Just when you thought modern dating was already a hot mess full of ghosting, breadcrumbing, zombieing and any other “ing” out there, causing the world to drift farther and farther apart from a fundamental human need, human connection, Coronavirus rocks up. Even the most optimistic person believing that true love is possible today will have wondered how COVID-19 will impact dating, and question whether forming a deep, lasting, genuine connection is even possible.

There’s no question about it, Coronavirus in incredibly serious. With it, political leadership ethics have been called into question and everyone is doing what they can to manage the spread. Remember, please avoid those who are most vulnerable, remember to wash your hands and eat well to feed your immune system while each country peaks and recovers. At first glance, it’s easy to grow fears around isolation and think it won’t help the dating situation. However, as we adjust to consider the health of the world, there’s as an opportunity to change the global disconnect modern dating has caused and actually, grow closer than ever and improve the health of human connection. I’m going to share why and how to build something incredibly special one message, face time date, and IRL date (you can still date in real life) at a time.

Growing Emotionally Closer while Physically Apart

Going in isolation is going to help the world fully appreciate the need for human connection, and almost force us to think about the disconnected behaviors that dating apps & technology have cultivated among society over time, for example; The disposable mentality of ghosting and avoidance of communicating with someone at the first hurdle. People are complex human beings, everyone has their imperfections, beauty in their individuality and it’s getting to know someone at a deeper level that plays a big part in forming a strong bond yet, we live in a world where it’s easier to deny this reality and swipe right again on dating apps with the delusion a perfect human is just another profile away. Despite the fact no one likes this behavior, most people do it as it’s become our new reality and in this new reality, there’s an avoidance of opening up and sharing our authentic selves and feelings with one another out of fear of said ghosting. Some have forgotten how to open up. A sad state of affairs that we all want to change however, change needs to happen at a global level to make enough of an impact. COVID-19, I welcome you for this reason!

While COVID-19 is going to impact us negatively, it will also impact us positively. When all this blows over and one of the pharma companies comes up with a vaccine, the world will get back to normal, only now, we’ll have realized the full impact of being disconnected from humans have on us and I believe it will be a blessing. Isolation and lower number of dates will help us globally appreciate people, what we have and encourage us to form more emotional than physical connections, covering off more of the pillars of cultivating a strong relationship. As a life and dating coach, I can confidently tell you that loving, healthy, happy relationships have four pillars: physical connection, emotional connection, compatibility and communication.

While dating today can be hard, it doesn’t have to be when you know to navigate it healthily. Here’s some tips to help you build the foundation of a strong relationship during the epidemic whether you meet on an app, already dating or actually, in a relationship.

Love in Coronavirus is possible. Here’s what to do:

Before we go on lock down, go on a few new first dates: Swipe on the daily and if you’re chatting and vibing with someone, go for it and ask them out. Use my “swipetimization” strategy if you need help on how to increase your number of dates pretty much overnight which you can find on my Instagram channel @baeinghappy or in my dating book ”From Swipe to Bae”. FYI, guys have been reading it too while I’m finishing their version!

Let go of playing it cool on texts and actually chat more: There are no drinks to be had let alone games to play. Throw texticate out of the window. Just be sure you’re not talking to yourself. If the person isn’t replying or only replying with really short answers without engaging you, send a nice message like ”enjoy the next Netflix marathon” and take your attention elsewhere. As the saying goes; invest in people who invest in you. This keeps you happy to your soul level.

Ask each other really good questions to form deeper connections: Sure, you can start with the basics like “what’s your fav ice cream flavor?” if you feel you want to ease your way into deeper questions but please, get past the surface to form a bond. Who knows whether you’ll end up as friends or lovers, but every strong relationship has an emotional connection that grows from date 1 and throughout your couple lifetime. For example, you can ask someone to tell you about their happiest memory prior to the lockdown and why? And probe. Perhaps ask them to tell you what they’d do if they were prime minister or the president in this situation. Feel out the level you’re at and ask the level of question that feels right. In time, you can get deeper and deeper. I recommend balancing any lengthy deep conversations with lighter topics too. For daily ideas on what to ask, grow your connection and more, be sure to turn on notifications on my Instagram so you don’t miss out.

FaceTime date: you can date on facetime, pick a date and time, do what you would normally do to get ready for your date and share a coffee, smoothie, vino or whatever you want virtually and get to know each other. FYI, most people don’t kiss on the first date anyway and this will lift the pressure of trying to flirt with a stranger. FaceTime date this as much as you want.

Go on a date in real life: When we are out of lock down (now and in future) Go on a date in real life, you can meet for a walk, take a flask of coffee or bloody Mary with you – whatever you want. Stay safe and let someone know where you are going

If quarantine lasts longer than we all expect: you can maintain and build connections by doing the above and adding more to it:

Turn the questions into a question game with each other: who can think of the best question of the day and you get 1 try each, make a tally of who’s winning and reward each other in real life later. I’ll leave you and your potential future lover to decide what the said rewards are

Read a chapter a day of the same book: chat about what you think of it, the characters, what you would do in the situation, how you think the next chapter will go. Take it in turns to choose a book

Get date creative: Cook together, listen and dance to music, watch the same movie at the same time. You can do this virtually

Quarantine and chill together: If you’re comfortable with each other and feel safe

COVID-19 has forced us all to change what we do and change quickly. It doesn’t have to impact dating and falling in love, in fact, I think it’s going to help us form bonds with one another that the dating app world impacted in the first place. Going back to quality over quantity, meaningful conversations and appreciating human connections. I encourage you to let go of the fear of opening up and being authentic, take the time to get to know the unique beauty of a human being, their imperfections and being open to loving them for it.

Stay healthy and here’s to finding love in Coronavirus.

Haifa x