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Updated June 21, 2021

Hi! Just curious. I’m super health anxious around covid and all so I have basically been not dating since the pandemic hit (a few virtual and like 2 in person dates but not much else). If I’m fully vaccinated, is it safe to start dating like normal again or should I still play it safe and play the virtual field? And does it matter if one of you are vaccinated and the other one isn’t?

It’s been a loooooong pandemic, and so many of us are definitely ready to get our social and romantic lives back on track. But it’s also natural to be nervous and cautious after living through such a traumatic experience. 

It’s great that you got the COVID-19 vaccine, which is the best way to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19. Research shows that the vaccine is really good at preventing COVID-19 and the serious health problems it can cause. So it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get very sick or die from COVID-19 once you’re fully vaccinated (meaning it’s been at least 2 weeks since your final shot). That means that most fully vaccinated people can safely go back to doing stuff they did before the pandemic, including dating and having sex. High five!

There are a few cases where you might need to keep taking other precautions to prevent COVID-19 — like wearing masks and social distancing — even after getting the vaccine. If you have a weakened immune system (because of a health condition or medicine that you take), talk with your nurse or doctor about what you need to do to stay safe. If your partner isn’t vaccinated and either of you have a medical condition that increases your risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19, you may want to avoid sex and other kinds of close contact. And everyone, whether or not they’re vaccinated, needs to follow state, local, workplace, and business rules around masks and social distancing when they’re out and about.

Get tested if you ever have COVID-19 symptoms (even if you’re fully vaccinated). If you test positive, don’t have close contact with anyone until your nurse or doctor says it’s safe for you to stop isolating.

You can read more about what is and isn’t safe to do (depending on whether you’re vaccinated) on the CDC website.

If things end up getting hot n’ heavy with your dates, it’s not just COVID-19 you need to think about — don’t forget to help prevent unintended pregnancy and/or STDs. And you still need to make sure you have consent every time you want to have any kind of sex, regardless of you or your partner’s vaccine status. If your partner doesn’t want to have sex for any reason — including being worried about COVID-19 — it’s important to respect that.

Tags: dating, covid19