After a long day of social distancing, you may lay awake at night in your room thinking about all of the things you miss. Gathering in groups, getting dinner with friends, spring sports. The list is endless, but there's one thing that might be hitting your the hardest: the loss of dating. While just a few weeks ago, you were at school surrounded by your crushes with every opportunity to flash them a smile or invite them to hang, now everyone is cast off to their respective houses, forced to talk over DM and Snapchat with no shot of a physical connection.
Well, I'm here to tell you that not all is lost. Just because we're social distancing, doesn't mean we can't date. In fact, right now may be the best opportunity we've ever had to make a real connection with someone. I talked to Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking to get all of the tips on how to make the most of quarantine dating and make a real connection, even over FaceTime.
Take this time to really establish an emotional connection.
It might seem hopeless to start dating right now, since everything will have to be over the phone and who knows when you'll be able to meet your suitor in person, but there could actually be a benefit to this setup. Right now, in college or high school and on dating apps, you have the biggest dating pool you will ever have in your life. You're surrounded by potential dates, so it's so easy to continue to move on to the next one without giving anyone a real chance. But now that we're taken out of that, and we're forced to really talk to someone, to get to know them, a strong emotional connection could form.
"I think it's good thing because instead of yelling 'next next next,' you're going to be looking at the one right in front of you, you're going to be investing a little bit more of yourself, which is going to ultimately mean there are going to be a lot more relationships that actually have a chance to start something," Susan says.
Your crush since second grade might have piercing blue eyes, but when you've been talking for days on end since school closed and they can barely hold a conversation, you might realize it's time to move on. On the other hand, the cutie from band who you've been ignoring for years might prove to be hilarious over text and the perfect person to help pass the quarantine (and maybe even spend time with after).
Susan thinks that this time apart will force potential couples to really get to know each other. "The end result will be that there are more established relationships and more of these relationships will actually have a chance at going somewhere," she says.
Use this time to practice your flirting.
Just like anything else, when it comes to flirting, practice makes perfect. You may be a pro at winking at your crush when you pass them in the hall, but when it comes to flirting over text, you struggle to come up with something cute and clever. Well, use this time to sharpen those skills! Practice by texting your friends some cute text openers, and then when you're ready, unleash them on your crush. People are going to be much more receptive to compliments and flirting right now, because they've probably been hearing them less these days, and we're all in need of more human interaction. Plus, if you swing and miss (your joke doesn't quite land), there's always tomorrow (and the next day, and the day after that, and the day after...ugh).
Get creative with dates.
So you've been talking to your crush for days on end and things are going really well—now what? It's time to go on a date! And yes, that is possible to do right now. "Get online and have a virtual date," Susan says. Check out Netflix Party, which allows two or more people to actually watch a show together from different computers. Or, have dinner over FaceTime. If you're both into art, many museums are offering tours on the web, and of course, you can catch one of the many Instagram Live concerts that artists are putting on every day. Just because we're stuck at home, doesn't mean romance has to go out the window. When you're ready to elevate the relationship from DMing to dating, your options are endless.
Think twice before getting back with your ex.
The one thing that Susan warns against during this time, though, is getting back with your ex. The urge to do so makes sense, and you're not alone if you've been thinking about it.
"I think in times of depression, sickness, uncertainty, people tend to go back to their bad habits which could be an ex," she says. It's important to remember though, the problems you had with your ex are still there, they haven't gone away just because you're both bored and lonely.
That being said, there are exceptions of course. If you broke up with someone for different reasons (long distance, different priorities, etc.) and big deal breakers didn't play a factor, it actually may be a good time to reignite a conversation and see where things go. "Maybe you can actually use this time to communicate and work it out," Susan suggests, though she warns that "in most cases it's going to be a mistake to go back to your ex."
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