SCREENSHOT FROM MEETING
WSU students learned about dating safely during a COVID-19 Real Talk Thursdays event hosted by Cougar Health Services.
There are no clear rules to dating amid a pandemic. It can be a struggle for people to balance their well-being while making meaningful connections, said Jennah Strathausen, Cougar Health Services doctoral psychology intern.
“People are experiencing a lot of social isolation, which not only impacts dating relationships but impacts individual well-being,” Strathausen said.
She said the silver lining about everything being virtual is that there are well-established dating apps and websites.
Virtual meetings give people the opportunity to get to know each other and set the pace of their relationship, Strathausen said.
However, there is a downside to using apps and websites. Building a profile is time-consuming and tedious, Strathausen said.
There are plenty of first date ideas that do not require physically meeting someone, she said.
People can talk over FaceTime while going for a walk. Another option is to watch a movie together using Chromecast or Netflix Party, Strathausen said.
She said it is important people follow CDC guidelines when meeting in person. Guidelines include wearing a face mask, social distancing, washing hands and staying home if someone is sick.
Setting ground round rules before meeting each other is also a good idea to avoid miscommunication about COVID-19 guidelines, Strathausen said.
Strathausen said it is important to be selective when deciding who to date. Clearly communicating one’s expectations for the relationship is also necessary.
“You deserve to choose people based on your shared values,” she said.
Cougar Health Services offers individual therapy services for students. Students can also attend workshops for anxiety, depression management and mindfulness, Strathausen said.
She said there are support groups for transgender people, international students, and survivors of sexual or interpersonal violence.