Minnesotans navigating dating scene during COVID-19 pandemic

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For those looking for that special someone, this pandemic has changed dating drastically. But many matchmaking services say it's been a good thing for business.

Laura Nilles is one of many Minnesotans trying to find love.

"I tend to date, and go on a date, I don't know, once a month," said Nilles.

She admits, with social distancing and many places closed, dating just isn't the same.

"This whole new get to know somebody for 55 days before you meet in person is extremely odd," Nilles said.

Nilles is giving it a shot though, posting to Facebook recently, "Folks, I had a 2.5-hour social distancing date. Yep. Sure did!" She added, "for a few split moments, it actually felt like a real date."

"The date I had went well, it was nice and maybe there will be a second, I'm not sure," Nilles said.

To help folks like Nilles, many companies are changing things up to connect people more online, and they say it's working.

"It's been definitely a busy time," said Erika Kybartas, an It's Just Lunch matchmaker.

It's Just Lunch is a matchmaking service, and they've pivoted to helping their clients meet people virtually, even working with those who've never video chatted before.

"We're working with our clients one-on-one to help them with the angles and the backgrounds and anything they need to make their best first impression virtually," Kybartas said.

"We do have to be innovative," said April Sletcher, a matchmaker with Luma Luxury Matchmaking.

Sletcher said they've organized wine and FaceTime dates, and they're also encouraging clients to get creative.

"Play a game of 20 questions, especially if you're in the early stages of dating," Sletcher said.

Plus, Sletcher believes we'll hang on to many of these fun date ideas when things get back to normal.

"Are we going to go out to dinner three times a week and have our date out to dinner," Sletcher said.

For some singles, this is a lonely time.

"You wake up alone, you go to bed alone, and most days you spend the whole day alone, too," Nilles said.

But, Nilles isn't giving up on finding her soulmate.

"If the person I end up meeting during all of this, during COVID, ends up being the person I'm married to and this is a story we tell our kids, it's a fantastic story to tell," Nilles said.

For more information on these matchmaking companies, visit LumaSearch.com and ItsJustLunch.com.