4 ways the COVID-19 pandemic changed dating

After more than a year of social distancing and self-reflection,  how does dating look different today?

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It’s undeniable that dating and romance have changed.

We don’t approach, we swipe. We don’t talk, we text. When we’re bored, we ghost.

Technology has changed the way we interact in a big way, leaving us to navigate the world of relationships with interactions that can leave us longing for something more.

Here are 4 ways dating and romance has changed after the pandemic that may surprise you.

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You can’t truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.

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It all starts with self-love.

This one is less of a surprise, and more of a reminder. Before jumping into the dating pool, first check in with yourself. How do you feel about yourself? Do you feel confident and comfortable with who you are? Have past experiences made you feel insecure or “unlovable”?

Self-love isn’t always an easy process, but asking yourself these questions, and reflecting on past experiences, will put you in the best position in your dating life. Feeling empowered, strong and confident changes the type of people that you attract and allows you to set boundaries. You’ll know what you’ll put up with – and when to walk away. A few tips: start a gratitude journal, ask friends to share 5 things they love about you, take some time every day (away from your phone) to reflect.

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Sex is out, slow is in.

More video chats. Less small talk. Sex isn’t the main show. Use video dates as an opportunity to slow down and really get to know someone. This will also allow you to be more selective. The founder of a leading dating app suggests “saying ‘no’ more than ‘maybe’ might even be a good idea. Really make it about quality over quantity.”

After all, it’s just as important to know who isn’t right for you, as who is.

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Less ghosting, more honesty.

With the challenges we faced during the pandemic, many people have become more grateful and empathetic. And, this has spilled over into their dating lives. Data from an online app showed that 27% of singles said they’ve decreased how often they ghosted each other during the pandemic. So…if you’re not feeling it, let them know. It may sting, but they’ll be grateful.

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Be vulnerable (this one’s hard).

A weird stigma about being too into someone even exists.

Sure, being mysterious and aloof is cool, but it can also be lonely. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to feel romance when you’re constantly worried about how it will look on you, or if it’s too weird.

And ironically, it takes a strong person to be vulnerable. Why? Because, if those feelings aren’t reciprocated, yes – it’s possible to get hurt. But the opposite is also possible. Opening yourself up to others is the only way to feel all the feelings and let love in.

And instead of wondering “what if?” with all the romantic prospects you kept at a distance, you’ll feel better knowing whether or not the magic was there. So, try not to keep your cards too close to your chest. If you like someone, let them know it (in your own way).

And remember…we will be able to meet again, have those butterflies before a first date (are they as cute as their picture?), have a first kiss…but maybe, now, we will be more ready than ever.

Paradoxalement, seule une personne forte pourra montrer sa vulnérabilité.