First Date #38 – How it started

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First Date #38 was with an American woman living in Dublin. We matched on Bumble. As it was the early months of COVID-19, and restrictions were high, there was no chance of meeting anybody in person. At this point, there were more people using dating apps than ever before. I matched with dozens of women in Spring of 2020, but I couldn’t meet any of them face to face. And though I matched with so many women, I hardly think all of them were available. As we could barely leave our home, there was a frenzy to connect with other people. So, while I matched with dozens of women, I only met a handful once restrictions lifted.

Enter Zoom! While Zoom had been around for years, I didn’t know anybody who talked about it before COVID-19. Then all of a sudden, I was helping organize Zoom Bingo online! As you well know, 2020 was nuts. But it did make all of us think outside the box. Both Tinder and Bumble had integrated video calls into their apps, so they were recommending virtual dates. I had been considering this when FirstDate38 suggested it. We had been texting for a bit, and there was definitely a connection. Rather than use Bumble, she sent me a Zoom meeting.

I took the virtual date very seriously. I dressed up in a shirt, coat and tie (though I had jeans on underneath – you couldn’t see those!), and I even brought flowers. She was thoroughly impressed. FirstDate38 was a fair bit younger than me. She was going through a divorce and part of her healing was to go back to school. Interestingly, this young Michigander enrolled in a course in Dublin. And she got here just in time for the world to stop. It was weird to have a virtual date, but everything was weird in 2020. After a little while, it was just so natural to speak with her. I really enjoyed chatting about the States, relocating to Ireland, and living during these strange times. Our date lasted nearly two hours!

We continued texting each other frequently, and we even had a few calls on the phone. It was still a month before restrictions were reduced to the point that I could travel up to Dublin again. So, we did what we could to stay in touch while I hoped we could meet soon.

(First Date – 28 May, 2020)