Apryl Williams, 2021-2022 NDIAS Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Communication and Media at the University of Michigan, has published an article on online dating during COVID-19. The article, entitled "COVID Compatibility and Risk Negotiation in Online Dating during the COVID-19 Pandemic," was published in American Behavioral Scientist and is co-authored by Gabe H. Miller and Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde.
Abstract: We interviewed 31 individuals about their online dating life and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We use literature on risk and health behaviors to generate four frames for dealing with risk associated with COVID-19 while dating: 1) Unconcerned about Risk, 2) Preliminary Risk Assessment, 3) Active Risk Negotiation, and 4) Risk Aversion. Further, we argue that risk perception causes daters to use implicit and explicit communication about health behaviors to determine COVID compatibility, a state of being in agreement with a partner about how to best minimize risk of contracting COVID-19. Daters want to know that their partner is behaving with similar regard for health guidance and that they are doing their best to keep those in their communities safe. Though daters may transition between frames throughout the course of the pandemic, we use these four frames to identify sets of beliefs, routines, and personal health practices across our sample that have relevance for social scientists, health communication scholars, and health care practitioners.