CORPUS CHRISTI — The nerves, awkward silence, and laughs you can experience on a first date with someone are now being experienced virtually.
“It's harder, you don’t want to go out and be around crowds,” said Krista Herran.
“I try to convince her to go out but she’s like, the pandemic,” said Major Salinas.
The Brookings Institute reports dating apps have higher online engagement now than in previous years. Match group has reported a 15% increase of new subscribers over the second quarter of 2020, but most online conversations lead to the possibility of meeting in person.
Some ideas of a date can be food and drinks or it can be paints and brushes.
“Since the pandemic started, we’re seeing more first-timers, there’s fewer places to go, said Fred Amrhein, owner of Painting with a Twist."Restaurants aren’t the greatest place and this is one of the places you can go and have a conversation and get to know each other.”
Painting with a Twist is only accepting 20% of its occupancy and has switched to pod style seating to encourage a safe environment for customers including those on a date.
To accommodate those who are not yet comfortable leaving their homes, Painting with a Twist offers a take-home kit. All you have to do is visit their website, www.paintingwithatwist.com to select the artwork.
“We won't sit strangers with strangers, families together or close friends together were before the pandemic we sat everyone together,” said Amrhein.
Having what's called "The COVID conversation" before an in-person meeting helps address many looming questions. Those include, are we social distancing? How do we greet each other? Will you be wearing a mask?
Long-time couples say in addition to that, there are some other rules.
“Have fun be yourself, just be yourself,” said Katy Bradshaw.
“Just wear a mask, be yourself and have fun,” said Major Salinas.
Doctors at Johns Hopkins school of public health say they have developed a framework that can be applied to dating in the pandemic.
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