College Dating: COVID-19 Style


Seth Niccum Facetiming his girlfriend Kaitlyn. This is just one of a few ways the couple has stayed in touch.

by Ethan Humble, Staff Reporter

When any ordinary student describes their ideal collegiate dating experience, a variety of things come to mind; some of these “perfect” dates may be anything from long walks in the park, visiting delicious breakfast joints, or planning fun day trips where the opportunities appear endless.

It all seems so great in theory; However, some students are needing to revise their standards for what dating is like due to the looming elephant in the room: COVID-19.

Junior Seth Niccum has maintained his relationship with his girlfriend Kaitlyn for multiple years, and he said the pandemic did not impact their romance too much.

“We have been together for a while before COVID, so that makes it a lot easier,” he said. “We know how much we need to hang out and when we need a break from each other.”

Regarding dating during the pandemic, the couple has taken a step back financially and have opted for cheaper options for the most part.

“We do not go out too much because we do not have much money,” Niccum said. “Usually, if we do go out, it will be at a nice place like a steakhouse once every couple of months.”

The junior recommends that COVID-19 lovers use kind words of affirmation to reassure their partner that they truly care about them.

“Remind the person that you care about them, and also remind them that you want them to succeed,” Niccum said. “Make sure you support one another and know that it is okay to pursue your own goals too.”

Sophomore Nyan Baker’s long-distance relationship began during COVID-19, and although one would think facilitating a new connection from a distance would be hard, Baker said otherwise.

“It [the pandemic] did not really change anything all that much with us,” Baker said. “We see each other every few months, and we have been making the long-distance work.”

Baker said the key to having a strong bond during the seemingly worst of times boils down to one simple concept: communication.

“Setting aside time to talk to one another and using Zoom is really helpful in our relationship,” he said. “Maintaining a level of communication allows the relationship to grow.”

For sophomore Morgan Flynn, the dating realm has consisted of a couple of dates set up from well-known dating apps Bumble and Tinder. She had primarily negative comments about online dating.

“A lot of people just want quick hook-ups on the site, and that is not really what I am after,” Flynn said. “The chances of finding an actual relationship on a dating app are pretty discouraging so far.”

The level of engagement on the apps has been a problem for Flynn as some of the conversations do not seem genuine.

“You can tell when someone is really talking to you and actually wants to go out,” she said. “[A small percentage of] guys actually respond and have conversations.”

When asked what she would change about the dating app experience, Flynn would encourage the applications to have more general information about the people they are being matched with.

“I like that Bumble has things like where people are going to college, their height, and other simple demographics to go off of,” she said. “I want someone with a little ambition too.”

Flynn’s advice for any fellow online daters is to be safe and make good decisions.

“My roommates actually followed me on a drive I went on for one of the dates to make sure I was safe,” she said. “Make sure your roommates know where you are going and just be safe in general.”

One thing is for certain: there are better times to look forward to in the dating world. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.