The rapidly escalating warnings for people to keep a distance from one another to contain the coronavirus outbreak are creating a new set of rules for social interaction and a series of complications for singles pursuing romance.

Emily Geca, a U.S. citizen, living in London, shares her dating experience:

"I finally find someone I'm into, and now we're quarantined from each other, so I was like, 'okay, what if we do a FaceTime date, but it may be a bit cheesy and weird,' but he was like, 'no, I like that.' So now we're going to have a FaceTime date tonight, I guess, have a drink, maybe eat dinner. I don't know if that's kind of weird, but just have a drink and chat and keep our distance from each other," says Emily.

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Couple, Jessica and John are keeping optimistic during this time and think they will be fine as a pair. "Before it was Netflix and chill and now it's Quarantine and chill," says John.

Atlanta-based actor, Aaron Goldenberg, started including vitamin c immune booster products and toilet paper rolls in pictures for his dating profile.

"I realised I had a lot of it and I thought, 'wow, I'd be a catch right now since everybody seems to need toilet paper. So then I got the idea, I had nothing to do at my house, I just had the idea of what else do I have here that could be in demand that might make me a more eligible bachelor in this time of quarantine. I know I'm finding relief in the humour of other people's posts, so I'm happy to be part of that."

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Although this may seem like a good time to bond, some women may find themselves in a very compromised situation.

Licensed psychologist, Wendy Dickenson, sheds light on the likelihood of intimate partner violence increases during times like these. 

"If you are in a situation where you are spending a lot of time with somebody who is not necessarily stable or safe, it's a problem because we see the rates of domestic violence go up during natural disasters – realtime, we've seen an uptick in domestic violence in China," Wendy says.

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She adds that domestic violence shelters in your area are available to receive people right now. "And I would say this is not a time to push something off or to act like it's not serious, it is a time to take very seriously any escalating violence," she says.

"A really positive spin to put on a really difficult situation is to look to the opportunities here, to spend time with the people you love, to go deeper in relationships than maybe you normally would or to get to some of the topics and activities that you wouldn't always have time for. So I think there's a positive side to this if we can focus on the opportunities that we have."

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below:  

Gender-based violence Command Centre: “Please call me” facility: *120*7867# Emergency line: 0800 428 428 

POWA helpline: 0116424345 

Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# Or visit them by find the nearest office

How has social distancing worked out for you? Tell us your story here.

Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude

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