5 Reasons the Coronavirus May Be GOOD for Your Love Life

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In the past 24 hrs, the NBA suspended its season, Italy quarantined the whole country, stocks dropped by 20% from their peak, and travel from Europe was banned for 30 days.

Most of this happened last night while I was coaching a group of smart, strong, successful women who want to create healthy relationships in Love U.

Strangely, the topic of the moment barely even came up because we spent most of the time talking about what was going on in their love lives – men who seem great but won’t commit, fear of setting boundaries and communicating needs, confusion about how to speak your mind with confidence so that a man will listen instead of pulls away.

But that was yesterday and this is today. Everything has shifted as more sports leagues, conferences and countries are taking bold preemptive precautions.

Single people should as well.

The solution to stopping coronavirus is self-distancing: staying away from other people. Without consulting the CDC, I’d guess this includes kissing and having sex with strangers.

Which brings us to whether you should date during the coronavirus pandemic.

And that, my friend, is a more nuanced answer than you might think.

Should you go on Tinder, swipe right, meet for drinks, and hook-up with a rando?

Absolutely not.

But just because you shouldn’t go on does NOT mean your love life has to come to a grinding halt. Quite the contrary.

Your love life can actually improve while you’re self-distancing.

In fact, there is a bright silver lining in the dark cloud of the coronavirus. Sure, it’s spreading. Yes, you should probably stay at home for the indefinite future.

But thanks to technology, your love life can actually improve while you’re self-distancing.

Here are 5 reasons why the coronavirus may be GOOD for your love life.

1. It creates a corrective to the flaws of dating apps. First you swipe. Then you text. Then it’s chaos. Maybe he’s texting 25 other women. Maybe he ghosts in the middle of a conversation. Maybe he wants to meet at your place. Maybe he wants to see if there’s chemistry over a quick coffee. Maybe he texts you intermittently for a month without asking you out. Face it: dating apps are the WORST. There’s no real conversation. There’s no real connection. Everyone is replaceable. But if you can’t meet right away because you may expose each other to a deadly virus, there’s no need to rush. This creates an opportunity to actually get to know someone.

2. It forces you to date more slowly. Listen, I get why it’s fun to look at hot people, swipe, text, and meet as quickly as possible. It means you don’t have to read profiles. It means you don’t have to write thoughtful emails. It means you can put in no effort beyond swiping right on attractive people and let things play out from there. But if I’ve learned anything as a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, it’s that although this seems like a time saver (because you’re moving so fast), it actually becomes a time waster (because the quality of the interactions are so low and everyone has SO many options at their fingertips.)

3. It allows you to use the phone for what it was originally created for – talking to people. I know it’s novel concept. I know millennials (and some middle-aged people as well) are actively afraid of the phone and avoid it like the plague (probably the wrong reference to make at this time). But if we’re to rank the quality of different means of communication, text HAS to be the worst form. Picture a typical exchange: You have your phone. He has his phone. You’re typing one line and waiting for a reply. Sometimes you wait seconds. Sometimes you wait hours. Sometimes you wait days. Sometimes you flip out if he doesn’t send the proper emojis! Seriously, as a dating coach, I hear about relationships dying every day due to the lack of nuance and tone conveyed in text. Years of love are unwound because two people won’t press the little green dial button to actually solve their problems. Well, it’s time for that to end. If you can’t leave the house for a few months and you don’t want your love life to grind to a halt, maybe it’s time to nudge that online guy to call you. You may just discover that using the phone (or even FaceTime) for talking is the best thing that ever happened to your love life.

4. It allows you to get to know someone in a more organic way. I did a TEDx talk called “No More Bad Dates” on the topic, in which I unfavorably compare online dating to real life dating. So if we can all recognize that real life simply FEELS better – flirting with a stranger, exchanging witty banter, building up trust, rapport, anticipation and excitement – why WOULDN’T we want to try to make our online dating experience feel more like real life? Once upon a time, when I was a single screenwriter instead of a married dating and relationship coach, I was emailing a woman from JDate just before the Christmas holiday. Because I was headed to the East Coast to visit my mom, I was unable to meet her before I went away. But that obstacle allowed us to avoid getting together for a quick meet-and-greet and allowed us to talk on the phone every night for all seven days I was away. By the time I returned to Los Angeles, I had a woman I’d never met picking me up at the airport and later becoming my girlfriend.

