1. Like many things this year, much of the dating process has become virtual, what are your tips for developing and maintaining a relationship online?
Use video to take advantage of eye contact.
Include others in your video dates. Your friends affect the outcome of your relationships, so include them in your virtual dates. Host quiz nights, online board game events or talent shows so that your new partner feels as though they’re a part of your social circle.
Don’t talk solely about your day-to-day when you’re on the phone. Instead use conversation starters — cards and games — to dig into deeper conversations about your values, fear, dreams and aspirations.
2. One trend you’re seeing for the new year will be “hard-ball dating,” can you explain what exactly that is?
I’ve seen this term used across a number of sites with an emphasis on knowing what you want, stating your intentions clearly and not wasting time on superficial connections and conversations. Bumble data suggests that 46% of daters say they’re looking forward to a more serious relationship.
It’s good to know what you want, but be mindful of checklists that cut you off from a greater range of possibilities. For example, if you get hung up on things like height or appearance that don’t matter to relational fulfilment, you may be losing out on potentially meaningful connections.
3. This next trend is aptly named, “apocalypsing”. What does that mean?
This involves looking at every date or relationship through a serious lens as though it may be your last. A Plenty of Fish survey found that one third of folks admit that they see dating through an apocalypse lens.
Easing ourselves out of the COVID normal is going to be a slow and painful process. We’ve become accustomed to feeling unsafe — physically and emotionally and this can be traumatic, so we need to become aware of our trauma responses so that we can address them and take care of ourselves (self-soothe).
4. Looking for someone who shares the same social views as you can be important to a lot of people and that’s where “advo-dating” can help.
Advo-dating involves dating based on social and political policies including specifically looking shared causes and activism. Sites like OKCupid have been asking questions about social issues and more daters are listing social values in their profiles and even in their profile photos.
Some people worry that this could result in an echo-chamber situation, but for those who have experienced trauma in dating, this is particularly important as a matter of safety.
5. With a lot of relationships being strictly online, it has brought back the old school method of ‘slow-dating,’ why is this a good idea for the new year?
I love the idea of slow dating if this means we’re more mindful about our interactions.
We’ve heard a lot about turbo relationships in 2021, but as dating becomes (hopefully) safer in the latter part of 2021, I suspect we’ll see daters slowing down to have more meaningful conversations about everything from health, values and money to politics and family expectations.
I encourage folks who want to slow date to really check in with their bodies first — how are you feeling before, during and after the date? Do you have any tension in your body? Our physical responses can tell us a lot about our emotions. When someone’s presence puts your body at ease, it’s possible that this is a good sign.