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Dating During COVID-19 Has Some Benefits

COVID-19 dating illustration
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD - Blogs
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhDPsychologistJune 10, 2020

Social distancing, by definition, creates a real challenge when it comes to dating (and, let’s face it, the fear of being infected by the person you are trying to get to know can be a real turn-off). Of course, dating is about getting emotionally close, as well as physically. This is where dating in the age of COVID-19 can actually be a real help.

Strong relationships are built on knowing each other on a deep level. This takes time. Social distancing can slow down the tornado of passion and give you time to get to know each other before you get swept away. It can allow you to connect emotionally in a way that might otherwise get hijacked by strong emotions. Or, it can help you to see more quickly that this is not the person for you despite their alarmingly good looks or knee-weakening charm.

Developing relationships more slowly means that you will likely be in the pre-relationship part of dating for longer. So, if you are someone who usually likes to date only one person at a time, you might find it easier to get to know more people because you won’t feel that the relationship is far enough along to require monogamy. And you might enjoy the freedom and novelty of meeting more people. In addition, this experience may help you to be surer of the decision to pursue a particular relationship.

By dating with the stress of COVID-19 hanging in the air for everyone, you get the opportunity to see how a potential partner handles stress, which can be extremely revealing. You can see how they respond when life is not as they expected or would want it be. You are likely to more quickly see their tendencies to be caring and giving versus more needy or selfish. If you notice that the person is flexible in the face of the unexpected, that’s a quality that can be a real plus, as life inevitably brings surprises to our doorstep.

Finally, as focused as you may be on staying safe from COVID-19, that’s not the only health threat out there as a single person who is dating. By slowing down physical intimacy as you work to keep from getting the coronavirus, you are also preventing yourself from possibly contracting sexually transmitted diseases. You and your new partner can use the extra time to address ways to stay safe from STDs.

Dating under COVID-related restrictions is undeniably different than dating was before this pandemic overwhelmed the world. While it’s not easy, keep in mind that it’s also not all bad. By focusing on some of the ways you can benefit from this new world order, you may find that dating today can actually help you find the love you seek.



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About the Author
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Dr. Becker-Phelps is a licensed psychologist in NJ and NY, and is on staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset. She is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotionally and psychologically healthy. She accomplishes this through her work as a psychotherapist, speaker and writer. She is the author of Bouncing Back from Rejection and Insecure in Love.

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