5. It allows you time to heal, reflect and learn. About half of my readers aren’t actually dating. They’re hurting. They’re healing. They’re taking a break. Maybe you’re using work as an excuse to keep busy. Maybe you recently suffered a painful breakup. Maybe you’re still holding on to a dead-end relationship that’s not making you happy. If that describes, this is a perfect time to retrench and figure out what you’re going to do AFTER this coronavirus epidemic is over. It would be easy to go back to the way you were doing things: keeping active, focusing on your friends and hobbies, halfheartedly swiping through cute guys hoping for a miracle. But that’s not a plan. That’s not a strategy. That’s not going to get you into a healthy marriage. That’ll just keep you right where you are – avoiding emotional intimacy because you think it’s too difficult or scary or impossible.

If I were single, I’d use the next few months wisely. Build up your confidence. Understand how to meet men more effectively. Look at the world through a lens of abundance, optimism, and joy instead of scarcity, pessimism, and fear.

If you don’t want to date until this is all over, I understand. But I want you to understand, life is whatever you make of it. You can stay on dating sites. You can talk to guys on the phone for a few weeks – with no primping, no pressure, and no sex – just to see how you feel with them and how they follow through. You can even emerge in spring with a boyfriend or, at least, a new outlook on dating and relationships.

And if you’re not ready to date right now – either because of coronavirus, fear, or heartbreak – in Love U, we don’t even get to dating until month 3. The first two months are all about confidence and meeting men – two things you could really stand to use when you’re ready to come out of hiding, no?

Click here to learn more.

In the meantime, be safe, stock up on necessities, activate your profile and remember how much more gratifying it is to connect by voice rather than text.

We’re in for a rough patch but that doesn’t mean you have to stop living until it’s over.

Join our conversation (18 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Kath

    Awesome post, EMK! I have been thinking along the same lines as I organize my social distancing period. And since I’m another year older today, time to re-evaluate dating. Been on too long of a hiatus.
    Be well, be safe everyone! 🙂

  2. 2
    Christine

    Thank you so much Evan for this very positive uplifting article. I feel so much better now.

  3. 3
    Deanne Overvold

    Once again you have written something positive and eye opening in a time when we should all be careful. Thanks again Evan.

    PS When my ship comes in I am signing up with you.

  4. 4
    Rosemarie

    I appreciate the positive spin..still …it’s hard not to think how much better it would be with a loving partner near by, and to feel I’ve failed by not having that. :’(

  5. 5
    Nancy

    I appreciate your wise insight, Evan – especially during this self-sequestering season! I look forward to reading your book soon, too.

    At the moment I am at a tipping point in my 1-1/2 year relationship with a man who is ambivalent about marrying me though, thankfully I am not uncertain about my future! So I intend to wind this down ASAP and move on with my life. This lack of certainty on his part has eroded my self-confidence and cost me precious life and time. Feeling done with that! Upon reflection I remember the exact point in time when I ought to have firmly stated, “I am not ready to take the next step with you without a real commitment to marry.” It may sound old-fashioned but that is precisely what I require. I want to have the sense of solidarity that being a wife generally develops between two committed partners.

    Sanity sounds good and I relish my upcoming freedom and the opportunity to hone my boundaries and clarify what I need and want.

    Phenomenal Woman looking for a Suitable, Reliable Mate

  6. 6
    Emily, to

    Also, for the people who already coupled up, you ‘ll probably be having more sexif we all get quarantined to our homes. Conversations about hand sanitizer and toilet paper can only take up so much time, at least for some people.

    1. 6.1
      Karl R

      Conversation at a married couple’s house:
      “Honey, I realize that you’re done for the day, but I’m still working.”

      Working from home … still looks a lot like working.

  7. 7
    AdaGrace

    not good for all of us. I’m in Seattle, in my 50s, depend on public transit and/or ride hailing abs, and take immunosuppressive medications (ie very high risk. for CiOVID-19.. if I stopped the drugs I’d reject my kidney and pancreas transplant, thus possibly even higher risk as a type one diabetic on dialysis)

    I went on three dates with somebody extremely promising right before I felt the need to isolate myself completely two weeks ago. he’s been extremely diligent about calling and talking/video conferencing for hours each day, with him speaking increasingly about a future together, wondering if he could make grocery trips for me and drop stuff at my doorstep, etc. However, I could be in here for months and wonder if ANYONE could have enough patience to wait that long for someone they’ve only met three times… it’s so much lower risk for him to be out and about, and potentially dating, you know? Given his circumstances, he couldn’t isolate himself for two weeks and then join me in isolation even if we knew each other a lot better. fingers crossed that he doesn’t exhaust his object constancy before I can reasonably come out of my cave Since I haven’t experienced the amount of mutual like and seeming compatibility in years.

