What screams “Gen Z” more than Zoom dates?


Needing to social distance because of COVID-19, many have taken to online dating platforms for romance. | Illustration by Jon Reinfurt for Boston Magazine.

Tiffany Persaud, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of unexpected changes to our lives. Couples that once saw each other daily were forced to go months without physically being together. FaceTime, phone calls and Netflix parties became the best way to spend time together while being so far apart.  


Social distancing has become the main hindrance of dating during COVID-19. There is practically no basis to a relationship without some physical elements – no hugging, no kissing, and no staring longingly into each other’s eyes across a dinner table – so this love thing has gotten… hard. 


Junior Mackenzie Byrne is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend who lives across the Atlantic Ocean in County Kildare, Ireland. COVID-19 placed a halt in their traveling ventures by visiting one another during holiday breaks. Byrne says that she is trying to make the most of keeping the love alive through virtual means.  


“It is frustrating and upsetting since there is no way of telling when I will see him next, so we have strengthened our relationship by having virtual date nights and finding as many activities online to keep things fun,” Byrne said. Not being able to see my partner has made me realize how lucky I am to have him and how precious loved ones and life is.”  


Unlike Byrne, there are many people who are committed to riding solo (for now at least). The term “self-love” has been coined the main theme for some years now as Gen Z and Millennials are deemed more career focused than ever. They strive to better themselves in any way which suits their palette  spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.  


Senior Michael Mitrione, who is too busy perfecting the “post-workout selfie, was not dating before the pandemicso his feelings about relationships remain stoic.  


“I barely have time for myself when I’m indulged in work and school,” Mitrione said. It would be disrespectful of me to commit myself romantically to someone when I’m unsure of how I would juggle my priorities.” 


Dating apps are one of the only ways to safely meet people, however depending on the person(s) involved and what they’re looking for, it can take longer than usual to create a meaningful connection. A Saturday night at Spectators Sports Pub and Restaurant isn’t exactly the picture of romance, which is why apps like Tinder and Bumble can increase your dating pool so your options can expand to people that aren’t your classmates.  


Although the dating scene is a total bust at the moment, imagine all the weddings that have been or will be postponed! Lovebirds that have already paid for wedding preparations are suffering major financial losses that can develop into deeper troubles within a relationship.  


COVID-19 has had a domino effect on every kind of relationship: you’re interested in someone you meet online but, then what? On the bright side, with vaccinations and widespread state reopenings on the horizon, you can look forward to finally hitting the town with your ex’s best friend.