It doesn’t take the gift of foresight to recognize COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, as I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full type of person, but I also consider myself a realist. Meaning I believe we still need to find a way to live our lives and move on, incorporating the existence of coronavirus into our new reality. As a matchmaker, I understand the importance of factoring coronavirus into dating. Not from an, “Oh, it’s all temporary” physical-contact moratorium type of mindset, but from a practical, “How can we minimize risk while optimizing happiness” perspective. In a pre-COVID world, I offered my clients a list of questions to ask their matches before going on a date, many of which were rooted in maintaining personal safety. Now, that list needs to be modified to adjust to our current (and future) reality. The purpose of these questions is still a matter of safety. But my additions focus on a different type — physical health. Below is a list of coronavirus-related questions I suggest asking before a first date. Have you ever had COVID-19? Let’s start with the most straightforward possible question: whether or not your match has ever contracted COVID-19. And if so, when was that? Asking pointed questions like this one help you discern your date’s level of risk or likelihood of coming down with the virus. That said, there’s still much debate surrounding how previous exposure impacts the possibility of future infection. Consider following up with inquiries about your match’s history with COVID-19 testing, including the COVID-19 antibody test, and whether they would be willing to have either before meeting you in person. What is your current risk of exposure to COVID-19? This question is broad, but asking it can result in a variety of valuable answers that could impact your decision about whether or not to meet in person. Your match might be an essential worker or have a family member or roommate who is. Or maybe your match has recently traveled to a coronavirus hotspot. Regardless, the question leaves you with a way to learn about your match’s daily life without having to ask vague or intrusive questions like, “How do you spend your free time” or “What do you do for a living?” Do you take social distancing measures? I like this question because it also gives you insight into your match’s personality and values. It could likewise be a jumping-off point for a discussion about the seriousness of mask usage and the size of this person’s immediate social circle (who they see regularly and is important in their lives). Or whether this person is comfortable leaving their house to go to a restaurant, the grocery store, or, if things go well, to meet you in person. Ultimately, this question can show you how much regard your match has for the health and well-being of other people. These qualities are all essential to learn when starting to date someone, COVID-19 or not. When was the last time you went on a date? This question takes things back to the realm of pre-COVID-19 dating. While it serves to specify the potential exposure your match has had, it also tells you how your match has been approaching COVID-19 from a romantic perspective. Has your match been dating around? Has your match just gotten out of a relationship? A silver lining of the pandemic, if there is one, is having a particular reason to ask this earnest, often uncomfortable question early on in the dating process. Would you wear a face mask during sex? Kidding, not kidding. According to researchers at Harvard University, sex could potentially spread coronavirus. One of the proposed measures couples could take to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission is to wear face masks during sex. If you’re comfortable, you could ask your match what he or she would think of taking such a measure, and from there, have a cheeky conversation to break the ice. Which COVID-19 or not is something every dater hopes to do. Reprinted by Permission from Innovative-Match, a full-service relationship coaching firm. (www.innovative-match.com) Do you have a question as it pertains to dating during or post breakup or divorce? Ask us HERE.