I started this blog a week ago about social distancing and how it will impact your dating and social life. With each passing day, the information we’re receiving changes so dramatically. So, the original piece I wanted to write for you has morphed into something else today.
I’m a dating coach as well as a Matchmaker. A lot of people rely on me for support, dating and relationship advice as well as introductions that everyone hopes will turn into forever magic.
So, what do we do now that we’re isolated in our homes and unable to connect socially? The impact this will have on your dating and social life goes far beyond not being able to go out on a date or meet up with friends.
But, it isn’t bad news that I’m sharing today.
The call to create several feet of space between people is real and warranted. We need to be cautious and smart. People all over the world are being diagnosed and dying, we’re witnessing the closing of schools, the temporary shutdown of businesses and event cancellations. The fear alone is real and palpable.
We’re only in the beginning stages of this and already people are experiencing social loneliness. This comes at a time when single people are already feeling a level of isolation that dating apps have caused. The fragmented conversations, the connections that never leave the app, the ghosting and confusion.
But, how does social distancing directly impact your dating life?
In every way possible. Both positively and negatively. It’s all how you look at it.
First of all, how do you date? Do you cancel the upcoming dates you have or simply put your personal life on hold until further notice? Your close friends are taking a break from getting together, so how are you supposed to feel about meeting a stranger? Even if you wanted to, where would you go? Everything is closed. You could go for a walk but you’d have to keep your distance.
Just a week ago, I read an article in a recent survey in U.S. News, that stated more than 90% of Americans were dating as normal despite Coronavirus. Clearly, all of that has dramatically shifted in just seven days.
But, it got me thinking: Are love and connection cancelled?
Were the people in the survey ignoring the warnings and putting themselves at great risk for something as superficial as a date? Or, were they simply being human and seeking connection at a time when the world is upside down?
It’s been my experience that when a world crisis shuts us down, the need for love and companionship increases. I was working at a matchmaking company in 2001 and on 9/11, that horrific day when all I wanted to do was hide under the covers and cry, we had one of our biggest days for new membership.
We are human. We need connection. No matter what is going on.
Social People and Singles Will Feel This Much Deeper
If you’re a social person, someone who thrives on connection, this is going to be a challenging time. Social distancing will feel like someone has taken away your life raft.
Perhaps you run a business and have asked your staff to work remotely or you’re unable to perform your normal work activities. Much of our social outlet comes from our work environment. With this gone, we lose many of our day to day connections.
Normally, if you don’t have a date or someone to come home to, you’ve got your social activities, friends, gym classes, concerts, weekend getaways. So, therefore, the absence of a partner doesn’t seem as glaring. Right now, if you’re single you could be suffering in a different way than those who have partners.
It’s real, so if you’re feeling it, you’re not alone.
The important thing to remember is that the world will normalize again. There will be plenty of time to date, receive your future partner and plan your future. In the meantime, you could choose to use your time in the best way possible by preparing for the beautiful dreams you have.
The Silver Lining Of Social Distancing
I don’t know about you, but my life moves like a fast train. I long for quiet time for reflection and it’s usually elusive.
You now have time to think, unpack old thoughts and behaviors that might have been holding you back in the past. This is a chance to clear the decks, clear your mind and your heart. Everything and everyone in your life should be put on the table for evaluation. Let go of the anger and sadness you’ve been harboring over an ex. Prepare for your next relationship by working with a coach because your single time is the best time to learn and grow without someone else’s life or agenda to consider.
Here are a few thoughts to keep you moving through this time with the right mindset.
Listen to sound advice, but don’t let panic run your life. It won’t be helpful and will actually cause you more harm than good. Breathe, treat your body well and practice caution.
You may not be hugging and shaking hands, but meaningful communication will help you maintain a sense of support which is vital to your well-being. Reach out to friends and family members on a daily basis. Use this time to catch up with old friends you haven’t spoken to in years due to hectic schedules.
Consider virtual wine or coffee dates.
Most companies are working remotely for the foreseeable future. Why not try this for your dating life? Think of having a Facetime chat as an initial “get to know you” before or instead of planning a first date. You can make this fun and informal and a great way to connect if you’re unable to get together. I’ve planned a Google Girls Wine and Apps Hangout with my friends for this week and I’m really looking forward to it. Just met someone new? Go old school and talk on the phone to develop your connection. As the relationship deepens, chat via FaceTime. It’s a good way to not stop dating all together but rather reframe how you begin the process of getting to know someone new. We’ve been moving too fast. It’s time to slow down. The universe is screaming at us and we need to listen.
Call don’t text.
It’s more important than ever before to pick up the phone. Never underestimate the power of a real conversation. It can make someone’s day and also act as a bridge to the in-person meeting.
Quality and depth wins.
It’s not how long you talk or how many calls or dates you have. It’s the depth of the conversation that matters most. This is what connects people and makes for a memorable and rewarding experience. Something we all need right now as much as we need to stock our refrigerators.
We all have an opportunity to find positive and proactive ways to utilize our time right now. I know it’s tough. I’m having my good and bad moments as well. But, try and consider what you can do to have a deeper connection with yourself and others. Make this a time for growth and self-knowledge. When life normalizes, you’ll be that much more ready to share your life with someone special.
I would love to read your comments on how you’re handling the personal side of your life right now. Please share when you have a moment. Stay safe and healthy.
Great message and timing… yes there are times where I’m feeling uneven and uncertain but then i reframe and rebalance. Sometimes in really simple ways like buying daffodils, turning on music (actually I have presents on my Sonos system;), lighting candles at night and having a fire going. Today I went for a gorgeous hike in the canyons area overlooking the Pacific!
What I also did today that made ALL the difference is that when I was out, I kept my body distance but not at the expense of eye contact, a big smile and greeting and I even waved to each person so that they couldn’t miss my message. I was at the bank and told the teller what I was doing (when I asked him how his day was going). He thought it was so great that he said he was going to pay it forward.
I’ve also mailed some handwritten letters to family on the other coast and have become a zoom person, with plans for they in the works.
Yes there is a silver lining…. if we choose to see it. There are definitely those moments when uncertainty and fear come into view, but I’m definitely using this time, space AND place to reflect, explore and connect in new ways.
Thanks for reaching out in such a genuine and heartfelt way!
We CAN do this!
Wow Christine! You’ve inspired all of us. You are certainly making the most of this time. I love that you “kept your distance but not at the expense of eye contact and a smile.” I noticed walking my pups today that people are almost afraid to greet one another. You are awesome. I hope that everyone reading this will borrow some of your thoughts and mirror your beautiful light and intention. Thank you for sharing with us!
That was brilliant April.
Thank you Renee. Appreciate the lovely compliment! Sending much love.