Walking dates are the new first step for lovers in a dangerous time – The Globe and Mail

Walking dates are the new first step for lovers in a dangerous time – The Globe and Mail

Matchmaker Laura Bilotta walks along a neighbourhood path, where she’s gone on a few pandemic dates in the past, in Oakville, Ont., on Jan. 21, 2020.

Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

After the pandemic did away with dinner and drinks out, matchmaker Laura Bilotta took her dating life into the great outdoors, to a favourite, forest-lined trail in her Oakville, Ont., neighbourhood.

Even with a polar vortex on the horizon, Ms. Bilotta sees upsides to the walk-date – one of few options left for singles hoping to meet others safely this winter.

A brisk walk in the bracing air gets endorphins pumping and good feelings flowing, the dating coach said. Walking is inexpensive – the cost of parking and a coffee, at most. It can be an opportunity for men to exhibit chivalry: Ms. Bilotta tells guys to walk on the street side, like gentlemen. Unless someone brings a flask, the dates are sober, giving people a clearer picture of each other without the rosy sheen of alcohol. And with everyone bundled up in their parkas, “You get a better idea of how you both are in everyday life,” said Ms. Bilotta, who is single after her long-term relationship ended.

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