Finding a potential match is the relatively safe part, now that apps such as Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, Grindr and so on are available right at our fingertips. The tricky part is keeping the connection alive. And luckily there are safe ways to work around this changing new world.
You can go on a socially distanced date. It could be a hike through the River Valley, or a visit to one of these secret places suggested by YEG.date. Starting July 15, you can go berry picking at Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farms or treat your tastebuds to some delicious food from local businesses along Alberta Avenue during Dine the Ave.
Not ready to go out just yet? Opt for a virtual date. This can include using platforms like Skype, Zoom, Apple's FaceTime and Facebook Messenger Rooms. Flare suggests that if your chats start to feel boring, try giving your virtual date nights a theme and/or dress up.
Many people are changing their profiles to reflect current events and increasingly sending videos back and forth, instead of meeting in person, communications professional Moirae Choquette told CBC.
And for those times in between dates, or for married couples looking to add more romance, try writing each other a letter. Flare writes that snail mail hasn't lost its romance. In fact, it's gained in appeal and can make for special keepsakes.
The need to reach out is understandable. An Ipsos survey conducted in April for Global News indicated Canadians felt lonely or isolated. The online survey found feelings of isolation were most significant among people between the ages of 18 and 34 (68%).
However you find a way to date, be very careful about taking it to the next level of intimacy.
"Applying current public health guidelines, I'd say that first (and subsequent) dates ought to be limited to an outdoor activity and be physically distanced," public health professor Colin Furness told Global News. "Advancing beyond that (with) physical closeness and intimate contact is a risky thing to do. It means you are effectively combining households."
Gyms reopened as of June 12, but a number of different protocols need to be followed.
Alberta succeeded in flattening the curve of infections, and the province wants to reopen its economy.
People seem to be socializing more as restrictions are lifted, but it's important to remain on guard.