I'm glad Covid-19 restrictions are making me wait for sex while dating

When I was young, I was told you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet a prince.

Well, maybe I should have stuck to kissing because I’ve slept with a few I’d rather forget.

Men who have left, all because – I am informed by my family and friends – I had sex with them ‘too early’ and they ‘lost interest’. 

Yet, holding out has always seemed like an outdated game to me. But, while I defend my actions, the outcome is the same. Guys have left and I’ve not had the chance to get to know them or what I want in a man. If only I could look before I leap?

Previously, I’ve always got carried away. Thanks to Covid-19 though, a casual fling could put myself or a loved one in hospital – so now’s the time to wait and get to know someone.

The pandemic seems to be helping other singles like me with this situation, too. With so many rules and restrictions, many of us have been finding it hard to get close to a love interest, let alone jump into bed with them – a report by YouGov last June showed, as a result of the pandemic, 45% of those actively dating stopped searching for companionship completely.

Social distancing seems to be creating the perfect environment to get to know someone before having sex. In the dating app Bumble’s 2021 guide to ‘Slow Dating’ they say 55% of their ‘daters are taking longer to move a match offline’ – suggesting there are others like me hanging out rather than hooking up.

I hadn’t been on a dating app for months but, in November, I took a temp job and met Adam (not his real name).

I can’t remember our first shift sorting items out together, like he can – but I do recall how hard he made me laugh.

Soon after, I remember sizing him up, waiting for the moment he’d drop his mask to sip a drink; I wanted to fancy him. He was hilarious. I usually like the classic tall, dark and handsome look but, with a shaved head, Adam simply wasn’t my type. 

I hate admitting that, as, three months on, I think he’s fantastic. We can all be shallow sometimes.

Before long – if we weren’t working together at a safe distance in the warehouse – we were spending the time before and between shifts chatting as friends in the canteen over coffee. 

As the pubs aren’t open, the option to drink then tumble into bed together wasn’t even on the table.  

Through our informal dates I learnt that I’m fine chatting to a guy without a beer in hand and it was a nice feeling to not have alcohol clouding my judgement. 

When the slightest graze of skin-on-skin would be deemed a rule break, these moments of human touch – even through gloves – feel satisfying

The restrictions forced me to try what I needed – the opportunity to get to know someone.

Now, Adam and I are practically each other’s shadow. Every day and night we text – even though we talk during work.

With disposable gloves donned, we touch and hold hands. When the slightest graze of skin-on-skin would be deemed a rule break, these moments of human touch – even through gloves – feel satisfying.

Social distancing should have put paid to one of my favourite ways of connecting with people – hugging. I admit, while wearing our masks, we’ve shared hugs and they have felt all the sweeter for savouring human contact. 

On New Year’s Eve we went for a fairy-light lit walk – our official ‘first date’ – although it was hardly government-approved, we were outdoors, just the two of us, and it didn’t feel like we were breaking any rules.

Lockdown’s turned us into teenagers; searching for ways to steal moments together. Especially given that our shift times, living arrangements (with parents), and the restrictions make it almost impossible to see each other outside work.

In short, we haven’t had much privacy. While some friends have cracked ‘al fresco’ sex quips, we aren’t actually teenagers, so I don’t fancy a fumble down the park.

Pre Covid-19, by now beers would have flowed and one thing would have led to another. 

But thanks to the pandemic I’m spending time getting to know someone before seeing them naked. To my surprise, I’m enjoying the anticipation.

Granted, as adults we get sexually frustrated but waiting has also been a turn on – my imagination has gone into overdrive. But hopefully when the time comes the connection we’ve built means he won’t run the moment he’s got what he wants like other men have previously.

I never used to believe that anyone really wants to wait for sex – but I am happy I have had to due to the restrictions

Plus, we’ve got to know each other better than over dinner and drinks. Working long hours will inevitably reveal your true colours, including grumpy and exhausted moments. Yet we continue to spend time together every day. 

I never used to believe that anyone really wants to wait for sex – but I am happy I have had to due to the restrictions. 

That said, following the Government’s latest announcement meaning that sex with people you don’t live with could be legal again from May 17, I’m ecstatic – the date is firmly in my diary!

Talking first has worked for me this time. And while, if it doesn’t work out with Adam, I cannot guarantee that I’ll never sleep with a guy ‘too soon’ again, I’ll know that taking my time to get to know someone is preferable.

I still don’t want to play ‘games’, but I will try and make space for an emotional connection to develop before the physical.

In truth, I am smitten with Adam and, while I’ve enjoyed talking, I hope we survive until the end of lockdown because I want to date properly – with beers in hand, then hopefully everything that follows, enjoyed all the more for the wait…

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