Coronavirus and its accompanying social distancing practices have altered how we date. For now, all relationships are effectively long-distance if you don’t live under the same roof. However, some experts are going so far as to claim dating will fundamentally, permanently change once the pandemic ends. The implication is that singles will become different, whether in terms of how they physically relate (including an end to hookup culture) or the type of relationship they will want.
Again, I can see why some dating experts would reach this conclusion. In an earlier blog post, I, too, raised the possibility that people will emerge from isolation more open to commitment. However, to clarify, I raised the possibility. Some people may indeed feel more inclined to settle down following this experience. Others, I believe, may emerge from isolation the same as they were before, eager to make up for lost time. It all depends on what you want.
While COVID-19 has impacted the social climate of our society, I don’t believe it has the power to shatter its foundation. External forces can, however, challenge people to change by providing them with opportunity. First, though, you have to want to change. By transforming yourself into the person you always wanted to be, you can become a more likable version of yourself, to others and to you. Now is your chance to improve your life, which can improve your love life in a post-coronavirus world. Here’s how.
Evaluate your priorities.
I am not talking about your priorities, as in who you want to date (although it’s better to have those priorities in order than not). I am referring to who you want to be as a person. You are stuck at home right now, just you and your thoughts. It can be unpleasant, so try engaging in an internal conversation with yourself. Give your unconscious the chance to reveal itself. I think this is your best bet at figuring out who you are, as well as who you want to be. These two people may be different. The first step of self-improvement is opening yourself up to the idea. The second step is determining which aspects of yourself you hope to improve to achieve an authentic, meaningful sense of happiness.
Fix those aspects of your life that are not making you happy.
People generally don’t like to be around miserable people, so if you are unhappy with certain aspects of your life, you may experience difficulties in achieving your matchmaking goals. It makes sense then that while you have the time, you should fix those aspects of your life which are causing you unhappiness. Consider yourself out of excuses. Clean your house, manage your finances, sort out your love life, resolve your family issues, and improve your mental health (if necessary, see a professional online). Do what you need to do to smile and mean it.
In the pre-pandemic world, it was easy to remark, “Oh, I should help out more,” and then do nothing because we were too busy or someone else’s troubles didn’t affect us directly. With thousands of lives already lost, that landscape has changed. We are not as busy, nor are any of us insulated from this health crisis.
Sew masks, raise money for supplies, prepare food, or do whatever else you can think of to aid others. You will feel happier as a result of your beneficence because it is uplifting to do for others. The transformation will likewise make you more appealing to long-term dating prospects simply because you have added depth and meaning to your life.
Don’t use unemployment as an excuse.
In regular times, unemployment is often a deterrent to dating, whether it is because of cash flow issues or low self-esteem or both. But, in the case of the current global pandemic, you won’t need to spend money on dates because of the sheer fact you are not supposed to leave your home. Not to mention, unemployment doesn’t have quite the same stigma as it does typically. Many people are in the same boat as you, so go easy on yourself if you are unemployed. Honesty is still the best policy. Be raw and open. Make a real connection.
We get what we give in this world, and if you are hoping to find love and affection, that may be just what you need to offer. Consider adopting a pet: nothing teaches you to care about something other than yourself quite like a cat or dog. Plus, adoption will get you off the couch and away from Netflix.
Better yet, consider “adopting” a family or individual who could use a helping hand. Many people are lonely and struggling and in need of compassion and emotional support. By merely picking up the phone, you may, in addition to improving someone’s day, discover a lifelong friend who will bring you love and support some time in the future. Should there also exist a need you can meet, such as the preparation of a meal or throwing a few products into your cart during a real or virtual shopping trip, do it. Small gestures can make a huge difference.
Regardless of how you show it, the end goal is love, so why not make the world around you more loving? More than any virus, an overarching sense that we are all connected is what is contagious.
Reprinted by Permission from Innovative-Match, a full-service relationship coaching firm. (www.innovative-match.com)
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