Corona has put a stop to so many things. But love isn’t one of them – at least not as we see it. We zoom in on how to cope in a time of social isolation with your heart in good condition, whether you’re in a relationship or on the lookout for one.
Distance and quarantine. Two words that sum up 2020 with spooky accuracy - words that don’t immediately sound like the recipe for a flourishing love life. Without parties, concerts, and trips to town, there are fewer places for singles to meet new, potential partners. Meanwhile, working from home can make it difficult for couples to juggle between work, romance, and alone time.
But, when it comes to romance, these new changes to our existence don’t necessarily have to be bad news. In fact, there are several things that both singletons and lovebirds can learn from the slower everyday pace. At least, that is what Mattias Stølen Due - a psychologist and Director of the Centre for Family Development - believes.
Meet new people – in new ways
Dating without really touching or being physical with each other. Some might think that was impossible. But not according to the psychologist. Of course, the conditions create challenges. But they also provide an opportunity to get closer to each other in new ways.
“When it comes to a long-term relationship, we know the most important thing is a sense of emotional intimacy. So, at a time when we have to be a little more cautious about touching, it is a good idea to boost another skill when we meet new people: our ability to converse and get to know each other. Given that we can’t touch each other, good conversation becomes the meeting place - somewhere we can experience closeness and intimacy,” says Mattias Stølen Due.
If you’re not just looking for a quick fling, but someone you can kiss for many years to come, the art of conversation is vital. Mattias Stølen Due hopes this awareness can also impact our dating culture in the future.
“Many people who meet, say, in a bar, end up kissing or having sex relatively quickly. And, of course, that’s their choice. But when we start being intimate very early on, it can overshadow the fact that we may not have anything to say to one another. As a result, we may not get to know each other so well. We can end up dating someone for several months without realising we don’t have much in common with him or her. We risk wasting valuable time at the expense of meeting someone we would be much more interested in.”
If you’re lucky enough to get off on chatting to some cute guy or girl on Tinder over the coming months, that’s great. But if you aren’t, Mattias Sølen Due stresses that there is no need to panic. Although the corona situation does not necessarily mean you have to put your dating life on hold, it is still a pretty weird time when it comes to looking for love.
“If you don’t meet someone right now, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. There is a reason everything’s a bit slow right now. For anyone who’s single, patience is a virtue.”
Learn more about love and each other
If you are in a relationship, your everyday life is bound to be affected by lockdown. For couples for whom things were tepid even prior to corona, working from home for month after a month with an empty diary isn’t exactly a perfect scenario. If, on the other hand, things are going well between you, the extra time together may actually be a bonus – both now and in the long run.
“The corona crisis has forced us to slow down and engage in fewer activities. For some people, this has resulted in less stressful, and hence better conditions for intimacy and time together - both of which we know nurture love,” says Mattias Stølen Due.
“In our culture, we generally tend to downplay our relationships. We think love is just something that takes care of itself. Therefore, there’s something healthy about realising that close relationships need more time than many of us previously thought. I hope we can all retain that realisation when the corona crisis is over.”
For the singles out there
1. Focus on good conversation and getting to know the person you’re talking to really well – whether online or IRL.
2. Take it easy and accept that some things go more slowly than before. There’s nothing wrong with you just because you don’t meet Mr or Miss Right at this time.
3. Spend some time considering what will really matter to you in a new relationship. Maybe listen to podcasts or read books about what makes a relationship really work.
For those of you in relationships
1. Take time to talk about how the corona situation is affecting you both, so you know how each one of you feels.
2. Listen, instead of judging the other person’s feelings to be wrong. Your partner may be reacting to the situation totally different from you.
3. Make closeness and touching a priority. They are incredibly important right now, when we get very little of that from other people.
Boozt takes a close at love during the corona pandemic
It's all about love