No jab, no date: why not being vaccinated could become the new dating deal-breaker

The Telegraph

There are a number of well-worn phrases that singletons consider to be dating deal-breakers: ‘I don’t want kids’; ‘I know I said I didn’t smoke but…’; ‘Whoops, I forgot our plans’. But we can now add a new one to the list: ‘I’m not getting the Covid vaccine’.

In a new poll for the Telegraph, commissioned by dating app Inner Circle, a survey of over 1,000 adults found that nearly half of British singles want their potential partner to confirm that they have been vaccinated on their dating profile, while 71 per cent of respondents would reconsider dating someone if they refused to have the vaccine.

The study also found that conversations around vaccinations on dating apps had increased by 70 percent, while anti-vaxxers gained widespread disapproval from users in the survey, with most users admitting they wouldn’t date one.

It’s been a tough year for singles who, in the absence of real-life dating in bars, restaurants and cinemas, have had to settle for freezing walks or soulless Zoom dates. The barriers to finding love have never been higher.

Yet for many, the vaccination status of a potential partner is non-negotiable. “I’m back on the dating scene after a drawn-out divorce,” admits Fiona Mudd, a 55-year-old hairdresser from Windsor. “Can you imagine the response from my grown-up children if I introduced a man that didn’t want the vaccine? Meeting the grandchildren would be out of the question.”

Like many people, Mudd has family members with a compromised immune system. “My widowed father is elderly and has recently recovered from an illness,” she says. “It was non-Covid-19 related, thank God, but I would be hesitant to let anyone near him. I’ve been so strict with myself during lockdown: I’ve barely gone out. When I get the vaccine, I can visit family members again.”

If a potential partner is unwilling to have the vaccine, that’s an indication of selfishness, she suggests. “If they aren’t willing to protect their loved ones from the virus, how can I trust them?” she asks.

Mudd, who is looking to date men in their late 50s and 60s, will not be invited for vaccination until everyone over 65 and those with health conditions have been vaccinated. The wait, though, doesn’t put her off. “I rather like taking it slow with a man. There is less pressure on me, and more chance to build a lasting foundation for love.”

Joanna Hackett, a solution architect from Canary Wharf, London, feels the same way. Since January, the 31-year-old has been dating a man that she met through dating app Hinge, and the topic of “if” and “when” a vaccination will happen came up quickly between the pair. Intimacy, on the other hand, stayed firmly off the agenda.

“I’m aware that my age group is last in the pecking order for vaccines,” says Hackett. “But my stand on vaccinations has not changed. I travel a lot for my job and I couldn’t date someone who couldn’t [travel]”.

So far, the couple have had several video dates and a socially-distanced walk along the riverside at Waterloo. “I’d want my partner to come with me when I work or holiday in foreign countries,” she says. “Vaccinations are a crucial part of staying safe abroad.” Hackett’s fears of travel restrictions are valid: just this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that vaccine passports might “inevitably” play a part in international travel.

Many people, she suggests, who have direct experience of Covid-19 will have strong views on the vaccine.

Earlier this year, Hackett’s father Igor contracted the virus but recovered, while the father of a close friend passed away just before Christmas. “My friend’s father was in his mid-60s and healthy. There was no reason he should die. It was horrendous.”

Mudd, too, experienced loss during the pandemic. Recalling the death of her elderly auntie, Florence, she admits that she’d “find it hard to look someone in the face” if they underplayed the ferocity of the pandemic.

For many of us, this period has made clear how important family is in times of need. “I’m at the age where I’m starting to think about dating to settle down,” says Hackett. “I’d like my partner to be on the same page as me when vaccinating our child. Though I’m not eligible for the vaccine right now, as soon as we’re able, I’m going to to the vaccination centre and getting my jabs done. I’d end the relationship if he refused to do the same.”

Even for those in their early 20s, the last group to be vaccinated, the conversation around the topic is a rocky topic. For 27-year old Fred Asquith, a potential partner’s refusal to get vaccinated is a red flag.

“Would I date someone who is against the jab, or an anti-vaxxer in general? Absolutely not. It would highlight a huge divide between us and we’d likely not share values in a lot of other areas as a result,” he says. “I don’t need to have the exact same opinions as my date or partner, but I do think it’s important to share general values.”

Yet some singles are equally firm in their views, and are against the vaccine for now. “It’s my choice whether or not I get the vaccine,” says Mary Edwards* from Bristol. “I don’t know the ingredients in it. When I was given the flu jab at work I was sick for over a week and it didn’t do anything to prevent me getting the flu again.

“No one has the right to judge me for doing something that suits my body,” she adds. “I’m not protesting or making a big fuss about my views. But I think it’s unfair that people might be making assumptions about my personality because of a personal choice. I don’t see it happening, but if dating apps were to create a filter for vaccinated people, I will be really disappointed.”

Many others, including Joanna Hackett, think such a filter could be a good idea. “I’d worry about the level of honesty from catfishes [people who use fake profiles online],” she admits, “but I’d still be all for it.”

6 thoughts on “No jab, no date: why not being vaccinated could become the new dating deal-breaker

    1. If they want to breed, then maybe it’s best they don’t find that magical love connection. I’m personally sick (literally) with the product they’re cranking out because of their twisted belief system. Hey, good morning America, stop normalizing 8 year old trannies!

  1. Do not date a vaccinated person especially if they have had the Bill Demon Vax…They are walking diseases

  2. Yeah it would be. Deal breaker for me if I was single
    I wouldn’t date anyone that chose to get the shot

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