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The New Dating Game

I’m noticing a shift in the dating game. Not only will this pandemic change our everyday lives in the days, weeks, months, perhaps even years to come, but also it will also change the way we connect to one another. Will we be as free to hug our friends and loved ones or give them a kiss on the cheek? I’m a hugger and I’m definitely feeling affection withdrawals.

I imagine those of us that are single have a deeper sense of isolation and loneliness than ever before. As humans, we crave an emotional connection and physical touch. Without it, we can feel a deep sense of sadness and not even be able to identify the cause.

Meanwhile, married people are sick of each other and some wives wished their husbands would keep their hands off them. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. My message to you couples is to appreciate the ones you love. You’re lucky to have someone right now.

Dating is impossible right now and it’s uncertain how long it will be before we can return to some sense of normalcy. There seems to be a higher volume of people on dating sites these days. Sure, it’s most likely out of sheer boredom, but I’d like to think that maybe all the players out there are realizing that their booty calls aren’t available to keep them warm at night in the midst of a global pandemic. Perhaps they are realizing that they need more in their life and regret keeping lovers in rotation without any true commitment. Maybe just maybe they have seen the light and want to fall in love. I know—crazy talk.

I admit, there have been nights where I’ve been bored and started scrolling through my dating apps (yes, plural–not proud). Sometimes it’s purely for entertainment purposes and other times I’m doing research. I am so amused by some of the photos and statements men will put in their profile. I don’t know if women are just as bad at this because I’ve only come across one woman’s profile in my research because she was gay. Let’s face it, women usually know how to take a selfie and work their angles. Men, on the other hand, not so much. Sorry fellas but if you have any bedroom selfies of you lying in bed in front of the mirror or any pics where the camera angle is up your nostrils–please, please take them down. Don’t even get me started on all the gym selfies and what is with all the pictures with fish?

This travesty gave me an idea to build a program to help men (and women) create a dynamic online dating profile. I’m working on it now and I can’t wait to launch it. People need help in this area. If all we have is dating sites as a way to meet people during quarantine then people need to step up their game. I would not only love to help people select the best photos but to learn to craft an intriguing profile that shows their true personality. To even go beyond that and help people better communicate to keep your conversation engaging.

I can’t tell you how many men that I’ve started messaging online have zero conversation skills. For instance, this guy Scott, that I just matched with; he gives me one-word answers and has never once asked me a question about myself. He’s cute but if you can’t hold a conversation and keep it going you’re never going to find anyone online. The other guy I’m talking to is funny but he only sends me one message a day about what his big plans are under quarantine that day or asks what I’m cooking us for dinner that night. He at least knows how to keep me interested. The other day he asked where I want to go on our first date if we ever get out of quarantine. My response, “Maybe we can have a drink somewhere by the water. Then we can douse ourselves with hand sanitizer to hug. If it gets really hot, then we can kiss over our face masks.”  Listen, we have to keep our sense of humor during these uncertain times.

I might break my own record of how long I stay celibate. I was already getting Spring fever so this is not good.  I can’t help but wonder how long it’s going to be before we can go on a date with someone never mind how long it will be before we feel comfortable swapping spit. Hell, the most action we’re going to get is an elbow bump. Maybe we should watch that movie, Five Feet Apart and see how it’s done.

Things will need to change and maybe for the better. Perhaps this will force us to make deeper emotional connections before we jump into bed with someone. Perhaps people will long for having a long-term partner that fulfills their needs because the loneliness their feeling right now was a wakeup call. All of this is a wakeup call, isn’t it? We are forced to be more self-reflective and have a deeper understanding of what’s really important. Connection has become more profound than ever before. We can only hope that it puts an end to the games we play when dating.

With Hope, Faith, and Love,

~Teresa

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