As the entire public finds itself understandably confused and worried by the current pandemic, it’s helpful to bear certain fundamental principles in mind:
Stressful times call for connection!
Current recommendations call for even healthy people to practice ‘social distancing’ meaning that physical contact should be at least six to ten feet from other people, given that testing is not readily available. I recommend adhering to these guidelines.
However, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT DATING HAS TO STOP! Even with bars, cafes and restaurants being closed, people can still connect emotionally. Methods for doing so, include:
No need to cancel that date! Why not arrange a Facetime appointment with a glass of wine and some snacks by your side, and an hour or so to make someone’s acquaintance via phone or computer?
While not optimal, this beats canceling the date, and saves the driving time on both people’s parts. It’s actually a creative way to ‘make lemonade out of lemons’ and gives people an opportunity to see each other in real-time and to begin a conversation which hopefully opens the door for future communication.
Other options for video communication include Zoom, where the first forty minutes are free. There’s also a video App called Marco Polo, which allows people to make videos and have them viewed at the recipient’s convenience.
As a ‘baby boomer’ myself, I came of age at a time when everyone talked on the phone, since it was the only communication method available for regular contact, besides writing actual letters. These phone conversations over the years created lifelong bonds.
Sadly, this seems to be a practice that has fallen by the wayside as emailing, texting and dating apps put people in touch with swiping, writing and clicking instead.
As a matchmaker, I generally discourage texting before any dates that I facilitate (see guidelines for membership), except for logistics, as it isn’t an actual conversation, but rather just an exchange of quick thoughts/ideas, which often goes nowhere.
Let’s bring back this time-honored practice and start talking to each other again!
There are many advantages to phone conversations: Hearing and responding to each other’s voices (which is absent with texting). Psychologists tell us that hearing someone’s voice, if appealing to the other person, actually produces the same endorphins as being in their presence.
Also, it’s a dynamic exchange between people that can either encourage a budding romance or make it clear that it’s not ‘meant to be.’ Remember, gaining clarity is the name of the game when it comes to dating!
This gives people an opportunity to express themselves thoughtfully and for the recipient to respond at their own pace after reading and digesting the content of the email. This also allows people to think through how they want to respond.
This avoids the pressure of a text where an immediate response is often expected and takes the uncertainty away when people don’t respond instantly, thereby leaving the other person wondering where things stand.
Reading an email also provides insight into how people articulate themselves in writing, a valuable piece of information that can’t always be discerned via the shorthand of a text.
Let’s make the current limitations work for, not against developing new relationships!