Updated: Apr 29, 2020
THE 3 C'S OF RELATING
Chemistry often is described in the context of the emotions one feels when they are with another person. I like to describe chemistry as an energetic spark that ignites feelings and sensations. You know that fluttering in your stomach or that tingling sensation that heats up your sexy parts and ignites the release of feel-good endorphins? Chemistry feels juicy, and it's one of the first things people tell me they are seeking in a partner.
With stay-at-home orders in effect across the country, how are singles navigating dating in a time when connection is limited to long-distance communication, and human touch is removed from the equation? And what happens when mandatory social distancing is over? Will the connection you feel through the filter of space translate to chemistry when you meet in person?
In order to answer those questions, it's essential to understand feelings. More specifically, your feelings. One of the things I encourage my clients to practice is getting in tune with what they feel in their bodies as they move throughout their day. When you practice noticing the variances you feel in different situations, you cultivate what is known as your gut instinct or sixth sense. By pausing and acknowledging the sensations in your body at any given moment, you create a virtual feeling bank that you can dip into over and over again when you need answers to those big questions in life (or virtual dating).
Despite COVID-19 and social distancing, online dating is holding steady, and according to Reuters, sites such as OkCupid have seen a surge in certain cities. Dating sites such as bumble are promoting creative ways to date virtually during these unprecedented times. Virtual cooking dates, virtual happy hours, virtual scrabble games, and who hasn't heard of virtual sex? We may have been told to stop touching each other, but that's no reason to stop touching yourself or to share that experience with a virtual partner.
For those of us playing in the online dating world, I see this time of social distancing as an opportunity to practice what I call the Three C's of Relating.
Get clear about what you want now in your online dating experience. In this case, I will use the example of the now being social-distancing during COVID-19.
Get clear about what you want post-COVID-19 quarantines and stay-at-home orders.
Hell, get clear period! This is the perfect time to reflect on what you want life to look like when you return to physical dating. Write it out and revisit it several times a week.
For example, I want to virtually meet five prospects to engage with now who have the post-COVID potential for a long-term relationship. Or I want to virtually meet five prospects now who only want a Corona affair and don't want a long-term relationship. Or I want to meet a life partner who is kind, affectionate, spiritually curious, loves unicorns, and country music.
Be curious about the people in front of you. Ask questions. A lot of questions. Stressful times bring out the best and worse in people. Tapping into who they are, what they may be struggling with, and how they are coping with this life-altering experience is not only an incredible way to connect on a heart level with someone but it may also be an indicator of how they show up when the sh*t hits the fan. Trust me! I learned this one the hard way when the person I loved and assumed I could rely on when tragedy struck was the first one to disappear. Kind of wished I'd asked more questions early on. If I had, I might have seen that relationship fail coming.
For example, a few questions to ask right now are: How is this pandemic affecting your day to day life? How has your job changed during these times? What brings you joy during these trying times? Some of my favorite connections have come from hearing the vulnerable and honest responses to these and other questions that aim to peel back the facade we usually hide behind.
Rarely do we ever get the opportunity to "talk" with each other in such depth before meeting in person as we get to now. And rarely do we get to practice asking those sometimes squirmy questions with a little "distance" between us as protection. I mean, did you ever notice how brazen people are when there's a screen between them and the world? Kick up your communication muscles and practice asking the things you really want to know about a prospective date while you have a little security blanket of technology between you. The same goes for responses. People are more apt to be vulnerable during these times of online communication as a result of the same perception of being somewhat protected by a screen. The more you practice courageous communication, the easier it will be when you step back into the face to face world of dating again.
For example, tell me about the last time you had your heartbroken. Tell me about something you wish you could go back and do-over. Tell me about your first sexual experience? Tell me about a sexual fantasy you've always had.
The more you ask, the more you learn-Tell me more about...is one of the best conversation starters you can master, and if you find yourself speechless or unable to respond to a shocking revelation, repeat it and buy yourself some time to recover. It will save your bum every time!
So, go on now...Get online and date your heart out!