Social distancing has made dating more complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s off the table entirely.
Brooklyn-based photographer Jeremy Cohen stepped up social-distancing dating and documented it all in a series of TikToks. Last week he noticed his neighbor, Tori Cignarella, dancing on her roof across the street from his apartment and took a chance. Flirting is “usually daunting” for him, he said in his TikTok, but the circumstances gave him a boost of confidence.
“I think being confined to a box while being quarantined can inspire creativity,” Cohen told Mashable in an email, adding that he probably wouldn’t have tried if he wasn’t social distancing. “Because of this and the fact that I craved human connection more than ever, it gave me the guts to shoot my shot with Tori.”
Cohen wrote his number on a scrap of paper, taped it to a drone, and flew it over to his neighbor’s rooftop. An hour later, she texted him.
They planned a dinner date a few days later — with a twist.
Cohen and Cignarella organized a romantic meal of microwaved frozen dinners and wine. He set up a table on his balcony, and she sat at one on her rooftop. They dined together over FaceTime.
Cohen assured Mashable that until a week ago, they really were strangers.
“I can understand how people seeing it could think it would be fake considering there are so [many] endless amounts of videos online that tell fake stories,” he said. “All I can say is that if they knew me personally, they would know I’m not the type of person to put out a big lie and run with it.”
For their second date, Cohen decided to take things to the next level. While they couldn’t quite meet face to face, they could come close.
Cohen inflated a human-sized hamster ball, bought flowers, and rolled over to Cignarella’s apartment. While he wasn’t able to give her the flowers from inside the ball, they could take a socially distanced walk together. They ended the date with an adorable hug through the bubble.
Who says we can’t be intimate during a pandemic?
Cohen isn’t sure how to top these romantic advances for the next date.
“Or maybe Tori will surprise me on the third date?” he wondered. “For now, I’m just taking it day by day.”
Nobody should despair about their singlehood just because we’re all stuck inside. Now is an “even better” time to be single and looking to date, Cohen added, and with the ubiquity of video calling, connecting with someone is easier than ever.
“There are heaps of different ways to communicate [with] people through technology, and it’s all at our fingertips,” he said. “Just be creative, kind, open minded, and put yourself out there! (Virtually.)”
And document it all on TikTok for the rest of the world’s quarantine entertainment.
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