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What It's Like To Date On Bumble During A Pandemic

Should online dating stay online?
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Getty Images, Ira Nopuente
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I remember going through an emotional roller coaster when the quarantine period started in March 2020. I felt so tamad to do anything for myself because I was mentally exhausted fulfilling tribute duties for the family. Plus, I was adjusting to the work-from-home setup (which I’m very thankful for). I didn’t know when to "stop" functioning as an employee. I didn’t have a daily routine, too.

Thankfully, my headspace became much clearer towards the end of 2020, and I have figured out how to take care of myself. I was happy by myself again, I saw it as a go-signal that I was ready to date. I thought, hey, I can share my happiness with someone. (Okay, I'm cringing at this. I’m not *that* sweet and romantic.) I can meet new people, so I should activate my Bumble account again!

Unlike before, it’s super scary to meet someone during a pandemic. Besides the risk of being with a stranger, there is the chance that I could catch COVID-19. So, I had to be creative. Online dating should stay online.

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I was lucky that the guys I matched with on Bumble were okay with Zoom dates. It was funny at first because it felt like I was still at work. Some would even find out the company I was working for because of my Zoom display name: It said Ira (Cosmo.ph). Some were cool about it, while some asked if I was doing it for an article. (Well…)

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It was refreshing to only do your kilay and apply blush for a Zoom date. It was just weird that I wasn’t sharing a meal with someone. I usually just ate cookies and drank iced coffee while on the call. It was so convenient because I didn’t have to dress up and drive! No shame, I went on online dates in pambahay clothes.

As some ~*connections*~ progressed, outdoor dates happened—the safer option—as opposed to dining inside a restaurant. We had to be cautious, after all. It felt weird to meet someone IRL for the first time and then they would be wearing masks and face shields. I have to say though that I was relieved though that I didn’t have to beso right after a date. 

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I’ve been on Bumble since 2019, and I have to say that this "batch" is the most interesting of all! Maybe the pandemic had to do something with it. They were easy to talk to, plus I didn’t feel any pressure to commit. (I have issues, LOL) No one was clingy, too. 

I guess the major difference between my quaran-flings and my pre-pandemic matches was that I don't think I've sent and received so many selfies and OOTD pics in my life. It was like being in an LDR! (Check this out if you'll be needing tips on how to take low-key sexy pics.)

In case you're curious, I’m still single and haven’t really "chosen" one guy. Some dates were just flops, though some dudes became my friends, the platonic kind. (If we've dated and we're now Facebook friends, hi if you're reading this, LOL!) Did someone level up to the harot and kalat stage? Well, that’s for me to know! ;)

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Follow Ira on Instagram.

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