He’s Cute, but Is He Vaccinated? Part 2 of 2

You want to know whether a prospective date is vaxxed. How do you find out?

Kim Noble
not vaccinated

In Part 1 of this Series, I surveyed single daters to find out how many of us care if our prospective partners are vaccinated, or whether they would consider “dating across vaccination lines.” It turns out that the majority of those of us who are vaccinated DO care, so that begs the question: How do we find out whether our prospective dates are vaccinated or not?

Online

Some dating apps saw this question coming a while ago. If you’re using one of them, you may have already entered your own vaccination status into the app:

Vaccinated status on dating site

But vaccination status is a new-ish feature and an optional field. Some people may choose not to display it, while others may simply be slow to update their profiles.

Some apps help you state your preference right in your profile. For example, Hinge has fill-in-the-blank writing prompts that include “I’m looking for” or “Reach out to me if.” So, you might write, “I’m looking for… someone who is vaccinated and loves tacos as much as I do” or “All I ask is that you… are vaccinated (and love tacos).”

Hinge-smaller

And if you’re still not sure about their status, you can always borrow some communication cues from real life.

Meeting people IRL (in real life)

Are people still doing this? (I jest.) If you’re lucky enough to meet someone interesting out in the real world and you want to know whether they’re vaxxed, you won’t be able to check their status on an app. And people don’t wear signs that say “I’m vaccinated,” so that complicates things.

In the end, if your strong preference is to date only the vaccinated, being direct is really the best approach. There are a number of ways to quickly but not too abruptly address the subject.

Conversation-starter1d

Or when you’re starting the conversation: 

Conversation-starter2c

It doesn’t have to be that cheesy, but you get the idea. If the answer is “yes,” chances are good they won’t mind being asked. And a “no,” whether graceful or awkward, gives you the information you need before you’ve wasted one another’s time.

A less-direct approach can work too. COVID has impacted so much of our lives in the last two-plus years. Whether you’re talking about work, travel, sports, entertainment, or what’s in the news, it’s entirely natural that the subject will come up (or can be easily steered!). Once the subject of COVID has been broached, you can listen for cues or ask follow-up questions that will ferret out their status.

Travel topics can provide a lot of cues: If their recent or upcoming trip is to a destination that only allows vaccinated people, your question has already been answered! Otherwise, ask what COVID precautions they took on a recent trip, or one they are planning. If they’re vaccinated or had a recent booster, it will probably be part of their answer.

An athlete recently being sidelined by COVID or a movie or theater production being delayed by an outbreak can also be a natural segway to the topic.

Or if you’re talking about COVID in general, ask how concerned they are about the next COVID wave. Their answer might mention their vaccination status as the reason they feel safer. Or more subtly, they might reference themselves as part of the vaccinated community. There’s always a recent headline about COVID in the news you can discuss. A new COVID aid package will fund domestic vaccines, testing, and therapeutics but doesn’t provide global aid — what do they think about that? Or advance your own position and measure the response. Was there an awkward silence (or vehement opposition) when you mentioned you were hoping CDC would recommend another booster before the next major COVID wave? Their general position on these topics can be a strong indicator of the personal measures they’ve taken, even if they don’t volunteer them.

If all else fails, sometimes I propose a speed round of get-to-know-you questions into which you can sneak the vaccination question.

  • Coke or Pepsi

  • Morning or night person

  • Introvert or extrovert

  • Relaxing vacation or adventurous vacation

  • Coffee or tea

  • Left or right handed

  • Text or phone call

  • Prefer reading digital or hard copy (books, newspapers, etc)

  • Adventurous eater, yes or no

  • Vaccinated, yes or no

  • Family nearby, yes or no

  • Go to a gym, yes or no

  • Love your work, yes or no

However you discover the answer, if it’s really important to you, make sure that you do. And when you confirm that match, use our COVID Risk Quiz to determine whether you should take a test before going on your next date. Bring your date flowers, not COVID-19!

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