Dating is not without its challenges, and throwing a global pandemic into the mix only makes the process more trying.
Unsurprisingly, 2020 and beyond continues to wreak havoc on our love lives. We're experiencing dating burnout—which feels infinitely worse when we're stuck at home with nowhere to go.
Some of us are guilty of hesitdating. We're caught in limbo and not quite sure what to do relationship-wise, given the ever-changing rules and regulations.
Then, we have the total opposite with those fast-forwarding so quickly that their relationships go from casual to committed in seconds, oftentimes before they're ready for the next step.
How dating has been affected by Covid
According to a new study from WooDate (opens in new tab), an app that helps you plan dates virtually and in-person in the California Bay area, the current health climate has taken a toll on us in the romance department. We won't sugarcoat it: some of the statistics can feel a little disheartening.
Polling 1,000 participants from 10 cities—those who are single (46%), living with a partner (17%), married (34%), and unspecified (3%)—the company uncovered the results below, among others:
- 55% of all respondents said their dating lives are worse than before the pandemic
- People are going on 29% fewer dates per month
- 64% find it harder to plan dates
- 28% feel less motivated to go out
Things might feel bleak, but we're not about to lose hope. There are additional statistics from WooDate that suggest there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
"I think there's going to be a dating surge [post-Covid], I really do," says Daniel Ferras, CEO of WooDate. "I think we have some time before we get there, but people are going to get tired of sitting inside."
Rather than get stuck in the same rut—takeout from the local Italian restaurant, coffee at the same cafe—people are feeling more inclined to step outside of their comfort zones post-pandemic.
"There's a desire to get out there," Ferras adds. "Now when the windows open up, they want to try this new event, they want to try new food and I think there's a positive coming out of that."
Expect the status quo routine to be shaken up when the time is right.
Sure, we might be forced to endure Zoom calls for the moment, but ultimately when the time comes to get back out, we'll feel ready for what lies ahead.
"It's about having a conversation with yourself, making priorities and looking at the bigger picture," says Jaime Bronstein, relationship therapist, coach and host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio. "There are opportunities, it's just about your own personal journey."
Plus, those virtual calls during Covid have surprisingly made romantic connections deeper.
"There's a big thing about intentional dating," Ferras adds. "People are getting to know each other before going on the dates, so hopefully it's a more positive experience."
Research can be a bit more time-consuming, seeing as locations have closed, adjusted their hours, and changed their safety guidelines, but there's a reason to enjoy this additional homework.
More time exploring—and yes, even calling on the phone to confirm a reservation, a prehistoric notion—leads to new discoveries and experiences. Who knew that great place was just around the corner this whole time?
Tips for dating during the pandemic and post-Covid
Things are difficult right now, but a positive mindset can work wonders. Feel your emotions, the good and the bad, but don't let the setbacks while dating during Covid consume you.
"When we carry around this negative energy, it just attracts more experiences that validate that negativity," Bronstein says. "You can consciously make the shift into being more positive—you have to believe something is going to work out for you in order for it to work out."
In order to break that vicious cycle, the dating expert recommends acknowledging those feelings and taking action to move forward on a positive note.
"Instead of feeling like a victim, start shifting into believing mode, in trusting mode."
She adds, "You are going to meet your person, whether Covid happened or not."
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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