This weekend, we're bringing you a timely gem from the Ozy Archives. Take a deep dive into a longform piece that our writers have hand-picked for you based on this week's news.
Oct 31, 2021
It’s Sunday. Work’s done, you’ve tidied the house, the sun’s still out, and you’re ready to mingle. It’s the perfect day for a brunch date, right? Except… it’s been AWHILE since you’ve been on a date. What are people doing out there?
With rising vaccination rates across the nation and talks of an end to the pandemic on the horizon, singles are wondering: how do I date in this “new normal”? The pandemic has drastically changed the rules of engagement. As COVID wears on, many of us continue to struggle with social anxiety as well as other COVID-related dating challenges. Conversations about lifestyle are coming up much earlier in relationships and vaccination status is becoming a requirement for meetups. Finding love amidst all this change can feel like an overwhelming task. But there’s no reason to feel stuck! . In this edition of the Weekender, we’ll give you some tips for how to relax before leaving the house, places to go and new apps to find the friends to go there with. This weekend, you’re getting back out there! You got this 💪
1 - What's Your Vax Status?
If going out in public still makes you uncomfortable, there’s a quick and easy fix for that! Americans 12 and up are now eligible for vaccines, with many places offering walk-ins. “The more people you get vaccinated, the more people you protect,” White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently. NBC even has an online “Plan Your Vaccine” tool that tells you where to get vaxxed by state, so there’s no excuse for not posting that essential selfie of you getting your shot!
2 - Chew the Stress Away
Another way to take the edge off this weekend is chewing your way to calm with some CBD gum. CBD enthusiasts swear by the stuff, saying it helps with anxiety, depression and even acne. Try popping a stick of this vegan, sugar-free, mint-flavored gum before going out and you’ll soon feel more at ease. If you’re wary about ingesting CBD, an alternative is to rub a CBD oil on your pulse points for a mellow chill.
3 - Make Quick Work of Breathwork
Some quick 15-minute breathing exercises can do wonders if you make them a habit before leaving the house. When we take intentional, deep breaths, our blood receives oxygen and releases carbon dioxide, promoting relaxation. Inhale, exhale and calm your mind before heading out to face the masses.
Restarting your social life doesn’t necessarily mean heading straight back to packed and pumping clubs — not when apple and pumpkin picking are in season across the country. Orchards not only offer a safe outdoor option for you and the apple of your eye, but they’ve also been found to improve mental health. Studies show that people who’ve spent 90 minutes in a natural area, as opposed to bustling urban streets, are less likely to feel depressed. So, go get some fresh air.
2 - Luxury Dining at Home
Still avoiding restaurants, don’t let the pandemic stop you from eating like kings and queens. If you've always wanted to take a cooking class, participating in a virtual cooking class with a chef can be a great date night option. Or if you’re feeling confident, ditch the chef! Try an ambitious meal you wouldn't have otherwise cooked on your own, like IG-famous chef, @salt_hank’s surf & turf for two. You don't have to go to the extremes either. You both could pick a recipe you both like and cook it while you FaceTime. That’s why marketers are focusing all the way down to nano-influencers (1,000 to 5,000 followers), who, research shows, generate 85 percent higher engagement than influencers with 100,000 followers.
Maybe you are still avoiding restaurants and a hike just isn’t your idea of a first date. Take that special person in your life on a picnic adventure... with a catch. On this date, each person makes a picnic lunch for the other, and then you trade. This can be comical if you know nothing about the other's tastes yet, or could be specifically tailored to your date's likes. It makes for the perfect conversation starter before you met up!
APPS IN ACTION
1 - UNBLND
You don’t get a profile picture on this app, as its aim is to connect like-minded strangers based on common interests alone, not looks. Using a sophisticated algorithm, it automatically connects you with people according to your hobbies. Once two users both agree to UNBLND, they can then connect and chat. As Lady Gaga sings, “We’re far from the shallow now.”
2 - We3
You can only meet friends of the same gender and in groups of three on this app, which is centered around the philosophy that this is the optimal number of people to create a new friendship group. The, um, threesome model also eliminates awkward silences or unwanted advances. Once matched, users must swipe through statement cards and decide whether they agree, disagree or stay neutral on each card, thus determining their tribe.
3 - Meetup
This app is great because rather than people, it pairs you to events — and ones that are aligned with your hobbies at that. It’s as simple as picking your location and interests, then you’ll be shown all the nearby happenings. You can even personalize and schedule events yourself, as well as share photos and start discussions to promote them.
Watch Black Women OWN the Conservation
Participate as the Panelists and Audience Discuss LOVE
1 - Quote of the Day
“and here you are living despite it all”
- Rupi Kaur, Author of Home Body
2 - Community Corner
How has dating changed for you during the pandemic? Have any good date night ideas? Share your thoughts, shoot us an email at email@example.com!
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