Date Two in Covid Time: To Go or Not to Go?

Comedian Gail Forrest considers going on a second date. But what does that look like during Covid time, and is it worth it?

Being asked on a second date during Covid time was simultaneously a dream come true and a nightmare. For years I have proclaimed myself “The Queen of One Date” because I never got asked on a second. There was no crown included with my title or polite bowing, but royalty was lovely. I triumphantly decided to resign my position when I finally got asked on a date two. I had been cooped up alone for too long so to hell with being Queen; I wanted OUT! Admittedly, the first date had been nerve wracking. Would the second achieve nightmare status?

I want a date, not a nervous breakdown

My brain almost exploded after our first meeting. I was up half the night tossing and turning with anxiety. How could I be absolutely certain we walked six feet apart? I didn’t measure. What if we were only five and a half? I think I touched his arm and didn’t use hand sanitizer afterwards. Sanitizer! I needed to bring sanitizer! When we sat down to take a break from walking again I wasn’t sure how many feet apart we were. I hate math. The wind was to our backs so could I assume it blew the virus away?  I could assume nothing!  The only solace I could conjure up is that we were outside. Or were we? Has delusion set in and is that a symptom? It was 3:00 am, I was sweaty, developing a rash, and needed to talk to Dr. Fauci ASAP — or an emergency Xanax drip. Help me!

Dating has become too complicated. All the simple questions like, do you want to go out for Italian or sushi are gone. There’s nothing simple. I want a date, not a nervous breakdown.  I’m confused, anxious, and possibly in danger. What happened to the good old days of worrying about STDs? “Have you had an AIDS test?” or “Has your syphilis cleared up?” sounds like a much more fun line of questioning than “Does your throat hurt and for how long?” To say nothing of resisting the urge to take your date’s temperature.

Things you would never have asked because you simply didn’t care, they have suddenly become the new reality

The evolution of dating questions has turned into “Welcome to the Twilight Zone.” I blissfully remember the easy ones: Where are you going to college? What’s your major? Do you have a car? Where are you working? Are you married? Do you have children? and, my all-time favorite, What’s your sign? Now enter the land of banal questions that have taken on a whole new dimension of relevance. Things you would never have asked because you simply didn’t care, they have suddenly become the new reality. Who have you talked to in the last fourteen days? Have you been in an elevator with other people? Do you social distance at all times? Do you have children who go to college and have come home to visit? Do you go on public transportation? Have you eaten inside at a restaurant? Do you frequent bars? Does your throat hurt? Mask or no mask? How many bottles of hand sanitizer do you own at any given time?

Was a date two really worth it? My crown and title were looking better and better. Royalty was easier but involved staying home a lot and a Netflix subscription. I had just finished season six of Schitt’s Creek and was bereft. Real people are not better but there is no season seven! I decided it was time for live entertainment. It looked appealing regardless of it being mind numbingly stressful.

I could send out a nice emoji-laced email with the subject line of “Just a few questions before we go.”  Even I laughed at that idea, but I also liked it. I decided to ask my friend Diane, but she couldn’t talk being too busy taking her temperature and checking her oxygen level.

What is expected on a second Covid date? Do the old rules apply?

It was a “go, no go” situation with a crown hanging in the balance.  Did I really want to think of myself as “The Queen of One Date” forever? Heavier questions loomed in my addled brain, however. What is expected on a second Covid date? Do the old rules apply?  Date two, even in the good old days, was a gray area.  It is an unwritten but well known “fact” that date three means sex is happening. If you get in the “Way Back Machine” it was a first date activity. Those were some kick-ass days. Somewhere sex got pushed to date three, but what was two? I think it’s a make-out session with some significant breathless groping.

There’s no making out now, is there? No no no! No lips, no tongues, no bare skin recommended on date two in Covid time, just masks, gloves, and long sleeves. So I ask myself: What’s the point? I miss kissing. I could stand some groping. 

As for bare skin, it would force me to shave my legs!



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Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest recently started doing standup which she finds is a complete blast. Gonepausal is her blog and she has a book on Amazon by the same name filled with stories of her skewed, funny view on midlife and all its attendant surprises. Humor is the only way forward at this point.


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