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How these lgbtq couples are navigating long-distance relationships in a pandemic

Like many, the year-old used dating apps like Hinge as a way to connect with others, especially since making in-person connections had become nearly impossible with Covid shutdowns. Love under lockdown: The couples pushed together and kept apart by coronavirus.

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With this uncharted era of dating also comes new conversations around consent: Do you feel safe meeting in person during a pandemic? Many have also taken this time in quarantine to self reflect, which has helped pave the way to finding healthier relationships.

Their guards were down, or as he described it, "all caution regarding coronavirus was thrown to the wind.

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A lot of people have used this time to do self work, especially in the dark middle period of quarantine, where it didn't feel like there was any way to meet someone. The two, who had mutual friends in the music scene, began talking after he "slid into her DMs" on Instagram.

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Do you feel comfortable being less than 6 feet apart? How people have acted during this time has helped provide a window into their beliefs, which for some singles has helped narrow down their pool of potential matches. From the beginning, Morgan said, the two were "on the same about how to handle the pandemic.

Under normal circumstances, of course I'd want to hug -- but it was helpful to have that conversation before and nice to know if we don't do something it's not necessarily a of 'Oh, I'm not attracted or interested, but I'm trying to be considerate of your safety and vice versa. Learning each other's values early on. Before they met up, he researched and looked into data about social distancing, Gerhardt said. Dating has never been -- and never will be -- perfect.

Be a tourist in your own hometown

Back in March, Krafchick and Xu decided to bring their community of listeners together in a Facebook group they called "Love in the Time of Corona by the Dateable Podcast. Alec Mahon, 29, met his girlfriend Brooke, during the pandemic. The two have created a Facebook and Instagram dedicated to their love story. They've been inseparable for the past month. Finding your 'apocalypse partner'.

They ended up going on a social distance walk in her neighborhood while both wore face masks.

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He found love during a global pandemic. The lack of touching before meeting, Gerhardt said, made her feel like the two were cultivating "deeper intimacy" as they got to know each other. A year-old nurse named Brooke, with whom he would hike Runyon Canyon -- Los Angeles' picturesque, influencer-ridden trail.

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But that hasn't slowed their relationship down at all. When they finally did meet, on June 26, Morgan said their weekend together "legitimately was like a lesbian romance novel, complete with a fireplace, velvety red blanket and epic thunderstorm. For example, "there are 'Zootie' calls now," Xu explained.

When they finally reached a point where they felt safe enough to start planning an in-person meeting, they found an AirBnB in between their two locations that they considered secluded and off-the-beaten path.

Jessica Gerhardt snapped this photo on her first date with her new partner, where they took a walk in her neighborhood, while wearing masks. Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick host the "Dateable" podcast. On top of the pandemic, these past few months have seen nationwide protests demanding justice and an end to police brutality in the aftermath of the deaths of George FloydAhmaud ArberyBreonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.

Searching for love in the time of coronavirus.

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He's done what many initially considered impossible with social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders:. Group members could check out different Facebook rooms, including: "The Bar," where Krafchick and Xu kicked off the afternoon with intros. Before the pandemic, Xu and Krafchick answered questions on their podcast such as "Do Millennials even want to find love? The 'fail fast mentality'. The podcast hosts have heard countless stories during these past few months of people who have successfully found love, and people who have felt more encouraged by their dating experiences even if their quarantine relationships didn't work out.

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Others said they've seen people sporting face masks in their pictures, to highlight the fact that they are following social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to curb the spread of the virus.

So far, the group has amassed more than members -- who all actively utilize the group to share their experiences with dating in comments, over virtual happy hours, and, sometimes even with the two hosts as guests on their show. Now, however, the pandemic has led to what Krafchick described as the "fail fast mentality. Liz Dwyer, who lives in LA, fell for a guy named Demis Courquet-Lesaulnier, who she has been messaging on Instagram since before the pandemic.

Thursday afternoon, a "Dateable"-hosted virtual happy hour was in full swing, with about 20 people from across the United States -- some returning faces, others new to the hangout -- hopping on a video chat on Facebook. Others ed the "Playtime" room, where they participated in dating-themed trivia. And some ed a new "room" called the "Dance Floor," where one member taught a dance class. View this post on Instagram.

Jessica Gerhardt, a Santa Monica, California, native, and her new partner -- they have not labeled the relationship yet -- waited three months before they decided to meet in person for the first time last week. Meeting at the virtual bar. Yue Xu and Julie Krafchick take a selfie while hosting their podcast. Jessica Gerhardt and her new partner -- they have not labeled the relationship quite yet -- smile during one of the many video chats they had before meeting in person. It was really sweet.

We had to get to know each other -- not just on the 'I think you're good looking' and 'you're cute too' conversation. In fact, it's sped things up.

Long distance love

He went on one Facetime date -- the girl, he said, seemed like she was "just going through her matches But on May 29, he had plans to meet up with a different match -- this time in person. While this may sound extreme, many formerly single people -- and dating experts -- say the pandemic has actually helped people find their matches more easily.

Everyone's more present and they are more conscious about the way they are showing up to these virtual or real-life dates. Now, that plan has been put on hold. While they do not have plans to move in together any time soon, Gerhardt said he has now ed her quarantine pod, which includes her roommate and her roommate's boyfriend. Xu and podcast co-host Julie Krafchick, who are based in San Francisco, said they've noticed an overall change for the better in terms of the dating landscape over the past few months.

He lives in Paris, and they had plans -- pre-coronavirus -- to meet abroad.

Love in the time of coronavirus: couples share how they found matches in the middle of a pandemic

Dwyer said she's gotten closer to her now-boyfriend these past few months virtually, thanks to many of the current events they discuss. Virtual dates have also made people throw their old notions of dating out of the window, as they are forced to get creative.

Their relationship is still a long-distance one -- but Morgan said there's no doubt in her mind that she's found her "apocalypse partner," aka the person to ride out the pandemic with. Now, less than one month and many dates later, they split most of their time between his West Hollywood apartment and hers in Long Beach. I'm Black, he's White. For example, on dating apps, many have said they have encountered photos of people holding "Black Lives Matter" s at protests on their profiles.

The biggest challenge for the singles out there before the pandemic, Krafchick said, was that many spent a lot of time in relationship limbo. At the end of their walking date, he asked whether he could use her bathroom before he drove home. It was in the middle of their approximately three-mile hike, when the two decided they felt comfortable enough to remove their face masks, that he knew this was different. Without the pandemic, she doesn't know what their relationship would look like today.

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Talking about those things can really help you understand someone a lot better on a deeper level and get you past those basic dating questions. Then, some stayed behind to play a game of "Would You Rather?