Written by CGD - Fri 18th Sep 2020
Looking back at our lives before Coronavirus we took many things for granted - the office banter or going out for a drink after work now seems a distant memory. Whilst many of us have been working from home we have had to adapt to a new normal. We really have no alternative but to go with the ever changing situations. The end of the full lockdown has seen further changes - now local lockdowns are being brought in. The latest information outlines the introduction of local curfews (in some areas) to prevent a second wave of the pandemic. It does make sense to limit the time socialising with others in close contact thus trying to prevent the spread of the disease. But how does this affect dating in the current climate?
As far as relationships are concerned we are hard-wired to connect with other people, it isn't in our DNA to live in isolation without social connections. We need interaction and connecting to others - this is what makes us tick and keeps us motivated. Surveys asking what areas are important in peoples lives, without fail include (in no particular order); Business/career, finances, health, relationships (family, friends & romance) and spirituality (plus much more).
We have to recognise that this pandemic is not here-today-and-gone-tomorrow. Without a doubt we have to adapt to the new normal and we are pushed into making choices - carry on and give up and opt out of dating altogether, but for most of us that would be an option we wouldn't want to consider. In the mean time we will need to make adjustments to our life. But how you adapt to the new normal if you want to keep dating whilst keeping yourself safe?
Be more selective and choose people based on qualities that matter to you
It's very difficult to assess a person based on the information they provide. A dating profile is rather like a CV, we put our best side forward and dumb-down our weaker traits. You will need to assess their qualities and probe a little more - one way you can do this is by asking questions. You will need to engage with the other person by getting a dialogue going and give them an insight into what makes you tick.
In many ways the the restrictions due to the pandemic may be doing you a favour in the long run and force you to think about what you really want.
Think about the key questions early on
Don't wait until you have invested too much time and effort before asking important questions. If something is important to you, ask about it early on. It's always advisable to know who someone really is as soon as you can. You need to try to be relaxed and natural - remember it's not a job interview but you can weave into your conversation or make them more flirty. The more relaxed you are the more the other person is likely to open up and the more you will find out about them.
Have enough remote meetings first
It's easier, faster and cheaper than going on a real date and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. You can learn quite a lot about each other through video chats. Nowadays, if you meet someone online, it's difficult for that person to avoid meeting via video. Be suspicious if someone makes excuses not to chat on video given the fact that very little effort is required to chat via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.
You can order your respective favourite meals and dine in together via video chat - you'll learn a little about their culinary tastes. It will also get you both thinking about your favourite places to eat in the hopes of having a real life date in the future.
You can tour many of the world's finest museums for free or engage with another online activity, and then have something to talk about.
Admittedly, video chats may not seem like the most romantic of venues however, think of this as an opportunity to really get to know the other person without the distraction of alcohol or noise from a busy pub or bar.
If you enjoy board games you may be a Scrabble whiz or prefer Trivial Pursuit, Challenge your match to an evening of digital games.
If you decide to meet in person (subject to the latest restrictions), choose a location where you can socially distance. The purpose of the first in-person meeting is to confirm what you have already worked out about the person during your video calls.
Meeting outside is better than inside. How about a walk in the park on a lovely autumn day? This could give you the opportunity to get to know the other person better.
A coffee shop which is half empty rather than packed is good - sitting outside is even better.
How about a picnic in the park?
Whatever works for you remember that dating is a process more of a marathon than a sprint. There is no logic in emotions but use your intuition and listen to what it's telling you.