Minus the City: Dating’s Domino Effect

If you’re single or dating, you’re no doubt facing challenges during this horrid pandemic. Coronavirus has maybe changed dating forever, but for the better? The pandemic has made dating harder and more laborious than it was before. In some ways, the pandemic has only exacerbated problems with dating that have been bubbling up in recent years but is that the case with college kids? College students are experiencing stress and anxiety from COVID-19, inadvertently pushing them into relationships to combat feelings of loneliness. Students can connect on a deeper level because they are getting to know each other online before taking the risk of meeting in person during the pandemic. They are more serious about discussing if they are going to date each other because of concerns about the risk of exposure to COVID-19. I have asked multiple Colgate men and women if they have felt more inclined to find a relationship during the pandemic or if they are seeing more of their friends in relationships, in hopes of illuminating if there is a change in the so-called “hook-up” culture. Here are some of their opinions:

“Because my anxiety has increased during the pandemic, I often find the need to find a man and not hook up with random guys. I don’t even want to get with more people. I just want the security that comes with seeing the same person all the time. ”

“There is a type of fear surrounding not knowing who your partner is kissing. Exclusivity is more important because you feel an obligation to know who your partner is hooking up with.”

“When I was at home, I didn’t want to meet random people to minimize my risk of getting the virus. I definitely feel much more isolated and lonely than a normal semester, and because of that, I have been looking for a relationship.”

It would feel nice to have someone, especially in quarantine, but I also find that I don’t want to rush into anything or force it more now than ever. I also feel like not everyone is at their best right now, so I want to focus on myself before getting into something. I think I’m affected by my friends getting into relationships because I don’t spend as much time with them.”

“I do think a big part of why so many people are getting into relationships is because they’re trying to focus on themselves. The sad reality is that mental health has worsened for college students, and many kids can’t grapple with being alone. Because of this, they look to other people for that ‘satisfaction’ that comes with being in a relationship and, to some extent, being codependent on someone else. But for me, I don’t want to date someone for the fact that I’m lonely.”