{shortcode-a4fa3fc0971f015aff7d034f60c071435c117f99}We used to live in simpler times, when flirting with a new cutie was as easy as forming a study group and making eyes at them over your Stat 110 problem set. But alas, wooing is a little more challenging when you have to stay six feet apart and you can’t really hear what they’re saying under their mask. So what’s a luvah to do? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Read on for how to (safely) make that COVID-crush turn into a COVID-Connection.

Practice Your Smize

Flirting is all about the eyes, so if you’re lucky enough to be able to see your crush in real life, make sure you’re ready to be smiling with your eyes (“smizing”) like you’re on America’s Next Top Model. But seriously, let the person know you’re into them by communicating! It can be hard to read someone’s expression when you can’t see most of their face, but giving off other good body language like sustained eye contact, laughter, or generally just paying attention to what they’re saying can go a long way.

Picnic Like Your Life Depends On It

Seriously — it might. And if not now, when? Outdoor dates are already the cutest dates, so grab your HUDS meal and make for the river with your crush (and your masks!) Nothing says young love like eating cold chickpeas together. Bonus points if you find a spot a little more unusual than the river, because exploring together will make the memories all the stronger.

Go Virtual

If you can’t actually see your crush in real life, never fear. Zoom chats are about to be your next best friend. Slide into their ZMs and ask to study, or ask to date, or ask to get married, depending upon how big/requited the crush is. Just make sure it’s a private message! You can play it cool and ask to work on a pset together, or full send and just ask to hang out, in-person or online.

Online Dating

It’s a thing, it was a thing before, and it will continue to be a thing. Get swiping, messaging, and doing whatever makes you happy. Worst comes to worst, you won’t meet the love of your life, but might walk away with lots of pictures of people’s cute dogs. Best case? Let’s talk about that picnic (can you say charcuterie board?) one more time, and maybe you’ll get to meet someone’s puppy.

Sure, life is weird, everything is weird. The opportunities for a dance floor makeout or a meet cute anywhere but the laundry room have gone down, but dating doesn’t have to be over. So go find some quarantine cuties.