It goes without saying that the coronavirus outbreak has cancelled a lot of plans, from your upcoming dentist's appointment to that music festival you were supposed to attend next weekend. One thing it hasn’t cancelled, however, is dating. The circumstances around social distancing requirements may have radically changed the way you meet people, but thanks to dating apps, and video chat technologies like Zoom and FaceTime, your love life can remain as eventful as ever. In other words, romance isn't canceled either. Case in point: people are Venmoing drinks money to their virtual dates while in quarantine, and I. Am. Here. For. It.
While beliefs and attitudes vary significantly regarding who should pick up the tab on a first, second, or third date, many agree that if you're the one who asks someone out, it's nice to pay for their drinks or dinner — at least in the beginning. While not everyone expects this, it's certainly a gesture that many people appreciate. After all, it shows that the person values your time so much that they're willing to shell out their hard-earned cash just to have a conversation with you (*swoon*).
Under the current circumstances, it's not exactly realistic (nor is it recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to meet up IRL for drinks or dinner, which means that lots of people are planning virtual dates to get to know each other from the safety of their own homes. While the nature of these dates can range from chatting over pizza delivery to streaming the same Netflix film, drinks may be involved. In lieu of picking up the tab in person, some people are actually Venmoing their dates to cover the cost of libations or a meal.
Another option is to use a booze delivery app like Drizly to send your date their drink of choice, but if you haven't met up yet or you're still getting to know each other, they may not feel comfortable giving out their address. Plus, a Venmo payment means the recipient can pick out whatever they feel like sipping on to unwind after a long day of working from home (or just binge-watching Tiger King with their cat, either way).
Venmo declined to comment on this trend, but a representative for the app tells Elite Daily, "We’ve seen our Venmo community come together to support each other amidst COVID-19 with payments of goodwill and random acts of kindness."
Kelsey, 30, is just one dater who's reaped the benefits of these acts of kindness. She was so impressed when her Hinge match paid for her bottle of wine that she was inspired to schedule a second virtual date with him.
"It was his idea to have a little virtual happy hour after work last Friday, and when I agreed to our Zoom date, he asked for my Venmo handle," she tells Elite Daily. "I was shocked, because the last time a date brought up Venmo, he was asking me to send him money for the two beers I got the first time we met up. I had honestly lost all hope for old-school romance."
This bold move isn't reserved for mere drinks, either. Leah, 25, recently had a sandwich delivered to her date's house from the same restaurant where they went on their second date. She says he was feeling pretty bummed about the pandemic at the time, so she thought it might be a nice pick-me-up. While things have kind of fizzled out with that particular guy, the gesture ultimately paid off. When she told another guy she met on an app about what she did, he sent her not one but four sandwiches over the next few weeks. If that doesn't give you hope for love in the time of the coronavirus, I don't know what will. (Did I mention she received four free sandwiches? Just making sure.)
"He’s definitely a keeper and we FaceTime every day," Leah says. "Really looking forward to finally meeting him in person!"
When Hannah, 26, received an Instagram DM from a guy offering to send an Uber with a bottle of wine she could enjoy during their first FaceTime date, she declined the offer. Part of the reason why she didn't take him up on it is that she had already swiped left on him in the app, but she also didn't want to unnecessarily put an Uber driver at risk.
"Had I been into him, and he Venmoed me for wine instead, I would've been very intrigued," she admits. "It seems like a smooth, classy, romantic move... and that's especially hard to pull off right now."
What's most inspiring about this new trend is that it shows how people are adjusting their dating habits to accommodate the circumstances. No one can control the outcome or trajectory of this pandemic, and it's obviously having a major impact on your social life — but just because you're staying at home doesn't mean you can't keep meeting new people and making connections. Your date may not be able to hold your hand, kiss you goodnight, or take you out for an Insta-worthy meal — but that doesn’t mean romance is dead, folks. In fact, you could be just one Venmo transaction away from winning someone over.