How to Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak

How to Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Like most people, you’re probably social distancing because of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, and you may even be in quarantine or self-isolation. While you’re stuck at home, it’s understandable that you’d feel lonely and want some friends. Additionally, you might be single and ready to mingle — if only there were somewhere to go. Fortunately, it might be easier than you think to meet new people.

Method 1 of 3:
Finding People

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 1
1
Connect with potential partners through dating apps. Dating apps were a common way to meet potential partners even before the coronavirus outbreak, so you may already have a profile. If not, download 1 or more dating apps and fill out your profile. Then, scroll through profiles to find people who catch your eye. [1] X Research source You might try apps like OkCupid, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, or Hinge.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 2
2
Use an app for finding friends. In this day and age, apps aren’t just for online dating. Fortunately, you can join an app that’s exclusively designed for finding friends. Download 1 or more friend-finding apps and create a profile for yourself. Scroll through profiles to find people who have things in common with you. [2] X Research source Try an app like Bumble BFF, Friender, or Hey! Vina (for females only). You might also try Meetup, which might have some virtual hangouts you can join.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 3
3
Friend or follow people on social media. Since most socializing has gone digital, social media can be a great way to connect with others while stopping the spread of coronavirus. On Facebook, add people from the “people you may know” section or friend people who comment on mutual friends’ posts. On Instagram, search for hashtags you like and follow people who seem interesting. You can also look for people to follow on Snapchat, Telegram, or even TikTok. [3] X Research source If someone approves your friend request or follows you back, they may be open to a friendship.
EXPERT TIP
Annie Lin, MBA

Annie Lin, MBA

Life & Career Coach
Annie Lin is the founder of New York Life Coaching, a life and career coaching service based in New York City. Annie has over 10,000 hours of client coaching experience and her work has been featured in Elle Magazine, NBC News, New York Magazine, and BBC World News. She offers services in both one-on-one and group settings, focusing on careers, relationships, emotional well-being, and personal growth. She holds an MBA degree from Oxford Brooks University.
Annie Lin, MBA
Annie Lin, MBA
Life & Career Coach

Our Expert Agrees: Social distancing isn't the same as social isolation—finding ways to connect will help us support each other and feel less lonely. Use text, calls, and video calls to reach out to your family and friends, for instance. You can even set up coffee dates, brunches, or cocktail hours to hang out regularly in the virtual space.

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Method 2 of 3:
Making a Connection

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 4
1
Message a potential friend or partner through the app you’re using. If you find someone you’re interested in friending or dating, send them a brief, friendly message to say “hello.” Mention something you saw in their profile and ask them a question to get the conversation started. If you’re messaging them on social media, tell them why you’re messaging them to put them at ease. [4] X Research source On a dating app, you might say, “Hi, my name is Zara. I love Wes Anderson’s movies, too. Which one is your favorite?” On a friendship app, you could say, “Hey, I’m Alex. I see we have some interests in common. I just got the new Animal Crossing. How about you?” If you’re messaging someone on social media, say, “Hey! I’m also a friend of Andy’s and have seen you commenting on his posts a lot. I’m trying to make some new friends to chat with now that we’re all social distancing. Is that something you’d be interested in?”
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 5
2
Chat daily with your new connections to slowly build a connection. You likely have some extra time on your hands, so use it to get to know people. Message or text your new friends or potential partners throughout the day so you can build a relationship. Ask them questions, tell them factoids about yourself, and send funny memes. [5] X Research source If you’re trying to date someone, get into the habit of sending them “Good morning” and “Good night” texts. Additionally, tell them what you’re doing at different times of the day so they can get a feel for who you are. If you’re making friends, text the person funny stories, ask them questions, or exchange silly memes. You could also talk about a shared interest.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 6
3
Play a round of 20 questions to really get to know each other. One of the benefits of meeting online is that you can have deeper conversations with each other, which helps you learn more about each other. Whether you’re trying to date or making a friend, ask your new connection if they’d be interested in playing a round of 20 questions. If so, take turns asking and answering questions via chat or text. [6] X Research source You might ask questions like, “What is your dream job?” “What would you do on your dream vacation?” “What job would you want if you were on the Mission to Mars?” “What superpower would you want and why?”
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 7
4
Do a video chat to meet face-to-face. When you both feel ready, set up a video chat so you can meet without being in the same room. Use a service like FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom to do your video chat. Treat it like a real-life date or meet-up by getting dressed to go out. [7] X Research source Treat your video call like a real face-to-face meeting so it feels normal. If you’d normally go out for a drink, suggest that you each enjoy a beer or glass of wine. If you like going out for coffee, make yourself a cup of joe or a mug of tea.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 8
5
Send each other videos and pics from your life to help you grow closer. Normally, you’d introduce a new friend or partner to your pet, show them your neighborhood, or take them to your favorite bars and restaurants. However, those types of things will have to wait until the coronavirus threat passes. Instead, snap photos or capture videos from your daily life and send them to your new connection. [8] X Research source For instance, you might take a photo of your coffee and open journal to show them your morning ritual. Similarly, you might make a video of yourself walking around your neighborhood.
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Method 3 of 3:
Enjoying Time Together

