One man, who asked Yahoo Lifestyle to only refer to him as Brad, posted 25 flyers along a popular running route in Central Park that reads: “Seeking Girlfriend for Coronavirus – and Beyond.” He blurred out his face in a photo, but included his requirements: be healthy, fit and clean.
Brad says he was single when the lockdown in New York began and social distancing has made it near impossible to meet women.
“This lockdown was just bad timing for me, and I know there must be some high-quality women in Manhattan in the same situation, so I created this flyer to find one of them,” he says. “I don't want to wait for a vaccine to date again.”
Another woman, who asked to be referred to as ‘Steady Woman’, says a friend told her about Brad’s flyer in Central Park and convinced her to post her own flyers.
“With enough persuading, plus a couple of virtual happy hours, ‘Steady Woman’ was born,’ she tells us.
‘Steady Woman’ says the primary intent of the flyer was to have some fun and to bring a smile to people’s faces during a difficult period.
“But hey, I am single,” she says. “So if somehow I found that special someone this way, that’s just an added bonus. It would also be an epic ‘how we met’ story.”
She too blurred out her photo, used a similar email alias and included a long list of characteristics she is looking for including: being over 6 feet tall, hilarious and “not being named Chad or Brad.”
Kory Floyd, author of The Loneliness Cure and a professor of both communication and psychology at the University of Arizona, says it’s “what these times have called for in this social isolation”.
“So, if you are somebody without a relationship already... the inability to see people is pretty problematic for a species that is as social as we are,” he says.
‘Steady Woman’ says she’s gotten about 25 emails since she posted eight flyers in Central Park last weekend, including a man boasting both his credit score and his resting heart rate.
“I have to say I’ve had some really impressive responses,” she says. “Some guys have created their own versions of the flyer. Some have written poems, one of which has evolved to a full-blown poetry battle. I’ve gotten some fantastic dad jokes. Some have just sent very sweet, simple messages. The effort going into these responses is 1000 times better than what I’ve ever seen on the dating apps!”
“I think what that highlights is that technology gets us only so far in terms of meeting our needs for connection,” says Kory Floyd. “And so it's heightening our awareness of both the affordances of technologically-mediated contact and also the limitations of it. Also, it leaves us still wanting.”
Brad says he’s received over 100 emails so far and has responded to almost all of them.
“The post has gone viral and I have spoken to women from all over the world in the past week,” he says.
“It's been interesting and fun, but of course I can only date someone who lives in New York City during this lockdown.”
Kory says many people right now are feeling the awareness that they're doing the best they can to maintain social connection in their lives and an awareness of it not being ideal.
“For some people that probably will evolve into a state of loneliness and for others, it will simply be a reminder that we're going to be happier once this is over. And perhaps a reminder that we don't take our relationships for granted,” he adds.
‘Steady Woman’ identified less with loneliness but did acknowledge that it would be nice to have the right person by her side right now.
“Most of the ‘criteria’ on the flyer is meant to represent what a lot of single females are feeling right now, in a tongue in cheek, somewhat superficial way,” she says. “Of course we’d love to have some company during this time, but being quarantined with a person that’s not ‘the one’ also sounds like a nightmare.”
She adds: “And yes, Steady Man and Steady Woman have officially chatted! Unfortunately, sparks weren’t flying.”
Both ‘Steady Woman’ and Brad say they aren’t jumping into a relationship just because they’re single and looking for love during a pandemic. Brad says he’s looking for a monogamous relationship that would last past the lockdown.
And for ‘Steady Woman’, she says there are a few responses that have caught her eye.
“Next step is a virtual date. Don’t worry there will be no physical meeting until after quarantine is over!”
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