Dating and Covid: Would you date someone who refuses to get vaccinated?

Close-up of a female using a dating app on smart phone. Woman looking at man on an online dating app on her mobile phone.
(PHOTO: Getty Images) (Luis Alvarez via Getty Images)

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Welcome to A Millennial's Dating Diary series, where we explore real-life interactions and the hurdles of dating in Southeast Asia. The series will feature the dating stories and misadventures of Arika – a 26-year-old, straight female marketing manager with a penchant for over drinking — and fellow millennials.

As more countries around the world — like Singapore — ramp up their vaccination efforts, I’ve been noticing a trend among guys on dating apps.

At the time of writing, 63% of Singapore’s total population have been vaccinated — this is approximately 3.5 million individuals.

Back in June, it was reported that 80% of Singaporeans aged between 12 and 39 had booked an appointment to get their vaccine or taken at least the first dose.

It was also announced that Singapore aims to start quarantine-free travel by September for those fully inoculated. So as it stands, Singapore’s stance on the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccination seems pretty clear or, if anything polarising at best.

In the dating realm, beyond the “Which country are you planning on visiting when the pandemic ends?” and “What do you miss most pre-COVID?” questions, guys are now proclaiming their vaccination status as though it could elevate their chances of getting swiped on.

This begs the question, would you date someone who refuses to get vaccinated? For the sake of argument, we’re not going to look into people who cannot get their doses of Pfizer or Moderna due to allergies or other medical reasons.

“I think people have a choice not to get vaccinated — and that’s fine. But I have a choice, not to date people who aren’t vaccinated too,” says my friend, *Isabelle, 27. “On dating apps, you could never know how honest people are. What if someone has had COVID before or has actually been exposed to someone with COVID but doesn’t tell you?” she continues.

“I’d look at the long-term prospects of dating someone. If I’m fully vaccinated, I think it’s completely fine to casually date someone unvaccinated because it’s not like we would travel together anyway. However, if I’m in a long-term partnership and my partner refuses to get vaccinated, I run the risk of losing my partner to COVID if he was ever exposed to the virus,” says my best friend, *Natalie, 25.

All fair points all around, I’d say.

(PHOTO: Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Getty Images) (Tetra Images via Getty Images)

When it comes to dating — whether casual, long-term or even just friends with benefits — we’re on the lookout for someone agreeable with us. Whether it’s liking the same foods we do or sharing the same views on pineapple on pizza, dating is the process of finding people that we can agree with enough to spend dedicated amounts of time with willingly.

This brings us to the crux of the problem here when we think about whether we can date someone choosing not to be vaccinated against COVID or is an anti-vaxxer.

It’s about deciding whether we can live with the fact that the person we’re choosing to love has differing views on us on something relatively major and whether it’s going to be a dealbreaker for us in the long run.

Personally, I’d prefer not to date someone who doesn’t want to get vaccinated. To me, sharing the same views on different aspects of healthcare — whether it’s mental, sexual or general — with my partner is important. After all, I wouldn’t sleep with someone new without some sort of protection, and if they weren’t on the same page as me on this, I’d hightail it out of the bedroom.

Plus, with all the possible upcoming regulations around cross border travel, dining, and more, it just makes even more sense to date someone with the same lifestyle privileges once we’re both fully vaccinated.