What a time to be single, no? While married or coupled-up folks have now spent more than half of 2020 hunkered down and facing the pandemic together, if you’re single, you basically have two choices: Muddle through the coronavirus alone or attempt to find love in a hopeless place. (A hopeless place = Hinge or any other dating app amid a global pandemic!)
Naturally, some new dating trends have sprung up with our new normal. COVID-19 has expanded our vocabularies in general ― covidiot, doomscrolling, flattening the curve ― and there’s plenty of dating-specific slang to familiarize yourself with, too.
Below, we present a by-no-means-exhaustive list of all the terrible dating trends and terminology singles have to contend with.
Antibody boy (or girl): A person that brags about having COVID-19 antibodies on a dating app, hoping it will lead to more matches.
Example: “Are these men really posting their COVID test results on their Tinder profiles? Antibody boys everywhere.”
Corona-zoned: When someone ― very understandably! ― doesn’t want to come to your place to hook up out of fear of catching or spreading the virus, you’ve been corona-zoned. (Or to quote the ever-eloquent UrbanDictionary.com, corona-zoned is the “new cockblock of 2020.”)
Example: “Tom sent Craig a really desperate DM the other night and of course he got Corona-zoned.”
Covidivorce: A marriage separation where the stressors of lockdown and the pandemic are at least partially to blame. Some divorce attorneys have said they’ve seen an uptick in divorce cases among couples pushed to a breaking point due to lockdown, others predict such a wave is in the offing.
Example: “It’s boon times for divorce lawyers. So many Covidivorces these days.”
COVID-worthy: A quality a potential match should have before you consider an in-person date.
Example: “Gabrielle invited me out for drinks at the Ace on Thursday night but I just don’t know if she’s COVID-worthy, you know?”
Ex text, COVID-edition: An out-of-nowhere text you send an ex because we’re living through a global health crisis and you’re craving normalcy and the non-pandemic-y past.
Example: “Who among us hasn’t sent an ex text during lockdown? Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
“Make it a little kinky:” OK, technically this isn’t a dating term, but it is the instantly iconic advice the New York City Department Of Health put out in its guidelines for safe sex during the pandemic. “Make it a little kinky,” they wrote. “Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact.”
Example: “I guess you could say we ‘made it a little kinky’ because we hooked up but didn’t kiss on the lips. I feel like Julia Robert’s in ‘Pretty Woman.’”
Pandemic pickup lines: The uninspired, pandemic-themed first liners you have to wade through in your dating app DMs.
Example: “If I have to read “damn girl, let me take you out before coronavirus does” one more time, my eyes are going to bleed. Enough with the pandmic pickup lines.”
Quarantine and chill: When you hunker down with a romantic prospect partly out of boredom, partly out of horniness, you’re essentially quarantining and chilling. It’s Netflix and chill, but in the era of COVID.
Example: “All that guy’s dating app profile said was “quarantine and chill?” so I swiped left.”
‘Quarantine bae’: A romantic interest you’ve tentatively agreed to see during the lockdown because dating around and hooking up as you normally would just isn’t safe. Extra emphasis should be put on tentative here: Your arrangement with this person might best be described as “relationship-ish.”
Example: “Anna and her quarantine bae aren’t seeing each other anymore because he moved back to the city and left his parent’s house.”
Sexually isolating (or sexually distancing): When you nobly go on a hookup pause so as not to spread the coronavirus.
Example: “I haven’t had sex since March. I deserve an award for how good I’ve been about sexually isolating.”
Turbo relationship: A relationship that’s more intense and sped-up than your average, pre-COVID relationship. Turbo relationships are a common phenomenon: In a recent survey from eHarmony and Relate, over a third (36%) of people newly living with a partner say the past two months feel like the equivalent of two years of commitment — and common relationship milestones (like moving in together) were met more quickly.
Example: “I’ve seen so many turbo relationships on my Facebook timeline lately. Jeremy started dating a girl at the beginning of April and now they’re engaged.”
Virtual date: A date held on FaceTime, Zoom, Houseparty, et al. (Some have suggested “vate” as an alternative.)
Example: “That virtual date I had with that podcast host I told you about was surprisingly not awful. ”
Zumped: To be unceremoniously dumped on Zoom (or FaceTime or any other video chat app).
Example: “I can’t believe I got dumped ― sorry, zumped, whatever ― on a video conferencing service. Curse you, coronavirus.”