Singles Open up About Love in the Time of Coronavirus in New Dating Podcast
“Remember kissing? Do you miss sex? Remember the exhilarating feeling of just wanting to hold someone else’s hand without a latex glove?”
So begins the trailer for Dating Diaries: Quarantine Confessions, a new weekly podcast launching Wednesday that explores the complexities of dating during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with hosts Andrea Gunning, 33, and Ben Fetterman, 32.
There’s no shortage of material, either, as singletons around the world find new ways to meet people and keep the spark alive while respecting strict stay-at-home orders.
In Episode One, listeners meet Lauren, a 31-year-old project manager looking for a relationship while practicing social distancing at her apartment in New York City.
Lauren tells PEOPLE she’s using her time at home to connect with two men she met before the pandemic on a deeper level — but she’s still keeping an eye out for potential matches on different dating apps.
“It’s so different,” Lauren says of her new, socially distant love life. “The simple questions you used to text with people you’re interested in like, ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ or ‘How are you?’ have taken on this different, serious meaning.”
Other people have taken advantage of the ongoing pandemic by using cringey, virus-related pickup lines, like “We’d make a great quaran-team” and “How’s this COVID conundrum going for you?” she adds.
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However, Lauren notes that virtual dating takes certain pressure and expectations off the table, like dressing up for a night out or worrying about who will pay the bill.
“I love enjoying a drink together on FaceTime from our respective couches,” she says.
Dating Diaries: Quarantine Confessions follows the sweet and often hilarious stories, like Lauren’s, of people swiping on dating apps and maintaining long distance relationships from their homes, but also candidly discusses the less sexy side of dating right now, answering questions like: “How do you get ghosted when there’s no place to go?” and “How does suddenly losing your job affect your love life?”
The podcast was born out of conversations between Gunning, Fetterman and their friends.
“Being single, I started commiserating with friends [about the current situation] and I realized that everyone is dealing with dating and the need for companionship differently,” Gunning tells PEOPLE. “So we started recording those conversations.”
The pair are close friends and coworkers at Glass Entertainment Group, the Pennsylvania-based production company behind the podcast.
As of Wednesday, there have been at least 805,772 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 40,316 deaths, according to The New York Times. The U.S. now has the highest number of cases worldwide by a large margin, though the true numbers are likely far higher because sufficient testing has not been available.
Between constant news updates on COVID-19 and the loneliness that comes from social distancing or quarantining to slow its spread, current events can take a toll on mental health — an effect that will inevitably bleed into relationships, and one the podcast plans to highlight.
“New relationships are moving at a much different pace,” Gunning says. “People are falling head over feels fast, or flaming out in a flash.”
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