Welcome to 2020 where the biggest question is no longer how long to wait to remove your pants with a date, but when it’s okay to remove your face mask. The CDC says cloth face coverings are “one of the most powerful weapons we have” to slow and stop the spread of the virus but they’re not great when it comes to getting closer with a match. Obviously, there are a lot of factors that can go into this decision, but here some of the biggest things the experts say to consider before taking off your covering.
- Immunocompromised. Clinical nurse scientist Shanina Knighton says it’s best to “assume that you have it and that you must protect others and to assume everyone else has it and you need to protect you.” Especially if your date tells you they’re immunocompromised. Unless you’ve both been taking quarantine seriously, and get tested regularly, it’s still way too big of a risk.
- Lifestyle.While asking a match online about their health habits isn’t exactly a fun conversation, but it’s an absolute must for 2020. A big question you’ll want to ask is what they do for work and how many people they’re exposed to each day. And don’t forget to ask about their roommate and family situations too. It may be a little awkward at first, but it’s a great check on whether your values and beliefs matchup.
- Keep it outside. Knighton suggests all “interactions within the first month of dating to be outside dates” due to how COVID tends to linger in the air inside buildings. But if you simply can’t wait to de-mask, at least plan a date that doesn’t involve a large crowd. Like eating at an outdoor restaurant during off times or setting up your own picnic far, far away from any stranger with a weird cough.