Tips for Post Pandemic Dating

After a year plus of shutdown, have you forgotten what it’s like to get out there and interact with the real world? You’re not alone. Logan Ury, Director Of Relationship Science for Hinge, calls this new phenomenon FODA – fear of dating again.


best ways to meet Portland singles

It’s a New World

With Portland’s vaccine percentage on the rise, the city’s singles are ready to get out on the scene but it’s a new world where your vaccine status could be the hottest pickup line. There’s a lot to navigate in 2021 post-pandemic dating. The hardest part is gaining the confidence to restart.

Truthfully, there’s no time like the present to set your sights on dating. New beginnings are happening, and with it, renewed hope for a decent first date. How do you get yourself off the couch, let alone excited for a date? We have a few ideas for getting hyped and confident to be back in the dating scene.

Changes to the Portland Dating Landscape:

COVID Comfort Features, Etiquette, & Portland Outdoor Dining
Entering a new post-covid landscape is exciting but there are certain things to keep in mind:

What’s New

Comfort Level: Many apps are now offering an option for you to share your comfort level regarding all things pandemic. This is your opportunity to voice any apprehension without having to insert it into a conversation with a new match.
Video Enablement: Apps are now including an option to connect via video to ease the in-person stresses of the pandemic era. It’s a risk free way to meet someone. Chat over a post-work wine from the comfort of your couch!

Covid Etiqutte

1. Don’t assume in person. Video dating got very popular over the last year so always double check the preference of your date.
2. Before gametime,
 ask your potential date how they feel about touch. Are they comfortable greeting with a handshake, hug, or would they prefer a distance?
3.Bring a mask 
with you; it’s just good sense! Although it might feel unnecessary, consider keeping your mask around your chin at a restaurant. It’s a great way to ensure you’re ready to put it on quickly if you have to sneeze or if waitstaff comes by your table.
4. Tip. Through the pandemic it’s more important than ever to tip at a restaurant or bar. Tipping generously shows that you care about these frontline folk.

Portland’s Post Pandemic Dating + Dining Scene:

Travel Portland has an amazing Portland Patio Finder, which we definitely recommend. Our favorite date spots include:

North West Recs

The Dragonfly Coffee House : This cozy, neighborhood favorite is a perfect date spot off NW Thurman that conviniently surrounds you with several, local neighborhood shops. After opening its doors in 2005, Erin and her team have been delightfully fostering a sense of community and look forward to welcoming you in.

Mama Bird: Brought to you by the same local team as Stacked Sandwiches! Mama Bird opened its doors in 2020 with its 45-seat outdoor patio, fire pit and heated canopy. This beautifully deisgned Slabtown favorite offers a variety of healthy chicken based options, while also catering to vegans and vegetarians.

G-Love: Nestled off NW 21st avenue, G-Love flips the traditional script on the American restaurant experience by creating Portland’s first ever “Reverse Steakhouse” concept by taking vegetables that are harvest from local Olde Moon Farm, and serving them as the main dish, while proteins play a supporting role. This unique concept and beautiful location is sure to enlighten your taste buds and conversation.

Takibi: Japanese for bonfire opened in May of 2021. A restaurant that is inspired by Japen, the changing seasons, and the bonds built by gathering by the fire. The culinary and drink experience is meticulously and locally curated by Executive Chef, Alex Kim and legendary mixologist, Jim Meehan. The thoughtful and minimalistic design offers an immersive experience both in and outdoors on the patio.

Breakside Brewery: This Slabtown favorite opened in March, 2017. With a beautiful interior and now even more expansive tented patio scene, this is the place to be. Since opening, Breakside Northwest has been rated as one of Portland’s best breweries in the area.

St. Jack: St. Jack is an ode to the bouchons — or esteemed cafés — of Lyon, France, and to chef Aaron Barnett’s take on the humble excellence of rustic French cuisine. The outdoor, covered seating includes the ambiance of bistro lighting, perfect for a special occasion date.

South East Recs

The Alley on Division: A hidden gem off the already diverse culinary scene of SE Division, tucked between SE 36th and 37th Ave. In this beautiful, outdoor oasis, you will find hanging lanterns, chess sets, and a map of Middle Earth. This cozy pod gives a thoughtful nod to the “Old Portland” feel, while offering a new and fresh spin.

