Dating can be tricky terrain for many of us, but the pandemic has brought an entirely new set of issues to the surface. It seems as if the realities of staying safe during Covid-19 have upped the ante in many ways: relationships can progress—and end—more quickly than they would have otherwise.
At the same time, many people are feeling isolated and in need of genuine human connection.
With safety being a major concern, and many bars and restaurants being closed, navigating the single life during a pandemic has certainly left many in unchartered territory.
While some of us have given up on dating at the moment, others have leaned into the experience. If you are looking for a partner, here are some tips for dating—and staying safe—during these difficult times.
Give Extra Time to Your Most Important Relationship
Humans need relationships and social support, but it can be easy to neglect the longest standing relationship we have: the one with ourselves.
It is not uncommon for people to look outside themselves, often to romantic relationships, for fulfillment.
But the truth is that the most satisfying romantic relationships can only develop when we are happy in our own skin and are able to bring our whole selves to the coupling. You don’t have to have yourself figured out entirely before finding a partner, but it can help!
If you have struggled in past relationships, this pandemic could be an opportunity to get to know yourself a little better. Bring curiosity to your relationship with yourself:
- What activities or simple pleasures do you enjoy most?
- What makes you unique?
- What are your priorities and values?
Start where it matters most, and then go from; it will improve all of your relationships—including your future romantic ones.
Decide What Kind of Partner—and Relationship—You Want
All too often, people dive into new relationships with only a vague sense of what their priorities are and what they need from a partner. if you haven’t already, give yourself permission—and time—to sit with yourself and thoroughly consider these things.
Make a list of the qualities that you want in your ideal partner. What are your non-negotiables? Don’t be afraid to get specific. This will help you understand your needs better.
Relationships have one of the biggest impacts on our quality of life, so it is imperative that we give your energy to the right ones.
Given the myriad ways that our world has been put on pause, now is as good at time as ever to be clear, specific, and aware of what you want as you navigate this new dating landscape.
Communicate Your Needs and Expectations
If good communication wasn’t on your list of non-negotiables, we suggest you go back and add it. Effective communication is vital to establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship, and there is no better time to start on the path to clear, honest discourse with your partner than the present.
If you’ve met someone you connect with, start practicing your communication skills now.
That means checking in with yourself: are you practicing deep listening? Are you sharing vulnerably and honestly? Do you ask for—and share—clarification when needed?
The difficult and high-stakes reality of dating during Covid-19 is fertile ground for practicing healthy communication—and determining whether or not your partner is willing and able to do the same.