12 impactful ways to date during snap lockdown and beyond
We’ve seen it all before…
From How I Met Your Mothers’ Ted and Robin making a pact to marry each other if they’re both single at 40, to Carrie and Mr. Big’s on-again, off-again fling, come relationship in Sex and the City, even fictional characters aren’t immune to pondering: “Will I be single forever?”
And coming out of COVID-19, you’d be forgiven for asking the same question.
With almost three million Australians actively using dating apps, it’s become our go-to link to love – and an increasingly lonely and competitive one at that. But for many single men and women, coming out of isolation means a new era of dating. A world of new possibilities, a chance to change old habits or maybe even ditch dating apps altogether.
So, what can you do to embrace this new season of life to find romance easier than ever?
12 do’s and don’ts to dating success in 2021
1. Flex your social confidence muscle
The gap between being a texting hero and having social confidence is widening. Leave the phone apps behind and talk to people in real-time, rather than waiting for the right time to approach someone or wondering if they’re single – just say something! There’s nothing more attractive than a person who knows what (or who) they want and is willing to go for it. Social confidence is a dating gamechanger.
2. Stay in your dating lane
Forget filters, fantasies and self-exaggerated entitlements. Punching above your weight and searching for someone outside of your league isn’t where lasting, meaningful connections are found. Money can’t buy happiness, looks fade, and physical attraction is short-lived. Successful relationships blossom from compatibility, caring and shared values, not superficial ego-driven desires.
3. Choose one online site or dating app at a time
Before deciding to hedge your bets and add yourself to multiple dating sites and dating apps in the hope of finding a rare gem to capture your heart, consider the opposite approach. Most people register on multiple dating apps to increase their chances which also means they look on all platforms. If your profile is seen everywhere it could give of the vibe that you are desperate or too fussy whereas if you are on only 1 dating site psychologically you create scarcity and come across as a rare find which make you appear higher value.
4. Create a new code of positive dating experiences
Coffee? Been there. Dinner? Done that. Yes, these are fool-proof first date options but it’s what you do not what you say that counts. Positive dating experiences form connections, action equals attraction, having fun releases endorphins and happy chemicals. Fun, laughter and playfulness is the new dating code. Opting for activity-based dates, exercising bike riding, hiking, a walk on the beach, picnic in the hills, live shows, concerts, a stroll around the zoo, wine tasting, boating, canoeing or trip to the markets. Whatever you decide, an activity will help you stay present, find common ground, enjoy each other’s company and take your mind off ‘the future’.
5. Learn to accept rejection
Your attitude towards rejection is your measure to how ready you are to date. If it’s painful, clear your past hurts. You can’t meet the ‘right one’ when you’re dating the ‘wrong one’ so the very essence of rejection is a helpful part of the dating process for the giver and receiver.
6. Use virtual dating as a prelude to dating IRL
None of us like lockdowns but for now they are part of life. It’s important to progress and try to maintain as much of your normal activities to some degree as possible. Whilst you may not be able to meet in person you can most certainly do the groundwork and build some connections that lead to dating IRL. Even if dating apps aren’t for you there are many options in which you can connect with people and have a few laughs and who know you may just meet someone special.
1. Rushing through the early stages
Embrace the slower pace: instead of rushing through the first date and straight to the bedroom, focus on getting to know the other person. Physical attraction and chemistry make you blind to the downsides. Slow down and see what’s beneath the surface
2. Focusing on why it won’t work, instead of how it could
Don’t allow your past experiences or judgments to dictate the outcome. Look at what you do like, instead of what you don’t like.
3. Asking transactional questions
Love is giving, not taking. Instead of trying to uncover what you can get out of the relationship and why you should date this person, consider what you have to contribute and what you are bringing to the table. Enjoy lighthearted conversations rather than the interview style date of firing questions.
4.Falling into the 68ers mindset
What do you really bring to the table in every area of life? It is an absolute given that you deserve love and to have a partner who will appreciate you but wanting more than you have to offer is a mismatch. Being a perfect 6, holding out for a perfect 8 isn’t staying in your lane nor will it help you attract the perfect partner or even the right dates. You are setting yourself up for rejection which impacts your emotional health.
5. No catfishing or dogfishing
Learn to love yourself as you are. Avoid the temptation to self-exaggerate, hide the truth, add extreme filters or misrepresent yourself. Don’t put up photos to lure people in which falsely leads people to swipe or connect.
6. Virtual dating fantasies
Virtual dating is a great way to stay connected and move towards your dating goals. It is easy to fall into the trap of placing all your hopes and desires into one person while you support each other through lockdown with the expectations things will blossom further when you meet. You can develop feelings for someone before meeting them, but nothing takes place of dating IRL, it is not until you physically meet, touch or kiss can you discover if there is a realness to the bond. Talk to several people with the hope to meet in person after lockdown rather than attaching to a fantasy. Learn to love yourself as you are. Avoid the temptation to self-exaggerate, hide the truth, add extreme filters or misrepresent yourself. Don’t put up photos to lure people in which falsely leads people to swipe or connect.
Dating is like any skill you can learn to be good at it and enjoy the process no matter what life throws at you. Why not try turning your dating habits upside down and creating new positive habits. Whether it’s finding out-of-the-box date ideas, making the effort to give someone a second chance or ditching dating apps altogether? Because unlike the fictional couples, there’s no need to create impossible benchmarks for love or fear being “single forever” when there are so many possibilities and new experiences to be had.
WISHING YOU LOVE, ALWAYS,
Louanne Ward x
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