2021 is the Year we got our freedom back and as the Summer approaches and we all long for ‘summer lovin’, it can be hard to get back out there after the year we’ve all had!
Made My Date has you covered, here are our top tips on how to successfully get back out there and date face-to-face after the pandemic…..
- It’s natural to have anxiety of dating again:
It is completely normal for the majority of people to feel anxious about dating again after what has to be the most traumatic and memorable last 18 months for this generation! I mean, we lost almost all our freedoms, we were separated from our loved ones and close friends, some of us were forced into long-distance relationships and for many singletons the pandemic had put our love life on hold!
The great news is that’s all changed now and dating is well and truly back on the cards for many of us, yey! But after almost 2 years of being forced to stay away from each other and only really being able to connect virtually, it’s only natural that meeting someone the ‘old fashioned’ way for a face-to-face date can feel daunting.
Remember that all change, no matter in what part of your life, can create anxiety. The anxiety you feel can be because of this change from virtual to in-person dating or it could rightly be from concern about your health and safety around the Covid-19 disease.
Anxiety is a natural response to a potential threat. It’s our brain’s way of telling us to prepare for a ‘fight of flight’ from a potentially threatening situation. It’s important to recognise this and use this as a tool to prepare yourself for the changes ahead, which include going from virtual or socially distant dating back to ‘normal’ face-to-face dating.
- How to ease from Virtual to F2F Dates:
Just because things are getting back to ‘normal’ doesn’t mean you have to rush into anything. If you feel more comfortable, you can and should ease your way from virtual dating to face-to-face dating.
Let’s make the most of the changes that the pandemic has brought to the way we date. Get to know someone and connect with them through conversation before you meet them. Use the video dating facility on so many of the mainstream dating apps and websites to your advantage. It’s a great way to ensure that you do not get catfished on your face-to-face date later! Send each other voice notes instead of text messages so that you are both clear on the tone in which something is said. It’s also a great way to familiarise yourself with the person you are getting to know before you meet them.
- The importance of self-love and boundaries:
One of the key things to remember and to implement when getting back into dating is to practise self-love and to respect your own boundaries.
It’s very easy for us all to be hard on ourselves when dating with or without a pandemic and being single when you don’t want to be over the last 18 months. You can feel the need to want to ‘catch up’ on your love life. This can cause us to give ourselves pressure to speed things up as we feel we have lost the last 18 months of our lives and may not be where we want to be in life.
It’s very important to give yourself a chance to heal. We’ve all just been through a very traumatic experience and that too together. An experience like this is once in a lifetime that many of our parents or even grandparents did not experience whilst they were young and dating. Bear that in mind when you start to be a bit hard on yourself.
It’s also very important to give yourself some self-love, pencil in some time for a ‘me date’. Loving yourself is ALWAYS the first step to dating, after all you cannot pour from an empty cup. As well as some well-deserved ‘me time’, it’s also important to reflect and define your personal boundaries. What do you feel comfortable with and not within the new restrictions and with risk of Covid-19 itself. We should all consider these things for ourselves first before dating and aim to connect with another that has the same or similar boundaries in order for you BOTH to respect each other. Are you comfortable dating someone that has not been vaccinated? Do you want to maintain social distancing even in face-to-face dates? Or perhaps you don’t mind going back to ‘normal’ dating after 18 months of what feels like torture? Whatever your choices are, the key thing is to ensure that they are YOUR choices and you maintain them when dating again.
- It’s okay to feel nervous, we have all had the same life changing experience – remember that about your date too!:
This one may seem obvious at first but you’ll be surprised how many of us focus so much on ourselves, our feelings, our experiences and forget about the other person on the other side of the table. Now more than ever is the time to remember that you are not alone in your experience of the pandemic and the nerves of getting back into dating again. The person you are on a date with has the same nerves, has had the same if not similar experience to you through this pandemic and is adjusting to the ‘new normal’ as much as you are. The thing with traumatic experiences is that they affect us in so many different ways, sometimes we can see the triggers and other times we are unaware. The person you are dating could have been an extroverted, chatty, lively person but the pandemic could have made them into a quieter, more subdued version of themselves. Remember to give them a chance and time to get back to their normal as much as you may need yourself.
- Remember to take things at YOUR pace:
There are many people that want to get back to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible now that most of the restrictions have been lifted. That may well be what they are comfortable with however if that is not you, make sure you are clear with the person that you are getting to know. It’s very important to take things at your own pace with or without the effects of the pandemic.
If any of this article resonates with you and you would like to learn more on how to prepare yourself for the world of dating post-lockdown, get in touch with us to find out how our Coaching for Dating Service can help you.
The Made My Date Coaching for Dating Service is designed to be tailored to your personal dating goals and we work through the right tools with you to boost your dating confidence for the short and long term. You can find more details and read testimonials from previous clients on our Coaching Service page of our website. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to get started now.