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 9
1
Watch the same movie or TV show so you can talk about it. Talk to your new friend or potential partner about the shows each of you like. Pick something that appeals to both of you and watch it at the same time. Chat about it via text or a video call while you’re watching. [9] X Research source If you’re watching something long, text will likely work better. You might send them messages like, “Omg! Can you believe that happened?” or “I saw that coming, lol.”
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 10
2
Do a scavenger hunt together (but separately). Create a scavenger hunt list together, exchange lists, or find one online. Then, hunt for the items on the list and snap a photo of them. Send the photos to the person you’re playing with to prove you’ve found the item. Compete against each other or try to complete the list together. [10] X Research source For instance, your list might include things like these items you could find while walking around your home and neighborhood: a bicycle, a flower, a cat, a piece of fruit, a board game, a band t-shirt, a pair of pajamas, and holiday decorations.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 11
3
Connect via video chat for a date or friendly hang out. Video chat isn’t just for talking! Plan activities for your video calls so you can have fun together. Take turns coming up with ideas for things you want to do. Here are some ideas: [11] X Research source Cook or eat dinner together. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a nice chat. Have a beer or glass of wine. Play a board game or online game. Do a free virtual tour of a museum, like the Van Gogh Museum or La Casa Azul.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 12
4
Set up a group hangout on Zoom, Discord, or Slack for friends. You don’t have to limit yourself to one-on-one hangouts because it’s possible to do a group video chat. Invite both your current friends and people you’ve recently met to do a group hang out using a free service. Set up a meeting, then send everyone a link to join it. Here are some ideas for things you could do: [12] X Research source Have a drink together. Play a role-playing game, board game, or online game together. Make crafts or draw together. Read a play. Start an online club for something like books, wine tasting, exchanging recipes, or knitting.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 13
5
Meet a date outdoors and stay at least 6 ft (1.8 m) apart. After you’ve been chatting with someone for a while, you might decide you’re ready to meet them. Try scheduling an outdoor date in a safe spot, like a local park. Go for a walk together, have a picnic, or just sit and talk. [13] X Research source For instance, you might pick up takeout for a picnic. Sit on separate blankets so you can talk and eat together safely. Be sure to use hand sanitizer before you eat. To be safe, stay off of benches, picnic tables, and playground equipment, which might harbor germs.

Warning: While it’s safe to go outside, you still need to stay at least 6 ft (1.8 m) away from anyone who doesn’t live in your household. Avoid any physical contact during outdoor meetups to be on the safe side.[14] X Trustworthy Source Consumer Reports Nonprofit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy and product testing Go to source

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 14
6
Consider having an at-home date once you know a potential partner well. In general, it’s best to hold off on in-home visits until the coronavirus threat passes. However, it’s possible that the pandemic could last for 18 months or longer, so you both may have too difficult a time waiting that long. So you may decide to invite the person you’re dating over for dinner or a fun activity once it's been a few weeks or months. When you’re both ready, enjoy dinner, a movie, or a game night at each other’s homes. [15] X Research source It’s best to wait until you know you’re interested in building a relationship with a person before inviting them over.

Tip: Use caution when having someone over to your home or visiting theirs. While the coronavirus is ongoing, it’s best to keep in-home visits rare if you’re going to do them at all (it's best to use video chat or get together outside where you can stay at a safe distance). Additionally, make sure the other person is taking COVID-19 seriously and using precautions, like washing their hands.

