An expert on dating in the age of COVID: 'When we're feeling isolated, we want connection'

Dating is a different world in the age of coronavirus. People are more cautious about meeting new partners with distancing guidelines in place, but with feelings of isolation brought on by the pandemic, the urge to connect with others is stronger than ever. Jen Hartstein, Yahoo Life’s Mental Health Contributor and practicing psychologist in New York City, says that people need to be aware of how the current climate has impacted our desire for a relationship as cuffing season approaches. “Cuffing season is a time when single people are often looking to get into a relationship to get them through the cold winter months,” Hartstein explains. “It frequently starts around October and ends about March, April as the spring starts. We tend to be more lonely in the colder months. We don't go out as much. We aren't in the world as much. It motivates us to want to find that partner, even if it's a short term one so that we have some companionship and we have someone that we can spend time with and not be alone when we tend to be inside more often.” With winter and the chance of a second wave of COVID cases coming, people are putting more pressure on themselves to find someone to spend time with. “When we're feeling isolated, we want connection. And during this period of time where we have been isolated from people we might care about, many of us are also touch deprived and we're really desperate to just have connection,” Hartstein continues.