The world continues to change as we see two sides of the same coin—spikes in Covid cases and times where it seems as though things are back to normal. Despite what’s happening, we have to continue living our lives to the fullest. For those who are single, a big part of that is dating. Whether you’re fully vaccinated or not, your experience with dating will not be the same as it was a year ago or two years ago. No matter how much we all desire normalcy, it simply isn’t possible, and we must learn to adjust and live with it.
If you’re one of my single clients, you’ve likely heard me say, “Date with Intention.” And there are obvious reasons why a single person should do that. No one is perfect, but if you have a goal in mind, there are things you should intentionally do and don’t do to reach that goal. Dating without an intention to me says, you’re just out here winging it and having fun and whatever happens, happens. And there’s nothing wrong with that if that is “your intention” behind dating and the other person or people know that.
However, some people desire to settle into healthy relationships and aren’t interested in wasting valuable time not knowing another person’s intentions or whether they are on the same page. Having said that, here are some of the critical things to be aware of and to consider when you’re dating post-Covid today and in the future.
It’s easy to look at how you’ve experienced the global pandemic and place those same experiences on others. For example, the way you dealt with lockdown, handled the fear of getting sick or your loved ones getting sick, and how you managed to put yourself back into society – all of which are unique from other people. In other words, every person on earth has had different experiences with Covid-19, and as a result, everyone’s outlook on dating and social life is unique.
When you begin dating again, you shouldn’t make any assumptions about what someone has gone through—you never know if they’ve had any traumatic experiences. If the topic is brought up in conversation, don’t make jokes or comments about you being happy Covid happened or about how you think it was way overblown, or dismiss its impact because of how you dealt with it. Again, each person’s perspective and direct experience will be unique and likely different in many ways.
Instead, ease your way through the topic. Listen carefully and try to understand what the other person went through first. From there, you can be open about your experience while still being sensitive to others’ experiences.
Confidence is KING or QUEEN
Many people will lack confidence when they start trying to date, especially if it’s been a long time. That’s okay, and frankly, it’s expected. Dating was never easy for many of us anyway. The key to dating post covid is to build up your confidence. If you don’t feel ready to date, it could be due to a lack of self-confidence, or you may be focusing on the negatives of dating. When developing your confidence, consider the following:
- Think about what you want from dating and what you deserve in a relationship.
- Think about all the positive attributes you bring to a relationship.
- Consider journaling and writing down your thoughts about your needs, wants, and what you expect to happen.
Knowing what you want from dating makes it easier to go in with confidence.
To further boost your confidence, practice self-compassion, and know your worth. Holding yourself in this space augments your positive attributes. You’ll quickly see those who appreciate and value you right from the start and recognize those who are ideal partners.
Taking Things Slow is Best for Everyone
Dating is something that should never be rushed. Add a post-Covid-19 world into the mix, and you should focus even more on taking things slow. You never know how other people feel about getting back into the swing of dating. Many people—maybe yourself included—are nervous about opening themselves up to strangers after having a more private life for so long.
When you begin to date again, make sure to consider how the person or people you’re dating feel. Talk to them about their experiences and any reservations about opening their social circle. Be comfortable with discussions centered around your needs. After all, that’s in part why you’re dating; to find out if you’re genuinely compatible outside of the chemical attraction.
Also, showing that you respect others’ boundaries will contribute to a more comfortable dating experience for you and those you date. Hopefully, those you date will reciprocate this towards you, thereby fostering more assurance and respect in your relationship dynamics.
Health is a Priority
It’s crucial to consider the health of all the people you date and yourself. While this obviously includes physical health, it’s more than that. We all need to consider the emotional and mental health of everyone we see and that of ourselves. Unfortunately, some people don’t see it that way until they find themselves on the receiving end of being impacted by an inconsiderate person who put them and their health at risk.
These days, it’s okay to be a little stressed and worried about dating, considering all that’s still happening in the world. And it’s alright if you aren’t sure you want to date again. However, it’s not okay to overstep the boundaries of others. When you begin dating, you need to respect the boundaries of yourself and others, period. It’s easy to push too far and cause yourself or others unnecessary anxiety.
There’s a lot of drama already in the world. You don’t need to add any unnecessary and unhealthy additions to your plate. So pay attention and prioritize your emotional, mental, and physical health so you can get the most out of dating.
If you’re ready to get back into dating in the post-Covid-19 world, there are a few key things you need to be aware of and consider. The world has changed a lot, and so have the norms of dating and other people’s outlook on dating and relationships in general. I encourage you to do a self-check on what you need, want, and have realistic expectations about people and today’s current climate. Be sure your values and perspectives align and your personal goals are similar.
I reiterate it’s essential to understand that everyone has experienced the pandemic differently, so be sure to continue working on yourself. When we do this, we can show up and contribute healthily to a relationship. But it requires that we all need to do this individually first. Take your time. Some folks feel like they don’t have much left, especially if they are up in age or simply impatient. But you can rush the wrong thing faster than the right thing and regret it just as quickly. Believe me; you can find more enjoyable ways to waste time if that’s the case.