How to date in Birmingham during the pandemic

Bham Now’er Wade Cline and his fiancé Olivia Murphy. Photo via Wade Cline

Looking to get back into the dating scene at the start of the New Year? With COVID-19 limiting in-person contact, it can be difficult to meet new people. Luckily, we have some experts here in Birmingham that can help make it easier to date in The Magic City.

Get Started with Online Dating Apps

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Photo by Mika Baumeister

With in-person meetings kept to a minimum in our current day and age, there are several dating apps you can download to get started. Whether it’s Tinder, Bumble, Hinge or any of the others out there, a good first step is updating your dating profile. Get creative with some new photos, information about yourself and make your profile stand out with your sense of humor!

“I rely on dating through networking and meeting people through people I know. With COVID, that has almost totally disappeared. Early in the pandemic, I went on a date with someone from Tinder but it was very different. In my experience, when you get on Tinder or Bumble, the experience is much more reliant on just messaging each other—you almost don’t have the expectation of meeting someone on a date like you did before COVID-19.”

Cameron Handley

Want to get even more local? Try Set Me Up

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Adelaide Matte, founder of Set Me Up. Photo via Set Me Up on Facebook

For a small-town city like Birmingham, what better way to get started in the local dating scene than by utilizing a local dating app? I spoke with founder and CEO Adelaide Matte to learn more about her local dating service, Set Me Up.

What is Set Me Up, and what prompted you to start the service?

Adelaide: “Set Me Up is a new dating service in Birmingham for working professionals tired of chatting on dating apps. Most dating apps now are quantity-based—tons of swiping and very few real conversations. I set out to offer a quality-based service for people here in Birmingham looking to meet that special someone!”

How does Set Me Up work?

Adelaide: “Set Me Up takes your personal interests and matches you with someone in your area who matches your boundaries, preferences, personality traits and more. We also have COVID-19 regulations so that you know you’ll be going on a safe date.

What kind of dates do you suggest in the midst of a pandemic?

Adelaide: “There are plenty of ways to have safe, socially-distant dates here in The Magic City! Whether it’s going to an outdoor brewery like Back 40, setting up a picnic at Railroad Park, going for a hike at Oak Mountain or Vulcan Trail there are so many ways to get out and about and have real human experiences with people in town. Just get creative!”

What makes Set Me Up unique?

Adelaide: “Since Set Me Up makes the match for you, there is little chatting between the two date-ee’s before their meet-up. We do that on purpose to take technology out of the equation as much as possible. That way you get to have those first conversations and get to know new people face-to-face rather than through a screen.”

Put Yourself Out There

Here’s a radical concept—you don’t need your phone to meet new people in Birmingham. Before the advent of smartphones and online dating, people actually—get this—met in person.

Prepare to hear the cutest story you’ve ever heard. Back in the 90’s, my dad saw my mom at the local bank and asked the bank teller how to get in contact with, “that beautiful girl who was just in here.” Once the bank teller set them up, my dad and mom talked on the phone for five hours. After their call, my dad called my granddad and told him, “I’ve met the woman I’m going to marry.” And the rest is history.

“Just put yourself out there! Work on your confidence. If you see someone, whether it’s at the grocery story or walking their puppy at Railroad Park, just say hello and take it from there!”

Adelaide Matte, Set Me Up

Got tips for people looking to date in Birmingham? Tag us @bhamnow to share!


  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.