GEORGINE: Hi, Singlestalk. The lockdown restrictions and physical distancing protocols changed the way people work, live and date. With offices, malls, coffee shops and party places closed during quarantine, many are inside homes, connected to the outside world via the internet. Three months ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. I’m wondering how someone can date and find true love in the new normal?
DJ: Every time you’d see IG photos of lovers’ names carved on trees before the pandemic, did you wonder why people bring knives on dates? Good thing the trend has gone digital. Love can come to a gadget near you. What used to be frowned upon before the coronavirus is now celebrated. And it’s not because it’s convenient to meet a new one and break up with someone without leaving the home. All the pre-date vetting actually surfaces early on whether a person has social intelligence or is just simply wanting to date.
The Match Group, which owns dozens of dating apps, did comprehensive research on singles. Results show that we’re now more selective and intentional about choosing who to connect with and are going more slowly in the dating process. As recurring lockdowns were imposed, greater transparency and meaningful relationships emerged. Why? Because a conversation with someone sitting in a kitchen, living room or bedroom is more intimate than a first date in a loud bar or a crowded coffee shop. Instead of hoping that a physical connection will lead to an emotional one, as characterized by casual dating, the lockdown actually forced singles to do the reverse. And we save money, too, even if “we’re going out for a byte.”
How can one stand out as the virus shifts even more people to online dating? Just like WFH (work from home), it’s a good practice to prep your space as you’re setting up the stage like in in-person dating. An unkempt bed or laundry hanging like bats do not make a good background. It has to reflect your vibe—interests, hobbies, personality. And because a lot of folks are concerned about spreading the virus, don’t forget that there’s something you have that’s contagious: your smile. Your date can’t spell quarantine without saying U-R-A-Q-T.
In the past, someone had to die at times after realizing that there’s no chemistry at all as soon as the latte was served. Today, one can just click on ESC and blame the Wi-Fi. Seriously, being genuinely curious helps. Ask open-ended questions with no right or wrong answer. Travel dreams, interests, career goals, what’s keeping you busy, how do you get yourself entertained at home make good blenders. They break the ice. Park your thoughts about the PDP-Laban standard bearers for now. So are your thoughts about letting Leni lead? Observe. Is he stuck on Caps Lock—bold? Does his mind leave you like how the virus attacks the lungs breathless? Conversations flow much more easily these days since people are longing for social connections. And you can level things up with humor. It’s found to increase evaluation ratings. Order the same type of food from the same restaurant. Stream movies on Netflix in sync from each of your homes. Learn a TikTok dance or play video games. If you’re both the nerdy type, take personality quizzes and have fun sharing the results.
Georgine, I wish you’ll meet someone who’ll give you more thrill than receiving a message from Foodpanda saying that you can have your cake and eat it too. And before making plans, keep in mind that your dating life impacts not only you but the people around, including those you live with. Our civic duty remains that we stay six feet apart. That said, I hope you won’t mind if I’ll ask you whether you’re on Spotify. Why? Because I think you’re the coolest new single!