This is a strange time in history to be dating.
Not only is it nearly impossible to meet other singles because of worldwide “shelter in place” orders, but when you do run into them at essential places like the grocery store, all you can see is a pair of eyes staring back at you thanks to the masks we’re all advised to wear. Talk about blind dating taken to a whole new level.
If you’re single and desiring a relationship, I know this can be a discouraging time for you. You feel like time is ticking and every day of quarantine is another stolen opportunity for you to meet and interact with someone who could be a potential partner.
If you’ve followed my relationship advice blog, you know that I am all about taking time to get to know someone while dating and letting each season of the relationship unfold naturally. But what happens when those seasons sort of blend together, or when you can’t recognize them at all because your human contact has diminished by 99.999%?
For those of you in the world of dating right now, I want to offer you a few bits of encouragement for dating during COVID-19.
1. Use this time to work on yourself.
The main message at True Love Dates is that healthy people make healthy relationships. One of the best ways to set yourself up for dating success is by taking inventory of your personal health. Human beings are magnetic, and we tend to attract and be drawn to people who are similar to us emotionally and spiritually. If you want to increase your odds of finding a good match, the best thing you can do right now is work on you. There’s no better time to do it. Take inventory of your emotional and spiritual health, and be active in taking steps to get to the next level.
Another important piece to this puzzle is to really get to know yourself, because finding a good match is like putting a puzzle together. You have to know yourself in order to know what kind of person fits — or doesn’t fit — into your life. Use this time to get healthy from the inside out, and then keep your radar on for someone who has done the same.
2. Take advantage of online platforms.
In a recent survey I conducted, one of the top three ways currently married people found their partner was online dating websites and apps. All this to say, people are using online platforms more than ever before, and with the stay at home orders, the online dating world has seen an increase in numbers of people.
If you’ve never considered online dating before, this is a great time to consider it. Check out this article detailing some of the most popular dating sites for Christian singles, and then listen to some important tips to help you up your odds of finding a good match online.
3. Focus on building friendships.
In my latest relationship book, “Love in Every Season,” I talk about the importance of building a friendship early in dating as a foundation for a strong marriage. Too often people rush into relationships and skip this important step.
This is a great time to take inventory of your circle of friends and acquaintances and ask yourself if there’s anyone of the opposite sex who might be worth getting to know a little bit better. Thanks to technology, we have the opportunity to continue building friendships during isolation, but it takes being intentional and deliberate. Sometimes we miss people who could be a great match because we’ve put them in the “friend” category when really, friends are the ones who make the absolute best lifelong companions because a strong marriage is always founded on a strong friendship.
4. Keep your boundaries intact.
It’s easy to let your boundaries slide when you start to feel desperate: to let people into your life or engage in conversations you wouldn’t normally if you were feeling like yourself. Add to that technology being the primary mode of interaction right now, and you’ll notice that your guard isn’t as high as it normally is.
With a lack of face to face interactions, a lack of emotional boundaries can also begin sneaking into your conversations. But this is a crucial time to keep your boundaries intact because boundaries are what keep you healthy and your relationships strong.
Protect your heart emotionally by being cautious with your interactions with the opposite sex and making sure you’re not letting someone in too deep, too soon. Trust is something that must be built over time, and as easy as it might be to rush an interaction right now, it’s of utter importance that you take your time. No one ever regretted giving themselves too much time to get to know someone — only the opposite.
We are in a unique time in history right now, but friends, it won’t last forever. Let’s make the most of this time by seeing it as a chance to get better both personally and in our relationships, rather than simply get by.
Use this time to come up with a plan and ask the Lord to help you get to the next level emotionally and spiritually. Because the healthier you are, the healthier your relationships will be. Guaranteed.
Copyright 2020 Debra Fileta. All rights reserved.