As dating challenges go, a global pandemic is quite possibly one of the trickiest to navigate. After all, not being able to meet up with prospective dates, or even just having to wear masks and keep your distance, does somewhat hamper your ability to really throw yourself into the romance, right?
Dating apps and online platforms have seen a lot of use over this pandemic, but what if you don’t want to find the love of your life by swiping right or reading a 20-word bio? What if, even in 2021, you actually want to find love the old-fashioned way?
That’s where we come in.
How to meet someone without online dating?
Usually, there are a million answers to this question. You can go to bars, join sports clubs, chat to people at work, etc. Unfortunately, in this age of Covid, many of those options have not been available to us, and some might still be difficult to achieve.
So, what can you do?
Some things are still open, or opening up
Despite what we just said, the pandemic hasn’t completely shut down all of your real-world dating options. Some bars and restaurants are still open, or in the process of opening up, which means that the classic methods of dating are still available to you, just probably with some added restrictions.
It might seem like an already difficult part of life, dating, just got more complicated, but there are ways to use the challenges of covid to your advantage.
In fact, in a way, it has helped to take some of the difficulties out of the process. When we have to maintain distance, questions like ‘hug or handshake?’ and ‘should I kiss them goodbye?’ are no longer worth thinking about. Rather than getting worked up about those potentially awkward situations, you can just focus on talking, getting to know your date, and figuring out if the relationship is something you want to pursue.
Dating apps and online platforms usually use algorithms and digital strategies to try and match you with someone you might (or might not) be compatible with. As you can imagine, these algorithms don’t always work all that well.
Do you know what does work, though?
Professional, personal matchmakers.
These are people who have made it their life’s work to find you the right match, and they really know what they’re doing. Here at MTN, our founder Maureen Tara Nelson has over two decades of experience matching her clients, with over 1000 success stories to her name.
Take that, algorithms!
The beauty of personalized matchmaking is that it is a uniquely human process. Your matchmaker will take the time to get to know you as an individual, and will then use their experience, their impressions of you, and your specified criteria to match you with the person or people that they genuinely believe will be right for you.
This is not a process that relies on number crunching or matching up basic, standardized data. Personalized matchmaking, offered by services like MTN Matchmaking, considers the human aspects of dating, with all the feelings, emotions, and individual needs and desires that come with them.
Sometimes, even the best computers and algorithms just can’t beat good old human experience and intuition.
How can you be romantic in a long-distance / pandemic relationship?
So, now that you’ve found your lockdown sweetheart, what comes next?
It’s a good question. Even in the parts of the world that have been opening up recently, the face of dating has certainly changed over the last couple of years. Many people are still isolating at home, some for considerable periods of time. So, even if you live in the same city, or even the same neighbourhood, as the person you’re dating, you might not be able to see them much, if at all.
So, how can you keep the romance alive in those early stages of dating?
This might seem like an odd suggestion in an article that’s broadly anti-online dating, but the fact is that the internet has many uses in the world of romance beyond actually finding you that initial match.
Distance and separation can be hard on a relationship, but the truth is that there has never been a better time to be in a long-distance or isolated romance. The technology at our disposal these days means that even the furthest reaches of the world are only ever a click away, provided there’s a halfway decent internet connection. So, unless your date is in the middle of the desert or far out at sea, video calls are always a great option.
Virtual dates, film nights, even some more adult pastimes, all over video calls, are all great options for keeping that spark alive regardless of separation or distance.
No, we don’t mean you have to get down on one knee and pull out a ring. What we mean is that it’s important to stay engaged with what your partner is doing, thinking, and feeling as the days and weeks go by, especially if you know you’re going to be apart for a significant period of time.
One of the best things about dating is that you start to have a person in your life who becomes your ‘go-to’. So, just as you benefit from having someone to vent to, laugh with, and generally talk to, it’s important that you make sure that the person you’re dating feels the same way about you. Offer support, reach out regularly, and just make a concerted effort to keep in touch.
Showing an interest in another person beyond the romantic, asking about their day, their job, their friends, etc. is a fantastic way to deepen your connection and really lay the groundwork for a relationship that lasts.
Just… don’t go over the top. Keeping in touch does not mean sending them a meme every 20 seconds or calling an ambulance every time they take more than 5 minutes to reply.
Just relax, take it easy, and do what feels right.