Follow the Herald's latest Lifestyle series for tips to make the most of your time at home.

Obviously a pandemic is not an ideal time to attempt to find love, but if this is the state of things for a while then we simply must find workarounds, writes Sinead Corcoran.

When clubs, bars, backyard gatherings and your usual go-tos for finding love aren't options anymore, it's time to turn to some alternatives.

Here's a list of safe ways to combat loneliness and potentially meet your soulmate - all from the comfort of your quarantined couch.


1. Sign up to all the dating apps, obviously

While under usual circumstances I'd never recommend downloading Bumble, Hinge and Tinder all at once (the admin of replying to so many messages would be a full-time job and a half) these are not usual circumstances.

Crack open a box of cask wine, do some thumb stretches and get swiping – just make sure you don't tee up any actual real-life meetups until the lockdown is over. Instead, feel free to date via FaceTime.

2. Date one of your flatmates

Again, while under usual circumstances "screwing the crew" is ill-advised, sometimes needs must.

If you've always had a secret crush on that person on the other side of your bedroom wall, what better time to test the waters than when you're all stuck at home together, going stir crazy in your track pants for days on end?

3. Date a colleague

Obviously due to the new isolation rules you can't exactly just go and shack up with a colleague.

But here's what you can do: Given we can all probably get away with doing a bit less work now that we're at home (not me though, Boss, I promise I'm still operating at 100 per cent productivity ...) there is now the opportunity for connecting on a more social level.

Might I suggest inviting your work crush on a Zoom and rosé date? If you're feeling bold (like I always am) you could also probably get away with expensing it on your company credit card, so quickly zip out to Glengarry's and stock up (sensibly) before they close.

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4. Take a leaf out of this bizarre, highly addictive dating show

Many of the cast members of Love Is Blind, available on Netflix, fell in love and got married simply by talking through walls. So who better to turn to for advice for dating during a pandemic?

"Having a wall between you is like a free therapy session. You can yell, laugh, cry, even have a silent victory party without your partner taking offense to facial expressions or hand gestures," contestant Giannina told Entertainment Weekly.

"Don't be afraid to make contact with your wall," says contestant Cameron.

"It will feel as if you are embracing a loved one, except instead of the warmth of human contact, you will feel the cool texture of brick, sheetrock, or the aforementioned plexiglass screen of your hypnotic wall. They're pretty much the same though."

5. Call a phone sex operator

We know, we know, this is far from a traditional route to finding love. But spare a thought for sex industry workers who will be feeling the squeeze with a stagnant earnings period.

So if you do feel like a sexy chat in lieu of a close encounter in a club or bar, this is a great way to do it - while also supporting your local community.