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Method 1 of 3:
Finding People

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 1
1
Connect with potential partners through dating apps. Dating apps were a common way to meet potential partners even before the coronavirus outbreak, so you may already have a profile. If not, download 1 or more dating apps and fill out your profile. Then, scroll through profiles to find people who catch your eye. [1] X Research source You might try apps like OkCupid, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, or Hinge.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 2
2
Use an app for finding friends. In this day and age, apps aren’t just for online dating. Fortunately, you can join an app that’s exclusively designed for finding friends. Download 1 or more friend-finding apps and create a profile for yourself. Scroll through profiles to find people who have things in common with you. [2] X Research source Try an app like Bumble BFF, Friender, or Hey! Vina (for females only). You might also try Meetup, which might have some virtual hangouts you can join.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 3
3
Friend or follow people on social media. Since most socializing has gone digital, social media can be a great way to connect with others while stopping the spread of coronavirus. On Facebook, add people from the “people you may know” section or friend people who comment on mutual friends’ posts. On Instagram, search for hashtags you like and follow people who seem interesting. You can also look for people to follow on Snapchat, Telegram, or even TikTok. [3] X Research source If someone approves your friend request or follows you back, they may be open to a friendship.
EXPERT TIP
Annie Lin, MBA

Annie Lin, MBA

Life & Career Coach
Annie Lin is the founder of New York Life Coaching, a life and career coaching service based in New York City. Annie has over 10,000 hours of client coaching experience and her work has been featured in Elle Magazine, NBC News, New York Magazine, and BBC World News. She offers services in both one-on-one and group settings, focusing on careers, relationships, emotional well-being, and personal growth. She holds an MBA degree from Oxford Brooks University.
Annie Lin, MBA
Annie Lin, MBA
Life & Career Coach

Our Expert Agrees: Social distancing isn't the same as social isolation—finding ways to connect will help us support each other and feel less lonely. Use text, calls, and video calls to reach out to your family and friends, for instance. You can even set up coffee dates, brunches, or cocktail hours to hang out regularly in the virtual space.

Advertisement

Method 2 of 3:
Making a Connection

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 4
1
Message a potential friend or partner through the app you’re using. If you find someone you’re interested in friending or dating, send them a brief, friendly message to say “hello.” Mention something you saw in their profile and ask them a question to get the conversation started. If you’re messaging them on social media, tell them why you’re messaging them to put them at ease. [4] X Research source On a dating app, you might say, “Hi, my name is Zara. I love Wes Anderson’s movies, too. Which one is your favorite?” On a friendship app, you could say, “Hey, I’m Alex. I see we have some interests in common. I just got the new Animal Crossing. How about you?” If you’re messaging someone on social media, say, “Hey! I’m also a friend of Andy’s and have seen you commenting on his posts a lot. I’m trying to make some new friends to chat with now that we’re all social distancing. Is that something you’d be interested in?”
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 5
2
Chat daily with your new connections to slowly build a connection. You likely have some extra time on your hands, so use it to get to know people. Message or text your new friends or potential partners throughout the day so you can build a relationship. Ask them questions, tell them factoids about yourself, and send funny memes. [5] X Research source If you’re trying to date someone, get into the habit of sending them “Good morning” and “Good night” texts. Additionally, tell them what you’re doing at different times of the day so they can get a feel for who you are. If you’re making friends, text the person funny stories, ask them questions, or exchange silly memes. You could also talk about a shared interest.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 6
3
Play a round of 20 questions to really get to know each other. One of the benefits of meeting online is that you can have deeper conversations with each other, which helps you learn more about each other. Whether you’re trying to date or making a friend, ask your new connection if they’d be interested in playing a round of 20 questions. If so, take turns asking and answering questions via chat or text. [6] X Research source You might ask questions like, “What is your dream job?” “What would you do on your dream vacation?” “What job would you want if you were on the Mission to Mars?” “What superpower would you want and why?”
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 7
4
Do a video chat to meet face-to-face. When you both feel ready, set up a video chat so you can meet without being in the same room. Use a service like FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom to do your video chat. Treat it like a real-life date or meet-up by getting dressed to go out. [7] X Research source Treat your video call like a real face-to-face meeting so it feels normal. If you’d normally go out for a drink, suggest that you each enjoy a beer or glass of wine. If you like going out for coffee, make yourself a cup of joe or a mug of tea.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 8
5
Send each other videos and pics from your life to help you grow closer. Normally, you’d introduce a new friend or partner to your pet, show them your neighborhood, or take them to your favorite bars and restaurants. However, those types of things will have to wait until the coronavirus threat passes. Instead, snap photos or capture videos from your daily life and send them to your new connection. [8] X Research source For instance, you might take a photo of your coffee and open journal to show them your morning ritual. Similarly, you might make a video of yourself walking around your neighborhood.
Advertisement

