The Pandemic Has Caused Many of Us to Feel Lonely - How Can We Handle That?
We’re in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there have been some improvements, such as vaccines, that give us the opportunity to live our lives more freely, the loneliness from before hasn’t totally gone away.
Coronavirus rates continue to spike at unpredictable times, so it’s best to limit the amount of people you’re around — especially if you or your loved ones are older or immunocompromised. This comes into play with dating: According to some of our research, 42% of respondents said Omicron has changed their willingness to go on in-person dates — which is totally fair.
And at the same time, regardless of your comfort level, it’s okay to admit that you’re tired of the loneliness and unpredictability that’s played such a major role in our lives these past few years — not only with friendships, but with dating, too. It’s okay to miss the hookups, the dates, the cuddling, and simply the companionship that dating can bring. You’re not alone either: According to the Pew Research Center, 70% of people are saying their dating lives are “not going well.”
We daters are tired of the games, the difficulty and the time it takes to find the right person, and the work (and hope) it takes to then keep people interested. Having success on dating apps is hard, but not impossible.
How to handle the loneliness and have more success with dating
So, how can you cope with the loneliness and unpredictability you’re feeling re: dating and COVID? Here are a few suggestions:
Into dating apps? Find matches faster on iris
Our dating app, iris, helps with some of the struggles mentioned above. For example, if you’re tired of endlessly swiping on people you don’t find attractive, consider switching to iris. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to figure out who you find particularly attractive and shows you more of those people so you waste less time swiping. Then, you can focus more on building more meaningful and authentic relationships.
Find people with similar boundaries
Figure out what precautions you feel a need to take for yourself and those around you. For some, this may entail social distancing as much as possible and sticking to virtual dates. In that case, keep on keeping on. Other people may not have the same concerns, or feel confident in their vaccinations, in which their desire for connection outweighs any risks.
Once you know your pandemic boundaries, communicate that with your dating app matches. This will help ensure you’re spending your time with someone who feels the same way, or is at least respectful, which can lead to more worthwhile and comfortable connections.
Don’t give into the scarcity mindset
As the years pass, it can be easy for us single people to freak out. (Will we ever find “our person”?) While there’s nothing wrong with being single, and while singlehood has its perks (hello, cute guy at the bar), the loneliness and insecurity it can bring is normal and understandable.
However, we can’t let it cause us to stick with people and relationships that are unhealthy or don’t make us happy (which is easier said than done). When you notice yourself getting caught up in the scarcity mindset, aka focusing on what you don’t have and feeling terrified you’ll never have it if you don’t grab hold of it now, take a moment to breathe. Remember, feelings aren’t facts, and a relationship you’re unsatisfied in can even be more lonely than not being in one at all.