over video call, but also meets up with people in outdoor settings. These places include monuments, Georgetown, Rock Creek Park or hiking trails in the area.
“It’s such a great way to get to know somebody— to be outdoors. And it also keeps you active during the pandemic,” Renée said.
Katie Lund went viral on TikTok for sharing what it’s like to date in D.C. While navigating dating during the pandemic, she also found herself in the middle of the political tension and the aftermath of the Jan.6 Capitol insurrection.
She was on a walk with her date as they passed the fences surrounding the Capitol.
“We just wanted to see for ourselves the unfortunate historical events that were going on with all the fences up around Capitol Hill,” Lund said.
Outdoor dates have also come with a change in usual date attire. Keeping warm comes first.
“I don’t have to worry about picking out a cute outfit anymore,” Bridget Friendly said.
Masks have also taken precedent when picking out a date outfit. Kiyah Daniell met her boyfriend on Tinder. For Halloween, she made matching festive masks for their museum date.
"The fact that he actually wore the mask, I was like, ‘he’s a keeper,’” Daniell said.