Corkscrew Wine BarThis Sellwood favorite has transformed their space outside to be a beautiful, intimate oasis to enjoy a glass of wine and bites with your date. Corkscrew often has live music and has a full calendar available with dates on their website.

Kachka After originally opening its doors in 2014, Kachka is considered to be the best Russian restaurant in the country! In 2018, Kachka moved to a larger location in the SE Goat Blocks building. This allowed owners Bonnie and Israel to reinvent their parking lot into a large outdoor patio space.

Bible Club: Located inside an unassuming old, yellow house in Sellwood, The Bible Club has its distinct, speakeasy vibe with a soundtrack playing from the 1880’s – 1920’s. With everything being authentic from the time, this bar takes you back. With an expansive patio scene, it’s perfect for grabbing a signature cocktail while listening to live music – full schedule available on their website.

Palomar: The sleek and colorful daiquiri house and cuban inspired bites has completely revamped its model, moving all service to the plant-lined rooftop overlooking Division St., and switching to reservations only.

North East Recs

Guero: As featured in Bon Appetit Magazine and Thrillist’s “Portland’s Best New Restaurants,” Guero specializes in tortas, sandwiches, with a variety of unique toppings. This is a great casual spot with locally sourced ingredients.

Wilder Bar and Cafe: This delightful, contemporary neighborhood restaurant has inviting decor, fresh seasonal food and a signature cocktail menu. It is perfect for a low key date night.

Montelupo Italian Market: Opening in July of 2020, Portland restaurateur, Adam Berger, created a sensational space that offers fresh house-made pastas, salads, sides, desserts, and Italian market items. Aside from offering plentiful seating indoors, Berger’s team created individual dining pods and an expansive outdoor tent.

Victoria Bar: This NE neighborhood favorite has expanded their outdoor patio seating to accommodate more people, and pups! Plus, with COVID restrictions loosening, the ever popular interior is also available for you to enjoy along with (mostly) vegan bites.

Prost Marketplace: Adjacent to Prost, one of the best German beer bars in town, Post Marketplace has become one of the best food cart pods in town – home to Matt’s BBQ, Burger Stevens, Fried Egg I’m in Love and Buzzblood.

Tropicale: After being a popular favorite found at the Portland Night Market and other city street fairs, Tropicale opened its brick and mortar in 2020! This lively spot is known for Latin American small plates, creative cocktails, and zero proof drinks.

Portland Singles Checklist

We even recommend cleaning up your Profile content. Read through your profile and make some changes to reflect the person you are today. Here are our expert recommendations:

Photos: A lot has changed in the last year. Make sure that your profile photos reflect who you are today. If you rock bangs now or went blonde recently, make sure that your profile pics show your current look.
Backdrops: Each photo is an opportunity to share a little bit more about yourself; don’t waste it! If you got really into hiking or pottery over the last year make sure that there’s photos in your profile that reflect your new passions.
New Features:Take advantage of new health features added to apps like OkCupid that enable daters to share their vaccine status and dating comforts.

Choose to share a new story or lean into a new side of your narrative. Remember, any edits you make could help catch the eye of your next great date.


Portland Dating 101 — Who Are You Hoping to Connect With?

Consider what you’re really looking for in a partner and why you’re committing to put your time and energy into dating. If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Portlanders are excited to get out and date. After a year of missed opportunities, the focus is definitely on finding someone. The question is, what’s stopping you from kicking into high gear?

Navigating the Portland Dating Scene is Tricky

It can be nearly impossible if you’re getting in your own way. At FernDate, our experts coach you 1:1. It starts with a focused consultation to learn about you:

• Who are you looking for?
• Non-Negotiables
• What are your past experiences with dating?
• Any Flags, red or yellow?
• What else should we know to set you up for success?

Our Experts Listen to You

Then they take action and partner with you to reboot your brand, both online and in real life. This means:

• Choosing the right apps for you.
• Updating your photos and profile content to show off your best self.
• Giving you tools to target potential matches and filter through any duds.
• Entering the dating scene in real life with real confidence.

If connection still feels intimidating, our team continues to support you using our own database. We craft messages and take the guesswork out so you’re left with an utterly effortless connection.

Curious how we can help make your profile stand out? Contact our Portland date coach for a free consultation.