Method 3 of 3:
Enjoying Time Together

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 9
1
Watch the same movie or TV show so you can talk about it. Talk to your new friend or potential partner about the shows each of you like. Pick something that appeals to both of you and watch it at the same time. Chat about it via text or a video call while you’re watching. [9] X Research source If you’re watching something long, text will likely work better. You might send them messages like, “Omg! Can you believe that happened?” or “I saw that coming, lol.”
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 10
2
Do a scavenger hunt together (but separately). Create a scavenger hunt list together, exchange lists, or find one online. Then, hunt for the items on the list and snap a photo of them. Send the photos to the person you’re playing with to prove you’ve found the item. Compete against each other or try to complete the list together. [10] X Research source For instance, your list might include things like these items you could find while walking around your home and neighborhood: a bicycle, a flower, a cat, a piece of fruit, a board game, a band t-shirt, a pair of pajamas, and holiday decorations.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 11
3
Connect via video chat for a date or friendly hang out. Video chat isn’t just for talking! Plan activities for your video calls so you can have fun together. Take turns coming up with ideas for things you want to do. Here are some ideas: [11] X Research source Cook or eat dinner together. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a nice chat. Have a beer or glass of wine. Play a board game or online game. Do a free virtual tour of a museum, like the Van Gogh Museum or La Casa Azul.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 12
4
Set up a group hangout on Zoom, Discord, or Slack for friends. You don’t have to limit yourself to one-on-one hangouts because it’s possible to do a group video chat. Invite both your current friends and people you’ve recently met to do a group hang out using a free service. Set up a meeting, then send everyone a link to join it. Here are some ideas for things you could do: [12] X Research source Have a drink together. Play a role-playing game, board game, or online game together. Make crafts or draw together. Read a play. Start an online club for something like books, wine tasting, exchanging recipes, or knitting.
Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 13
5
Meet a date outdoors and stay at least 6 ft (1.8 m) apart. After you’ve been chatting with someone for a while, you might decide you’re ready to meet them. Try scheduling an outdoor date in a safe spot, like a local park. Go for a walk together, have a picnic, or just sit and talk. [13] X Research source For instance, you might pick up takeout for a picnic. Sit on separate blankets so you can talk and eat together safely. Be sure to use hand sanitizer before you eat. To be safe, stay off of benches, picnic tables, and playground equipment, which might harbor germs.

Warning: While it’s safe to go outside, you still need to stay at least 6 ft (1.8 m) away from anyone who doesn’t live in your household. Avoid any physical contact during outdoor meetups to be on the safe side.[14] X Trustworthy Source Consumer Reports Nonprofit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy and product testing Go to source

Image titled Meet New People During the Coronavirus Outbreak Step 14
6
Consider having an at-home date once you know a potential partner well. In general, it’s best to hold off on in-home visits until the coronavirus threat passes. However, it’s possible that the pandemic could last for 18 months or longer, so you both may have too difficult a time waiting that long. So you may decide to invite the person you’re dating over for dinner or a fun activity once it's been a few weeks or months. When you’re both ready, enjoy dinner, a movie, or a game night at each other’s homes. [15] X Research source It’s best to wait until you know you’re interested in building a relationship with a person before inviting them over.

Tip: Use caution when having someone over to your home or visiting theirs. While the coronavirus is ongoing, it’s best to keep in-home visits rare if you’re going to do them at all (it's best to use video chat or get together outside where you can stay at a safe distance). Additionally, make sure the other person is taking COVID-19 seriously and using precautions, like washing their hands.

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