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Halifax’s professional cupid gets busy matching single men, women amid COVID-19 pandemic

Zahra Zaman

As the weather gets warmer, Nova Scotia’s matchmaker has been bombarded with people wanting to get into her ‘Book of Love’, a database of single people that helps this professional cupid make the perfect match.

“The singles have had a little bit of a wake-up call,” said 34-year-old Jean-eva Dickie, founder and owner of J-E Matchmaking, which has been operating in Halifax since 2017.

“Everybody has slowed down [because of COVID-19]. They’ve invested in the relationships of their family and the people that are important to them…[now they’re starting to look for their significant other].”

READ MORE: When can I date, have sex with someone new again?

Dickie said there was a month between March and April where her clients did not want to date due to the pandemic, but as the whole gravity of the situation settled in, more people became interested in her services again.

“The best part about being single is that we can gallivant around the city and live an amazing single life. And then when it comes time to emergency times, we have to settle in and you’re by yourself,” she said.

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“There’s not really any significant other there to help you out.”

The pandemic couldn’t stand a chance against Dickie’s Book of Love, and people are already getting matched. A man and woman have recently connected through Dickie and are set to go on a date that’s COVID-19 friendly.

READ MORE: How context can help relationships outlast a pandemic

Both will be meeting at the waterfront, and sitting in the back of their own cars while drinking from their own bottles of wine, and chatting with one another at a safe distance.

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“You have to be creative…even Googling great social isolation date ideas,” said Dickie.

However, she still encourages her clients to meet virtually first, and even stick to that without having to meet in-person if that’s what her clients want.

“It’s all based on comfort level.”

Top five sex toys Canadians are buying due to self-isolation
Top five sex toys Canadians are buying due to self-isolation

Dickie said she has set a bunch of people from the Book of Love on virtual dates where they had a house party and played games together.

Others went on virtual tours to the Louvre in Paris or other museums around the world as a way to get to know each another.

She also said Netflix has a browser plug-in called “Netflix Party” that works well for people wanting to go on a date. The extension allows people to remotely host long distance movie nights.

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“I have really seen the beauty of dating during COVID-19, where these men and women were meeting and video chatting and just connecting on a compatibility and chemistry level before allowing the physicality of dating to influence them,” said Dickie.

“Normally we just get physical right away and then we check for compatibility and chemistry and it’s all confusing. But when you start with compatibility and chemistry and then wait for the physicality, that’s the foundation of a great relationship,” she added.

Dickie said most of her clients range from the ages of 28 to 40, but is looking to get into the older age group and the queer community.

Can I have sex while self-isolating?
Can I have sex while self-isolating?

She also noted that the numbers of men and women who have reached out for her service have been pretty even.

“Men have been open to going on a virtual date since the very beginning. Women less so. Women were much like, no, I’m not emotionally in place right now to go on a date. Reach out when this is all settled down,” said Dickie.

Now many of these women are back, and Dickie is already organizing virtual dates for them.

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She’s also organizing speed dating events to take place on Zoom, where 10 men and 10 women would be to join in.

READ MORE: ‘You can still date online’ — How to maintain relationships during the coronavirus outbreak

“We will take a few minutes to go over how the event with progress, as well as some rules and guild-lines. After this 5-minute matchmaker introduction, you will then be separated into ‘break-off’ rooms on zoom for your one-on-one dates,” said Dickie in one of her Facebook events post.

Each date is set to last six minutes, then people continue to go on these break-off dates until each man has met each women. After each date, a person will write down on their matching sheet who they like and who they would like to see again.

“If there is a mutual match, your contact info is forwarded to them, and theirs to you. You are then free to explore your connection (minding social distancing),” Dickie said.

Dickie believes beautiful things can come out of this hard, isolating time and that people can still manage to find love as long as they do it safely and properly.