Finding Love (Online) in a Pandemic
Divorce, the loss of a loved one, and relationship breakdown can leave you feeling lost, and uncertain of what the future might hold.
You might question if you ever will, or for that matter, ever actually want to attempt to find love again?
However, if you are feeling ready to dip your toe into the – what might feel like – rather terrifying world of internet dating to open your heart to the possibility of love once more, and this is your very first time – coupled with that extra layer of complexity and anxiety that the reality of dating in 2021 brings, is there any wonder that you are sat very much on the safer side of caution?
That very caution which is effectively at risk of sabotaging your right to finding love once more?
Single in the city?
According to the online dating site Bumble, one in five UK Bumble users say they have recently signed up after a relationship they have been in has come to an end during the pandemic.
There are other people out there who are looking for connection and love too, and whilst Bumble is just one online dating platform (there are many more to choose from) its’ USP is that it actively challenges women to make the first move – however, there are a plethora of dating apps out there just waiting to be explored by you.
Rules of engagement?
And let’s be honest, the reality of finding yourself single without the lived experience of the rules of engagement of the online dating world, perhaps with (*delete as appropriate) kids, being a carer, a job, a life, running your own business, and everything else in between is a very different place to where you once were back in your dating heyday when it felt far less complicated than it does now.
Your lack of free time, coupled with the restrictions of pandemic life and living in a world where everything is at the disposal of your iPhone means that whether you like it or not, internet dating will most likely be the way you will find your next partner.
How else are you supposed to meet someone when your workplace has been your kitchen table for the last 15 months, and your only interaction with the outside world has pretty much been your socially distanced, masked up weekly shop?
The only ‘normal’ person?
And I absolutely guarantee that you will find that your friends, family, and colleagues will come forward with horrendous internet dating stories and you will start to think that everyone who is out there with a dating profile must be flawed in some way, borderline desperate, come with way too much ‘baggage’ and that actually you are the only ‘normal’ single person on the planet – whatever ‘normal’ is?
However, there are lots of positive love stories out there from internet dating, with mine being one of them. So here are my top 10 tips to finding love online in a pandemic.
Top 10 tips to finding love online
- Stop putting it off and get that profile written and out there. Do it today. Research suggests that 70% of your profile summary should be about YOU, with the other 30% about what you are looking for.
- Make a wish list *in your head* of all the things you are looking for in your future partner.What things would be a deal breaker for you? What things are absolutely crucial for you?Let this guide you in who you choose to spend your time talking to and dating, but don’t write your profile summary so it reads like a shopping list. Remember the 70:30 rule – this is about telling the dating world who you are and what you’re about.
- Keep your profile short (you want to create an element of curiosity) and focus on your best bits (your USP’s), nobody wants to read about all the things you are bad at or that your friend wrote your profile because you couldn’t think of anything great to say about yourself.
- Make sure you have more than one photo, and make sure it’s a current one, not the one from your summer holiday 25 years ago, or 3 pictures of your cats. Ideally have a few that reflect you and your life and your personality.
- Don’t lower your standards, ever. Go out there and find your champion and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve, no matter how lonely you are, and beware of any red flags. Always trust your instinct , if it doesn’t feel right, it generally isn’t right.
- Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not or hide part of yourself to fit someone else’s ideals, or what you think they want to hear. This is not an interview process with you having to convince this person why they should want to date you. Be honest about what you want and what you don’t want. This is your opportunity to explore whether this person is a good fit for you, not a test to prove your worthiness to them.
- Keep safe on your dates. Make sure someone always knows where you are and who you are with, and don’t ever feel that you have to see the date through to the very end if you feel unsafe, it’s your right to make your excuses and exit right. You don’t have to put up, or be polite to people who are making you feel uncomfortable. Even if they have just bought you dinner.
- Go with an open mind and be you. Don’t overthink things. It’s a date. You are not committing yourself to marrying this person so leave all your worries behind and just enjoy the date, and if there is an aspect of being social again during life in a pandemic that you don’t feel overly comfortable with, let the person you are dating know.
- Unfortunately, ‘ghosting’ happens, so if you are on the receiving end of being ‘ghosted’ don’t take it personally. Swipe away and move on
- Remember that there are no rules, and that the only limitations are the ones you set yourself. If you have a bad date or a run of bad dates, don’t get disheartened. Your champion is out there and the only way you will find them is to step over the fear and say yes to finding love again.