News & Politics

Is Vaccine Status a New Pandemic-Era Deal Breaker When It Comes to Dating?

The "Are you vaccinated?" convo joins a litany of other Covid-era dating precautions.


On January 31, DC editor Sarah Kelly posted a text she received from a romantic interest and labeled it “the most 2021 rejection ever.” The text reads, “Ur real cool however I found someone who is also Vaccinated!! So I think we both wanna minimize our bubble n stay safer in these trying times!!!” The tweet went viral, receiving over 300,000 likes and 20,000 retweets. It also seemed a bit foreboding.

Folks have already been screening the pandemic behavior of potential dates since early 2020. But as DC residents start to receive vaccines, there’s now another factor to consider—is your vaccination status a deal breaker?

More dating app users are identifying themselves as vaccinated on their profiles. Janine Bogris, 25, a Northwest resident, has seen this firsthand: Swiping through her dating apps, she says she’s started to see people post photos flexing their vaccinated status. “It’s funny, right before this call, I opened Hinge and the first person who liked me’s main photo was them with their vaccine card,” she says.

And maybe this trend will soon become permanent: Bogris says she wouldn’t be surprised if dating apps eventually give users the option to identify they’ve been vaccinated—much like listing education, age, or occupation.

While most people in Bogris’ age range aren’t receiving the vaccine yet, she says it’s interesting to see how many vaccine-eligible dating app users have posted vaccine pics. “[My friends and I] think it’s just such a funny trend [that] they offer up that information,” she says. Bogris says she’s not more likely to match with someone if they’re vaccinated—at this point in time, that is.

“The people who have the vaccine [now] work in the medical field,” she says. “It’s not like the people who have gotten it already are the only ones who [will have it in the future].” As vaccine eligibility opens to the wider public, Bogris believes that whether someone is vaccinated will play a larger role in her dating decisions.

And hopefully more widespread vaccinations will make dating easier in general. Bogris, who prefers virtual or socially distanced dates during the pandemic, says some of her matches will try to talk her out of adhering to her Covid guidelines. “I definitely have to stand my ground a bit,” she says. “There [have] been a lot of times where I’ve been asked out on an app, and I was like, ‘In normal circumstances, I think we could have a fun time, but I’m just not comfortable yet Covid-wise,’ and then they try to negotiate with me.”

For Sharon Kim, 29, a trainer at the boxing group Rumble’s DC location, having a potential match that’s vaccinated is definitely a plus—but not a deal-breaker. Kim, a resident of Park View, has received her first vaccine dose, and she says it’s important to meet someone who also takes Covid-19 seriously.

Matching with someone vaccinated could help her ease up on some of her current protocol. Prior to meeting a match from Hinge or Bumble, Kim says she asks about the person’s day-to-day activities—and for the date of their last negative Covid-19 test. “I basically have an application, like a separate questionnaire: ‘New boyfriend application section, please check all that apply,’” Kim says. (In her view, those who want to date during this time should be prepared to get tested on a regular basis: “My nostrils hate me, but my anxiety loves me.”)

Logan Circle resident Bridget Friendly, 27, agrees with Kim—being vaccinated is a perk, not a requirement. She says she wouldn’t swipe right on someone solely based on the fact that they’re vaccinated, especially since she’s already taking precautions. “At this point, all my dates are socially-distanced and outside,” she says. “I don’t think I would match with someone just because [they’re vaccinated], like that’s not a good enough reason.”

But for others? Well, it really is a deal breaker. Silver Spring resident Donnie Bell, 34, a federal government employee, recently received his first dose of the vaccine. “I would definitely be more likely to see someone a second or third time if I know that they’ve already either had [Covid-19] or been vaccinated,” Bell says.

In this new world full of pre-date screenings and Covid tests, having the assurance of a vaccine would just make everything easier, he says. “When someone I’m going on a date with is like, ‘Oh, I’ve already had Covid and I’ve had the vaccine,’ it’s like, ‘Cool, I don’t have to have any worries about hanging out with you.'”