Welcome to CNET's Love Syncs, where we answer your questions about online dating. I'm Erin Carson, staff reporter, resident young-enough person, , curator of , most likely to leave you on "read."
This week: You've been vaccinated, but what about your date?
Q: Can you ask your date if they've been vaccinated?
A: Now that nearly half the US population has been fully vaccinated (according to the Mayo Clinic), I've been imagining daters crawling out of the ground like that army of that swept through parts of the country a few weeks back.
As much as anyone is emerging from the last year and a half with Sourdough Knowledge and a fear of running out of toilet paper, they're also reentering a dating scene that's not quite the same as they left it. For one, there's the question of figuring out whether your potential date has also been vaccinated.
If people in general were interested in making each other's lives easier -- which, let me assure you, they're not -- they'd just take advantage of the fact that Bumble and Tinder, let you add a badge to your profile that says you've been vaccinated., like OkCupid,
Sites even Vax That Thang Up, featuring Juvenile.to encourage folks to get vaccinated. Just imagine, in the hallowed halls of the White House, a group of serious political people in suits had to discuss Tinder. And dating app BLK released a song and music video called
The badge is great, because then you don't have to worry about how to have this conversation. Just think: You could close your laptop right now and find a sunny patch of clover to take a nap in.
The good news is that -- earlier cynical remarks aside -- many daters are using those badges. OkCupid says its "I'm Vaccinated" badge has a 96% opt-in rate in the US.
What's more, it turns out that people who are out there boasting of their vaccination status are having more dating success. OkCupid says those with the badge are getting 17% more matches and 55% more likes. Bumble fielded a survey and found that 30% of respondents.
But maybe your match hasn't specified on their profile. What should you do?
Just ask them.
If that sounds entirely too simple, I also asked a few experts for their thoughts, because WOW the power really goes to my head sometimes and it's important to keep that mess in check.
"Clear, enthusiastic consent is so crucially important in any aspect of a relationship, but especially given the circumstances of the past year," Bumble's head of editorial content, Clare O'Connor, said in an email.
As I've said on more than a few occasions, when it comes to dating, you don't have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. That includes rolling the dice on a date who perhaps doesn't like to science.
In that vein, someone's vaccination status could be a larger indicator of compatibility.
"People want to know if you are taking the pandemic seriously, because it signals whether you're someone who has similar values and beliefs," said Michael Kaye, OkCupid's senior global PR manager.
But what about that actual conversation?
I spoke with New York City-based dating and relationship coach Ali Jackson, of Finding Mr. Height.
She suggested leading the chat by offering your vaccination status info. That way, it's "less about putting a person on the spot," she said, and "opening up the floor to them to give you whatever information they're comfortable giving you."
And if you've already set up a time to meet and they tell you the vaccine is going to make them grow a tail and hmmm you're not really feeling it anymore? Welp. Do that thing you kind of always want to secretly do anyway: cancel.
CNET's Love Syncs is an advice column focusing on online dating. If you've got a question about finding love via app, send it to email@example.com for consideration.