Center for Shared Insight, PC

Coronavirus & Dating: The Corona Goggle Effect

April 28, 2020
Posted By: Kristen Hick, Psy.D.

Do you feel desperate for love and connection to counteract the feelings of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic? Is social distancing making you crave any social interactions, even at the expense of those interactions being less meaningful or authentic?

At Center for Shared Insight in Denver Colorado, we’ve been seeing clients with online therapy during social distancing. Through those digital sessions, we’ve noticed what one of our relationship therapists, Dr. Brittany Woolford, termed the “Corona Goggle” effect (similar to the beer goggle effect). The beer goggle effect suggests that under the influence of alcohol, someone is attracted to others who would not otherwise be appealing. That same effect is emerging with digital, online dating, and matchmaking during coronavirus. The isolation of the coronavirus pandemic could be causing you to make poor dating/social decisions. In this post, we discuss how to identify the “Corona Goggle” effect and what to do to overcome it.

Scarcity Mindset

Having a scarcity mindset means believing that resources are limited, as opposed to an abundance mindset which suggests that resources are infinite. Those with a scarcity mindset believe there will never be enough toilet paper and hand sanitizer during this pandemic, and they may be more inclined to stock up on these items. More than that, those with a scarcity mindset might believe social distancing and the COVID-19 disease will go on forever, that they'll be alone enduring it, and everyone is coupled up beside them. Feeling as if you’ll be alone forever may cause you to make hasty decisions and put you at risk of seeing potential partners through “Corona Goggles.”

Lowering Standards & Expectations

If you’ve continued dating someone or met someone new through online dating at this time, it's important to ask yourself whether you’d still be engaging with this person if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t unfolding. Getting honest with yourself around this might be challenging as it’s difficult to truly understand whether you are enjoying any social company or the specific company of this other person. 

Ask yourself whether this person has truly earned your time and attention... 

  • Have they gone out of their way to make you feel special or meet your needs in the limited ways they could during this time? 

  • Are you eager to see this person after the pandemic is over, or are you filling or passing time, or even “dating down” in their company? 

  • Are you avoiding a feeling of loneliness by choosing to engage with this person rather than doing so because you have a genuine interest in getting to know them better? 

  • Are you dismissing red flags

Take a step back and be mindful and objective, rather than emotional. Consider whether you are lowering your standards or expectations as part of the “Corona Goggle” effect.

Dismissing Boundaries

Similar to lowering standards, you may be dismissing boundaries with a new romantic interest during this time. The relationship could get off to a rocky start if you are overly available or accommodating during this time. Keep your conversations or online dates to a reasonable time, around two hours max, and maintain healthy boundaries around communication and intentions. This might even look like insisting on social distancing guidelines despite pressure to get together in person.


During this time, consider removing the “Corona Goggles” by pausing your dating efforts until your intentions and needs are more clear. Continue to date yourself, by focusing on your own self-care. Set yourself up for success long-term by focusing on the abundance of time you have right now to indulge in self-care, hobbies, or rejuvenation. Notice how your anxiety about COVID-19 might shift when you take dating out of the equation. 

Our team of therapists can support your journey of growth during this time, and help you determine whether you’re wearing “Corona Goggles” by dating during the pandemic.

Contact us for a free 20 min consultation to learn more about how we can support you.

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CSIP UPDATE - Offering Online Therapy sessions (to COLORADO residents) during Covid-19.
Our therapists are here to help you during this uncertain time. We know you and others are trying to do your part to social distance due to Covid-19, which is why we are happy to provide online therapy sessions through our secure video platform. We are here to talk with you about how we can meet your therapy needs. 
Contact us today to learn more!