Revisiting the dating scene after the end of a relationship can be daunting and a potentially revitalizing moment in your life. This step has changed significantly in the last couple of decades, and over the past year, it has changed even more. First, it was the internet and smartphones shepherding this change to dating life, and of course, it has been the pandemic over the past year. As with almost all things related to the internet, this has brought new opportunities and new challenges.
How do I know when I am ready to date?
The most important part can be knowing when to start dating again. It can also be one of the toughest parts. I believe it is important not to feel you need to date before you are ready. When it is the right moment for you, don’t be afraid to take as much time as you need for yourself first. Find some new hobbies. Get back into yoga—embrace pandemic baking. Not to project my own life into this blog, but don’t let your friends and family push you back into it before you are ready or hold you back once you are.
What changes have come to dating in recent years?
The era of speed dating events has ended, and the era of apps has begun. From apps like Bumble and Hinge to websites like E-harmony and OKCupid, meeting someone new has never been easier. Many of these have been stereotyped as casual dating apps, but there is a wide range of options for different types of people and relationships.
Then came the pandemic and social distancing, bringing the thorny question of how to continue the search for romance and intimacy while balancing safety for yourself and your community. For some, the pandemic meant an opportunity to take a break and work on themselves before diving back in. For others, it became frustrating and lonely. Some new relationships moved quickly at the beginning of the pandemic as couples were sheltered in place together (This is Us, anyone?). For others, the pace has slowed. Many things may have changed for those continuing to date, and that is not always a bad thing. What some of us find attractive has even fluctuated with the course of the last year.
What comes next?
As we contemplate the end of the pandemic, time will show which of these changes will remain and which will be left behind for a (hopefully) bygone era. Either way, the most important part (at least to this writer) is to do what is right for you.
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