What does dating look like today, in a time of national and international concern over communicable disease?
We are human beings, social creatures. We need each other, we need personal relationships, we need to love and to be loved. And we’re asked to isolate ourselves for our own safety and the safety of all of the other people out there, known and unknown.
What about dating? Yes, you can date, and you should be super smart about it. Let’s face it. The lion’s share of first dates don’t result in life long love. And we all are encouraged to limit exposure as much as possible. And so now we get to do dating differently.
First dates by Skype or Facetime. Sure, absolutely. The smartest idea ever. Do it right, ladies and gentlemen. Set the date, confirm the date, doll yourself up, make yourself a cup of tea, pour a glass of vino, pop open a can of beer, and have fun with it.
Romance, revisited. An element of romance is … suspense. A yearning to be in this new person’s presence, the mystery of not knowing whether this new person of intrigue is or is not The One. What’s romantic? Letters, written with thought, care and sincerity. Our hearts and souls are touched by words, by the sound of laughter, by a hand-written letter, a love note sent through the postal service, through an email, a text message or voila…. LIVE, in-person Skype or Facetime meetings – DATES – Yes, First, second, third dates, Cyber Dates are our friend, today.
Distance, traffic? No problem. All of a sudden, that potential candidate who looks great, but … who’s outside your typical dating radius? NOW is the time to connect with that person. Explore together remotely. Build a connection FIRST, and then… when you’ve really got something going together, schedule that in-person date, which might be an all-day date. Then, keep exploring, by phone, text, Facetime / Skype. The second in-person date might be an overnight or a weekend.
Expand your dating radius. We’re all “long distance” at the moment. Change things up with your filters; open up your once-rigid parameters and see who shows up. Reach out. Initiate. Engage. Adventure into as yet unexplored territory.
Let’s GROW UP. In a time of concern / crisis, we’re all invited to be bigger, better versions of ourselves, as individuals and collectively, as a family of human beings. We have the opportunity to be there for each other in a more deliberate, more intelligent, more conscious way.
Safety Precautions. Typically I advise waiting until Date #3 or longer to invite someone over to your home for dinner or for a Netflix binge together. Today, that kind of in-home date is in some ways safer than meeting up at a coffee shop, a restaurant or bar, many of which are temporarily closed. Meet up virtually and by phone a few times. Do your part to keep yourself and others safe by adhering to isolation guidelines and if you’ve both done that for two weeks, while you’ve been exploring by Skype / Facetime / phone / text, then in two weeks, you’ll both be safe to get together face to face.
Compassionate, Courageous Communication. Here’s your chance to practice this. My coaching client, Annette in Chicago is intrigued with a man whom she’d connected with online and they started having dinner “together” via Skype last week. They both work from home and have been holed up safely in their homes. Annette invited him over for a cooking adventure and dinner at her place for this coming Saturday evening, and in her invitation, she said “My bedroom is off limits, OK with you?” And on their next Skype dinner “together” they launched into an open-hearted, bold conversation about intimacy, sex, mistakes they’d made and seen others make. And they both agreed to take things slowly, to extend courtship, to have the courage to live in suspense for a change. She’s got dessert all planned – they’ll be making chocolate covered strawberries together for inspiration. And they are both very much looking forward to an after dinner make-out session on the couch.