2020 has thrown dating into unknown uncharted territory. How does someone date during the pandemic?
Is it possible to build an authentic connection while societies are under lockdowns? My answer is: yes.
In today’s article, I want to navigate some of the common perils that exist now…and existed before the pandemic of 2020.
Dating May Be Hard Now, But People Still Desire To Connect
The quarantines, lockdowns, curfews, and closures only highlight the feeling of loneliness. COVID-19 is still very real for many people around the world. And as isolated as everyone feels right now, we all desire to feel connected.
As the holidays come up, we are going to want some semblance of normalcy. And that’s an okay feeling to have.
Dating Is Now Digital
The challenge is using technology to deepen connection, rather than giving us a constant Paradox of Choice. The Paradox of Choice in dating is chronic overexposure to many potential romantic interests, that one is overwhelmed or paralyzed to make a choice on who to commit/focus their time and effort to.
We all want to be the one that is selected for their attention.
Dating is hard because every time you end a good chat, you wonder who the next person might be in their inbox or notification bar. Who are the other people showing up as notifications on their phone?
Online Dating May Be A Numbers Game, But The Higher The Number The More Exhausted You Feel
Soon enough you find yourself repeating the same facts about you to every new match. And it begins to feel insincere. Some of you might even be copying and pasting generic answers from your notes app.
For each potential good chat that may lead to the mutual desire to meet in person, video calls are a viable option—but they only go so far.
Furthermore, as touch starved as many are, I need to state: I do NOT recommend intimate video calls with a stranger you haven’t met in person. Why? Screenshots are a nasty evil that exists now, that ruins lives and careers.
So what to do?
First: You Need To Date Your Self
While you want that special person in your life right now to get you through these times of uncertainty, you need to be strong. This pandemic will be over, vaccines are on the horizon, and this will all be a thing of the past.
Imagine how difficult it was for the people living during the Spanish Flu in 1918.
You will momentarily need to put a high priority on evolving your self. Use this time to do as much self-love and self-care possible. Learn a new skill. Meditate. Exercise. Keep yourself busy with investing in yourself.
Times are hard. It’s not easy. And it’s not easy for everyone. We are all in this together.
Second: When Online Dating, Be Authentic
This is your opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and try being authentic with each match. Are you a one-worded replier? Try enriching your sentences. Begin to notice how you communicate and witness your patterns to questions and responses from matches.
Your goal is to get into the habit of being brazenly authentic, that through the process of sharing, you fall in love with who you are.
Because to find joy in sharing who you are, not for the acceptance of another, but because you genuinely love your life—radiates a very unique type of attractiveness. A happy person despite the pandemic is highly desirable.
Third: You Will Have Plenty Of Matches
Your inbox may be filled with endless and tons of matches. Perhaps every day. SLOW DOWN.
Try to tier your approach. Maybe try only 20 swipes in one day. Your goal is to provide enriching convos that match with you. And for the rest of the day, focus on other ways to fill your time and invest in yourself.
Online dating is addictive because it’s mixed with the allure of a new match/new attention and the fantasy of finding Mr./Mrs. Right.
This is fine initially, but the more we give in to that urge, we begin to highlight more and more our loneliness. Eventually crippling ourselves.
Fourth: Try A High Level Of Considerateness
Ghosting is used so widely, it’s one of the rudest behaviors of modern dating. I challenge you for every match you are no longer feeling, simply tell them in a nice but firm way.
While this practice will initially be greatly uncomfortable (because it’s uncommon), it’s a small start to building integrity.
First, you’ll realize that this is considerate for the matches you aren’t into. Secondly, the most important part, is you’re building a deeper relationship with yourself—you match what you feel, with what you say.
This is powerful. Because you treat others the way you expect to be treated. And that my friends is true confidence.
Fifth: Don’t Take Romantic Interest’s Actions Or Behaviors Personally
The pandemic has made everyone off their A-game. Remember the mantra: “How people treat you is a reflection of them. How you react is a reflection of you.”
Appreciate the possibility the match you are currently obsessing about, because of the current times, has more than likely told you all the good things they either used to be or wish they could be right now. Because people react differently in times of chaos and stress.
So, if they happen to reveal displeasing behavior, or you’ve discovered you’re only 1 of a plethora of matches they are vibing with incredibly deeply—this is a time to be gentle on yourself. This has NOTHING to do with your value, worth, or attractiveness.
Sixth: No “Relationship Guru” Can Advise You What Your Particular Match Will Do
“Say these right words and they will respond like this”; “If you do this, they will do that”—it’s all a marketing ploy and trap.
The truth is, no relationship guru can predict with accuracy what a romantic interest will do. Fact: they don’t even know your romantic interest personally.
The only thing a relationship guru can do is bring out your inner wisdom, build trust in yourself, so you can make empowered choices that align with your values.
Seventh: Because If You Come From A Place Of Self-Love & Confidence, Everything Falls Into Place
Most people enter the dating scene not knowing what they want. They take zero responsibility to approach dating mindfully or respectably.
I want you to remember, when you love yourself and know your worth, nobody—not even that hot match you are vibing with—can throw you off your center. Your value is undisturbed, even in the face of rejection or ghosting.
You teach people, how to treat you. Consciously and unconsciously.
Eighth: “People Have A List Of What They Want In A Partner, But They Don’t Know How To Keep Them Once They Have Them”
Everyone has a long list of what they want, but often they do not have the skillsets to keep a partner around sustainably or long-term.
Say it with me: “I need to know what I bring to the table in a relationship as a partner.”
THIS is what self-love helps you answer. THIS is what investing in yourself is all about. It’s not about just knowing what you want and deserve, it’s about having the self-awareness on what you provide as a high-quality partner.
Ninth: Know What You Want & Express It Openly
I don’t know why modern dating is about how to come off as disinterested to incite attraction; how to not care too much to get them to like you…please explain to me how any of this makes sense.
Is that the type of behavior that you will follow while in a relationship? Could that possibly lead to a happy dynamic between partners if no one ever truly shows up for the relationship—emotional distance?
Relationships are not about games. Relationships are about people who genuinely, mutually, and equally want to be together. To create shared experience, utilizing time and effort to give meaning and value to those experiences.
Know what you are looking for. Express what you want. This will be your filtering process to find potential matches who are looking for the same thing too.
Tenth: The Person Who Will Be Your Future Partner, Is Probably Feeling The Same Way You Do Now
They more than likely feel equal to your struggle, disappointment, melancholy, and frustrations with dating during the pandemic.
This future partner exists out there right now. Going through the same perils during the pandemic as you are.
What should this remind you? You. Are. Not. Alone.
That future partner may not be by your immediate side right now, and maybe you haven’t matched or conversed with them yet. But they are hoping to meet someone like you—exactly as you are—and make surviving, thriving, and championing through this pandemic era, worth it.
Stay strong, love yourself, and be vigilant,