With the whole world staying home – is there hope for singles looking to find their one?
We asked Relationship Therapist Dr.Lee.
Since the pandemic has all but shut down online dating as well as going out and meeting someone IRL, this clearly isn’t the most opportune time to find “the one,”—assuming you haven’t met him yet, that is. But since everyone is feeling some degree of isolation and/or loneliness, it gives you a face-saving opportunity to reach out to a present love interest or crush whom you may have felt too timid or awkward about contacting before. Ditto for reconnecting with an available (and hopefully appropriate) ex whom you still have feelings for.
Everyone is feeling anxious about covid-19. This is on top of feeling like time is running out for them to meet their person. How can someone manage this, especially when they are in the mid-late 30s?
Great question! Try to channel your anxiety into a proactive plan. For example, strategize about ways to get out of your comfort zone and meet more potential dating partners when the pandemic is over. Similarly, if you’re feeling particularly anxious about time running out for you to meet, say your baby-daddy, that may motivate you to re-examine priorities when things get back to normal. Specifically, ask yourself if you’re truly devoting as much time and energy to meeting guys as you could be. For example, as frustrating and disappointing as online dating often is, persistence will increase your odds of meeting a great partner.
Can you find love right now in these uncertain times?
This may be a good time to reflect on what romantic love actually means to you. Put differently, who would you feel happiest, safest, most content isolating with? Psychologically, when people are newly aware of their own mortality, what matters most to them is likely to change or evolve. That could hold for what you’re looking for in a partner, too. (Example: choosing kindness over “coolness.”) Perhaps you’ve been overlooking a great guy who has been right there all along.
What are some ways you can still socialise?
You can socialize remotely through conversational intercourse (versus the physical kind). Even without facetime, voices psychologically bond us to one another, so do opt for frequent (and lengthy) phone calls. All sorts of games specifically created for online participants are another option. For partners isolating together, don’t rule out classic, rainy-day standbys like jigsaw puzzles or board games. You can really tell a lot about a guy by what words he comes up with (or doesn’t) in Scrabble, or how he handles losing at Monopoly!
What are some creative ways to meet new men in these trying times?
Try DBD, or Digital Blind Dating. (Yes, I came up with that.) Don’t be shy about asking friends, colleagues or acquaintances, or anyone else with your best interests at heart, if they know of anyone who’d like to “meet”/chat with you digitally. If you do hit it off, later on you’ll have a super cute corona-meet story! And lest you frown on setups, research indicates that the number one way couples meet is through friends (whether blind or through less formal gatherings), followed by online dating. As for the current, corona-necessitated version of gatherings, do participate in one or more of the many Zoom groups out there now that interest you. If a fellow participant catches your eye, mention him by name in a comment or two. You can even start your own Meetup of sorts over Zoom, publicized over social media; “Law and Order Watercooler Group” anyone? ☺
Should you still go on dates?
It’s a matter of risk assessment. For instance seeing someone you don’t know all that well, if at all, most likely isn’t worth the risk of catching COVID-19 and exposing others, too. And even if you have been dating someone regularly before corona hit, you still don’t know if they’re carrying the virus. Incidentally, regardless of whether you know him well or not, if a man pressures you to get together these days when you’re clearly uncomfortable doing so, to paraphrase Don’t Sleep With Him Yet: If he’s not willing to wait, it’s pretty clear the dude is not your soul mate.
Dr.Lee is the author of Don’t Sleep with Him Yet: A Badass Guide to Dating in 10 Empowering Steps