It’s been more than two years since the pandemic started, and no one could’ve imagined how much this would affect our lives – and introduce brand-new dating challenges. Many singles put dating on hold as they were afraid of getting exposed to the virus if they went out and met new people. Others turned to dating apps to find connections and got to know matches virtually until they could safely meet in person.
If you’re dating after a pandemic, you might be asking yourself, “How do I find love?” As cliché as it sounds, the “new normal” is here – and, yes, it applies to the dating challenges singles are facing. Some people took an extended break, others are realizing they need to overcome dating anxieties, and some just need to adjust to dating IRL again.
During the pandemic, singles had to deal with things they’d never experienced. They had to completely change their perspective. And let’s be honest: Removing the ability to be within 10 feet of someone because it was dangerous, really put a damper on dating.
Here are some trends daters experienced during the pandemic.
Usually, when you match with someone on a dating app, you connect within the app and set a date. That wasn’t an option during the pandemic! Dating got even more complicated! Enter the virtual date. Singles tried to recreate in-person dates via video calls, but most felt like they were just staring at a screen and stuck in yet another Zoom meeting. Virtual dates completely removed many of the things that make a first date so exciting.
You hit it off with someone online. Yay! But then you have to ask them if they’re willing to take a COVID-19 test before your first date. How romantic! Pre-date testing was a lot more trouble than it was worth for most singles navigating the dating scene during the pandemic. Get a COVID-19 test, quarantine after, and risk exposure to meet a person you might not even like in person? No thanks!
The new normal first date became meeting in a park, going for a walk, and staying 10 feet apart – or attempting a picnic for the more adventurous daters. Suddenly, everyone on the dating had to become outdoorsy. Hopefully, you lived in a place with decent weather or a park nearby because there was no more going out to dinner or grabbing drinks. The options were very limited!
So, where does that leave anyone who dealt with these dating struggles? Most likely feeling emotionally exhausted and unmotivated! These dating adjustments added up to a lot of dating anxiety during the pandemic – and after.
At this point in the pandemic, people are meeting IRL again. Thanks to vaccines and herd immunity, bars and restaurants are packed again – and dating in person is in full swing.
But that doesn’t mean people still aren’t struggling! Let’s get into the dating challenges singles who dare to attempt dating after a pandemic are facing – and how to overcome them.
Some people chose not to date at all during the pandemic. Jumping back in and figuring out how to overcome dating anxiety can seem like a daunting and intimidating task. You might feel out of practice after such a long break from dating, and maybe you’re avoiding getting back out there because of your fears.
Here’s a little perspective: So many other singles went through the same experience so your insecurities aren’t exactly unique. There’s not one person in the world who hasn’t been affected by the pandemic somehow. Once you get back out there, you’ll quickly see how many other people are too anxious to date, too.
Use this to your advantage and maybe even let your date know you’re a bit nervous because you didn’t date much during the pandemic. Showing that vulnerability will tear down those walls! Your date will probably be happy to share their dating anxieties with you, too. This can be incredibly freeing and help heal your dating anxiety. Just remember: Overcoming your fears starts with dating again.
Many daters feel like they lost valuable time during the pandemic. It wasn’t a two-week ordeal – it was over two years, and it dramatically affected people’s ability to date. This feeling might cause some eager singles to head back out on the scene, craft their dating app profiles, and try to meet as many people as possible. Unfortunately, that will lead to dating burnout pretty quickly.
Instead, replace that feeling of urgency by dating more mindfully. Basically, try to do the opposite of dating too many people at once. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that life is precious. So take the time to get to know each person for who they are without moving so quickly to the next match – and give yourself plenty of time to make sure they align with your values.
If you’re jumping into dating after a pandemic and trying to overcome your dating challenges, our best advice is to do what feels comfortable for you. At Heart Appeal, we foster a supportive community that offers advice for daters and individual relationship coaching for a more hands-on approach. Become a member today and let us help you gain confidence as you navigate the new normal in dating.
Hi, I’m Raghed!
Founder and lead relationship coach at HeartAppeal.
Our blog will be your new favorite place to go for advice, laughs, and comfort through all the stages of dating. We stay up-to-date on all the latest dating trends, so you don’t have to. Have a topic you’d like us to cover or a story you’d like to share with our community? Send me an email; we’d love to include it!