Life Advice



Erika Ettin: Ask about the vax, and you shall receive

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Last March, I wrote my first article about COVID-19 and dating, thinking things would subside in a few weeks. And then I wrote another one a month or so later. Then another. And now another. I never thought I’d be writing about COVID-19 and dating almost two years later, but thanks to delta and omicron (and my newfound knowledge of the Greek alphabet), here we are.

It’s no secret that over the last almost-two years, COVID-19 has changed the dating world drastically. In 2019, I would have scoffed if two people who lived in the same city opted for a video date instead of an in-person date, whereas now I encourage it if one or both people don’t feel comfortable meeting indoors — or even in person.

Luckily, the vaccine seems to be working in terms of keeping many people healthy or having relatively benign symptoms, but it’s still scary out there.

I was invited to a birthday party on Dec. 11, and at the time, I was sad I couldn’t go. Well, 17 people and counting at the party contracted COVID. Thankfully, while no one’s case has involved going to the hospital, I’m still in shock about how easily it can spread. (These are young, healthy people, mostly in their 20s and 30s.)

This leads to the question a lot of clients have asked me over the last six months or so, and more now with omicron looming:

“Can I ask my potential dates if they’ve been vaccinated?” The unequivocal answer is YES. Yes, you can. How do you go about doing that? It’s simple: “Just to confirm, you’re vaccinated, right?” You don’t have to make a big thing of it — just keep it to the point. It would also be more than appropriate to ask if they have traveled recently or been to any large indoor gatherings. And if someone gets on your case for simply asking, I think you just got all the information you need.


Many of the mainstream sites and apps like Bumble, Match, OkCupid and Hinge now have check-box questions to indicate whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. But those options are relatively new, so if someone filled out a profile pre-vaccine, that information might be missing. Of course, some people also state their vaccine status in the text of the profile, which works as well. If you’re doing this, I simply recommend writing, “vaccinated and boosted” or “triple vaccinated.” Nothing more needs to be said.

Do remember, though, it’s still a dating site, and people want to see your face, so please stop posting mask photos. Masks are mandated in most places right now, so hiding your face in the name of COVID caution doesn’t do anything to help your profile. Simply check the box or write those few short words I recommend.

Lastly, if you’re not vaccinated, please do consider getting the shot. I do not say that as a political issue. Rather, it is an issue of public health and safety. Whatever you choose is best for yourself, if someone asks you your status, please just be honest about it.

In the end, just be careful out there. Go on your dates, but use caution, and by all means, ask if someone is vaccinated if that’s important to you — I know it is to me.

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