TV love guru shares new post-pandemic dating rules – from chemistry to condoms

She has given dating advice to celebrities including Gemma Collins, Calum Best and Charlotte Crosby.

And now former Celebs Go Dating relationship expert Nadia Essex is back with a book of tips for post-pandemic dating.

She decided to help singletons after she conducted a survey of 50,000 people and found 70% were anxious after love after coronavirus.

Nadia's book 101 Tips For Dating After A Pandemic reveals the new dating rules.

The 39-year-old says: "After over a year of lockdown – isolation, not dates – life has become even harder for singles.

"Now the restrictions are easing, it's time to get back out there."

She added: "As the rules for dating have changed, I want to help people ease their worries and set the record straight on the new dating etiquette after Covid changed the world."

Here, we reveals Nadia's 20 top tips from the book…

1. Having a few virtual dates before you meet is perfectly acceptable. Video chatting in your loungewear doesn’t count. It needs to be a proper date – get dressed up, sit together online and maybe cook and eat together while you chat.

2. Don’t accept a date if you are not feeling it. If you have no chemistry online, chances are it will be worse in real life.

3. Save the really interesting stuff about you until you meet in real life. If you’ve spoken about all the fun stories and crazy times before you meet, the date itself will be dry as ice.

4. No matter how much you think you like them, always meet in a public place for the first four dates. Be safe – you won’t regret it.

5. If you are worried about Covid, check transmission rates in both of your areas, then choose the safest place to meet up.

6. Don’t be afraid to explain your Covid boundaries to your date. If you want to wear a mask and stay two metres apart, tell them before. It’s important to set boundaries so that you feel comfortable. If they don’t want to respect those and cancel, then you’ve just dodged a bullet.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for a Covid test before meeting. Your boundaries. Your health. Your rules.

8. Wear deodorant and perfume/cologne – just because you may be two metres apart doesn’t mean you still don’t need to have impeccable personal hygiene. Even through a mask, body odour can waft in and will be an instant turn-off.

9. If you meet up and masks are still mandatory, make sure it’s a fresh one. A dirty, old, stale mask is a huge turn-off before the date has even started properly.

10. If you have decided to wear masks, it can be difficult to follow facial expressions during a conversation. Make sure you use your eyes to give lots of eye contact – smile and flirt with your eyes.

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11. Don’t be afraid to only shake hands on a first date if you don’t feel comfortable with a kiss or hug. Less social contact is no longer a sign of a lack of interest – it’s a sign of respect and boundaries.

12. Let your friends set you up. Meeting a total stranger after a pandemic can be intimidating. So get some recommendations from people you trust for suitable dates to ease any anxiety.

13. If you feel anxious about going on a date post-pandemic, don’t get drunk. Many people are like coiled springs after a year of lockdown and a few too many drinks may lead to tears and tantrums. Sip water throughout the date so you stay on a level.

14. Call instead of texting. Isolation and screen fatigue is real. Human interaction and hearing a voice are special things.

15. If you set up an online dating profile, have no more than two selfies for men and three for women on your profiles. Genuine daters want to see a glimpse into your life. Multiple selfies show nothing but narcissistic traits and red flags.

16. Being single in a pandemic is frustrating, but don’t take it out on your profile. Lines such as “don’t waste my time” or “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” are cringe-worthy. Tone on profiles can be misconstrued, so remember to be pleasant. You are trying to attract a lovely person and an aggy profile won’t do that.

17. Use a condom. Lots of post-lockdown bonking will happen and the STI clinics are going to be inundated if we’re not careful. They tell you they don’t like using one? Say: “I don’t like the fact I can’t eat doughnuts every day without gaining weight. So to be healthy I only eat them occasionally.” We can’t do what we want all the time. Welcome to adulting.

18. Do not talk about Covid on a first date. It’s too polarising and people have very strong

opinions. The rules for conversation are no politics, religion or Covid on a date.

19. Your phone is a hive of bacteria. So unless you need it to pay or your date has asked to see a picture of something, keep it away.

20. Don’t brag about being “lockdown-loaded”. Money is a subject that is rarely talked about – and for good reason. Some people are better off because of the pandemic. But bragging about having lots of cash or about how good this time has been for you is a mood killer. Most have had it extremely hard, so just be mindful not to get carried away because you’re now loaded.

● 101 Tips For Dating After A Pandemic by Nadia is out now and available to download or buy in paperback on Amazon.

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