The extra risk of infection can also be a deterrent to potential partners. Cameron Call, 34, a divorced father of three who has his kids every weekend, met his new boyfriend right as Covid hit. “He was worried about the extra exposure at first,” said Call, a chiropractor in Phoenix. “For a while, we both took our temperatures before we hung out.”
And while Greg Smith, 46, a divorced creative director in Austin, is eager to introduce his new girlfriend to his kids, she’s a little wary. “The biggest reason she hasn’t met them yet,” said Smith, “is the amount of contact they have with other people.”
Dating during the pandemic, said Mooradian, has come with some unexpected judgment. On Father’s Day, her brother invited the whole family over — except her. “He said I was too high-risk because I was dating,” she said.
Still, with so much at stake, Mooradian is being extremely discerning. “I have to be extra sure that someone is worth going out with right now,” she said. “The decision affects not just my health, but my kids’ health too. It’s not like I can socially distance from them.”
Sarah Feldman, a product manager in the Detroit area, went on a few dates in March with a guy she met through work. But after Covid cases exploded in Michigan, she cut it off. “It’s not really worth the risk,” said Feldman, a single mom to a 2-year-old. “I’d trust him enough to go out to dinner with him in normal times, but do I trust him to follow proper hand-washing procedures right now? Has he been getting his groceries delivered? I don’t know.”
Dr. Konrath said she’s seeing many single people, particularly parents, being more selective about who they share their time and affection with. “There was already a slow dating movement,” she said, “but Covid seems to be, somewhat ironically, accelerating it.”
Being upfront about your kids may even be a shortcut to finding a like-minded partner right now, said Melissa Hobley, chief marketing officer for OkCupid. The dating site has recently seen a spike in members using the terms “single parent,” “single mom” and “single dad” on their profiles, she said — 19 percent more in July compared to three months prior.