Getting to know new people has always been a tricky trade, and considering our world’s current state, you might think it’s only gotten trickier. However, the pandemic has also been an equalizer, allowing people from all different backgrounds to connect, bond, and flourish together, which surprisingly makes dating a little less unnerving.
As much as we need a face mask that is breathable, we also need to know that depending on another person isn’t always a bad thing, and being vulnerable with strangers can be a huge opportunity for growth and comfort. That means unpacking some of our least productive, unhealthy habits and turning them into behaviors that serve us!
It’s one thing if you both say, out of politeness, that you should get together again, and neither of you reaches out. But if one of you does, the other should have the courtesy to turn down the offer. Texting doesn’t have an entirely different set of standards than an in-person gathering, and ghosting says more about the ghost than the ghosted.
If you have ghosted in the past, sporadically or frequently, consider your intentions for dating. Odds are, you’re ghosting because the other person is looking for different things than you, which could also mean that you didn’t communicate clearly enough what you’re after.
HAVE A FACETIME DATE FIRST.
Regardless if you’re both in positions to meet at an outside restaurant or bar, this is a great way to test the waters. You don’t need to have an hour long conversation. A quick catch-up while you’re both in the middle of something could provide a casual context that most first dates crave. It also saves the both of you time and money if sparks don’t fly.
It’s easy to spend half of your first date making small talk, and the other half internally debating whether the two of you would make cute babies (or look cute with your baby nieces and nephews on Instagram). If the answer is yes, relax, and trust yourself! The hardest part is out of the way.
If you were to wind up parenting with this person, there is zero room for doubt or insecurity. So take your successes where you can, and remember to have fun. Being too heavy and serious can quickly push people away.
GIVE IT TIME.
Although snap judgments tend to have merit, allow yourself the privilege to be surprised. If you’re equally curious as you are uninterested after a first date, why not give it one more chance? Be sure to switch up the activities, though. Odds are, if consuming mediocre nachos and highballs didn’t light your fire the first time around, doing it again at a different place probably won’t ignite the spark. There are plenty of fun things to do safely and locally!
BE PREPARED TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF.
The wealthy, paternal Jane Austen savior is most likely not coming for you. Claiming one’s fair share of “daddy issues” has become popular in social media because it’s comical and irreverent, but really, we’re all looking for someone to make us feel stable in an unstable world. An existential “daddy,” to be more specific. And shockingly, a person doesn’t need millions of dollars or an indefatigable confidence to do that for you.
Dating is hard work, and letting somebody into your life can only be rewarding and stabilizing if you brace for the difficulties and check your resistance at the door. Finding the perfect someone might definitely happen, but nobody, at all, is perfect. Embrace it, have fun, and stay true to yourself!