While most social events and activities are canceled, flights and vacations are canceled, and typical birthday and baby shower celebrations are canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s one thing that’s not canceled… love!
And who knows that better than New York Times Best Selling Author, Elaine Welteroth, and her now-husband, Jonathan Singletary. The lovely couple recently transformed their Brooklyn brownstone into a magical fairytale and virtual stoop wedding on May 10th.
The pandemic and quarantine could not cancel their plans for love and it shouldn’t cancel ours.
If we didn’t know it before, we may know it now…love makes the world go round. Even when we’re brought to our worst circumstances and challenges, it is love and the hope for love that gets us through. Love never goes out of style and can never be canceled. It’s the most powerful energy on the planet, which creates our healing, growth, creativity, and transformation. It is the anecdote to all fear.
So, if love is the answer and the greatest panacea, then why should we stop creating and seeking it?
I don’t believe that we should. I believe that now is a powerful and pivotal time to cultivate new and existing relationships.
Dating is NOT canceled. It’s happening quite a bit in these newer times, just differently. In fact, dating apps are noticing an upward tick in their online users.
Many are comparing today’s pandemic dating to the Netflix reality series, “Love Is Blind” where contestants verbally connect with potential mates through pods without seeing or touching them. The premise is that love can be fostered without sight and touch.
Well, we probably don’t have to go quite as far in our pursuit. Online dating is free, accessible, and wonderful too for us to connect with people from around the globe, with the benefit of speaking and seeing another virtually.
During today’s pandemic, I’m coaching all my single clients to date because it is a wonderful time to date, connect, and discover something new about ourselves and our potential suitors.
These unprecedented times, allow us to go back to the basics in fostering deeper connections and relationships. It affords us an incredible and unique opportunity to explore the mental and emotional facets of relationship-building without the pressure, confusion, and instant gratification of physical intimacy, which can often skew our perception of an individual and cloud our judgment. Taking sex and the physicality off the table requires us to dig deeper and build connections intrinsically.
If you’re struggling to date during this time and not sure where to begin, here are my 7 tips for dating during a pandemic:
Download a dating app of your choice and create an interesting profile.
Consider asking a close friend to describe you for your profile, writing something unique about yourself — maybe you’ve lived or studied abroad, speak multiple languages, mastered a form of martial arts, skydive or scuba dive, or any other interesting hobbies.
Upload flattering pictures of yourself, NOT including selfies.
Selfies are often distorted images and be sure not to over-filter your picture. You want potential suitors to see the REAL you.
Start swiping & texting.
That’s right. Just start swiping left and right. Don’t think too much about it. Saying yes to a swipe or a date doesn’t mean you’re fully vested or headed toward marriage or commitment. It’s just a swipe. Consider engaging with each person that swipes with interest and wants to communicate with you. You never know who may be your special person.
Take it back to old-school.
If you’re a bit old-fashioned like me, you might enjoy the archaic practice of talking for hours on the phone, laughing, and bantering with a potential romantic partner. It’s a benign and fun way to build communication and connection with someone. It also creates an opportunity to learn a lot about one another without leaving your home.
Plan a Virtual Date.
Once you’ve connected with someone via text or phone and feel safe to take it to the next step, then plan a virtual date. This is where you and your potential mate can get very creative. You can “meet” for coffee/tea for the first date or dinner, watch a movie together, enjoy a picnic, or have game night virtually. The options are limitless. Keep it fun and light.
Say it in words.
Who doesn’t like receiving an old-fashioned love note via snail mail? Whether we’re living in the same city or across the country from one another, new relationships are all long-distance right now. If you’d like to further connect with your date why not express it in written words. This can also keep the flame burning until you’re able to meet in person.
When life slows us down, it’s a pivotal time to go inward– to soul-search. Who better to date and get to know than ourselves? Moments of global, massive “silence” can guide us toward inner-silence. We can spend more time in meditation, mindfulness, journaling, reading, and nurturing our minds, souls, and bodies with healthy and positive nourishment and self-love.
While there’s still so much uncertainty around the length of the quarantine and the pandemic, it’s important that we exercise calm and continue living our lives in a new, modified way–maintaining our physical and mental health. Dating, love, and relationships are an integral part of our human existence. We thrive on human connection and require it to get us through this challenge. So, whether you’re single, dating, coupled and married, have fun with your partner, be creative, and focus on connecting. Happy “Dating!”
Photo Credit: Elaine Welteroth Instagram