In March of 2020, the Vedii team stood before a panel of experts and an audience of our peers at the Centre for Digital Media to pitch our idea of an activity-based dating app. It was one of the last in-person gatherings we attended, only days before strict lockdowns came into effect.
The pandemic has changed every single part of our lives. With our app’s focus on getting out and doing things together, we have had to think long and hard about how we are going to navigate a post-COVID world.
During quarantine, we have started new relationships and cherished old ones. We have found solace in the comfort of others via Zooms, texts and other virtual gatherings. We’ve been burnt out on screen time and binged too many Netflix shows and developed mundane new habits. Some of us have picked up new hobbies; others have picked up new jobs! Many of us have been in trying times — and they have changed who we are.
On a personal note, I picked up yoga over quarantine and it helped me stay grounded while I found myself cut off not only from my family back home in Ontario but also my new friends and loved ones in Vancouver. I developed a blossoming relationship with my houseplants while any others I tried to find by scouring dating apps wilted. When anything seemed to be going good on Tinder or Hinge, I would panic and worry about the logistics of meeting someone new in the middle of a pandemic. Speaking with my single friends, I knew I was not alone in this.
My friends and I had found people we really liked on apps. But we were hesitant to meet them face-to-face because of COVID, even more so than in usual times. The standard first-date locations—coffee shops, bars, etc.—were mostly closed due to restrictions, and if they weren’t, I personally wasn’t comfortable with sitting inside a restaurant full of strangers.
In the summer, when the weather was good, there were options to meet outside, at least. But the logistics of meeting a stranger in a park or on the seawall still felt worrisome. It seemed the last option on the list aside from endless Zooms and FaceTimes was to meet at my place or theirs, and as I had stopped letting even my closest of friends into my apartment, it was way too much for me.
So even more than usual, things fizzled out.
We can only hope, though, that things are looking up. There has been no easy way to navigate this past year, no matter who you are — but as Canada secures more and more vaccine doses, and the end of social and physical distancing comes nearer and nearer, we are looking with confidence and optimism toward a brighter future. Considering how eager people have been about meeting even when restrictions were stronger, it seems very indicative of the excitement to meet new people once things start opening back up again.
We must be careful and we must be safe, but we are optimistic that people will be willing to go into bars and restaurants and meet people outside their own personal bubble! It will be an interesting experiment, really, to see how our social interactions change once we can be social in-person again.
We hope with Vedii that people can meet and vibe and do it all safely. We can’t wait for the days when we can go for a bike ride in Stanley Park or grab a pint on Granville Island and really hit it off with someone! Maybe a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery or Grouse Mountain!
What are you excited about doing most when things open up again?