    In the meantime I’ve paused corresponding with anybody else on dating sites since meeting somebody in person isn’t going to be practical for quite a while… i’ve generally found it unhelpful to correspond with and call too long with somebody that I haven’t met yet as it’s likely to lead me to form an attachment and then discover we don’t even like each other in person.

    So, unfortunately not much of a silver lining for some of us. Good for you if you’re low risk, though.

    1. 7.1
      S.

      I could be in here for months and wonder if ANYONE could have enough patience to wait that long for someone they’ve only met three times… it’s so much lower risk for him to be out and about, and potentially dating, you know?

      Hey, let him weigh in on that decision. Maybe you’re worth the wait. 🙂 Or maybe you guys are meant to be together through this situation and who knows about the rest. It’s such a time for living in the present, enjoying what you do have right now (each other), and not getting too far ahead in an uncertain future.

      I agree with you about the sites, but hey, you can still look and bookmark. 🙂 And heal, learn, and take good care of yourself so you are ready when things finally turn a corner.

      Good luck and be well. 🙂

      1. 7.1.1
        AdaGrace

        thanks @S… fingers crossed and I do plan to keep reciprocating/enjoying the connection, but at the same time I think it’s important to stay aware that we haven’t even known each other in person quite long enough to decide to be bf/gf. (tbh, with the amount of attention he’s paying me right now, I seriously don’t have time to check dating sites in a focused way, even without a commute right now… maybe that’s part of his motivation, lol.)

        No matter how this goes in the long run I do feel thankful that there’s somebody out there whose company I really enjoy, who’s focused on me and my well-being… even if only temporarily.

        1. S.

          Ditto. I feel the same way about the guy I’m dating. We have to decide about bf/gf stuff later, I think. Though who knows what ‘later’ means these days.

          “No matter how this goes in the long run I do feel thankful that there’s somebody out there whose company I really enjoy, who’s focused on me and my well-being… even if only temporarily.”

          Enjoy what happiness you can have now. 🙂 It still matters even if it’s temporary. And keep us posted!

  8. 8
    S.

    Thanks for this, Evan! I met someone from online just two weeks ago and then, well, everything ramped in the world virus-wise. Rediscovering connecting by voice calls! I appreciate your positivity. This was like a quick shot of good coaching. 🙂

    Be well. I know you and your family had your share of the seasonal flu not so long ago. Hope you all stay super-healthy at this time and in good spirits.

  9. 9
    Noquay

    I now live in a remote area with sketchy phone reception for now. Here, all restaurants, coffeehouses, gyms, libraries, are closed. This means no internet, no charging electronics, no electronics most of the time. Right now I’m 6 miles away writing this in my car while the phone charges. The grocery store looks like a bomb went through it. I really feel for the immunocompromised and those with chronic health conditions, those out of work due to the virus. For the rest of us, a great time to take stock, reevaluate. People are being forced to cook at home, stay out of bars, the snowmobilers have gone away (yeah!). People will have to learn to be alone, or if you’re with a partner and not getting along, time to address some issues. Right now, I’m reading some four plus books a week (some on virology) keeping my brain sharpened, planning my gardens, orchards, questioning the pros and cons of even trying to date again (bad experiences while online in a local restaurant). Deciding how to best prepare re food supply etc if this sort of thing is the new normal due to projected increased disease incidence due to climate change. Taking stock.

  10. 10
    angryinisolation

    Corona is not gonna correct for anything. Before people were moving too fast you say? Well based on my last week experience online now men just go straight to asking for nudes. “Since we can’t meet let’s have some fun”? GTFO, this is what cam girls are for. I am not here to provide free entertainment. I shelved the whole thing. Until the conditions improve, or forever. There’s never been a time to give up like now. Who would’ve thought that my last good years before turning 40 will be undone by this stupid virus.

  11. 11
    SparklingEmerald

    I consider myself very lucky, because this coronavirus thing forced me to step back a bit. Since I’ve retired, I have really over scheduled myself. Sometimes I think I’m busier retired, than when I worked. I was attending 12-18 group exercise classes at the gym per week. Doing volunteer work with my hubby twice a month. Signed up to be in a stage production, and it is going so badly (many non-actors, and we are being directed by a non-director) that I regretted obligating myself for the task. Numerous social engagements with friends. I kept telling myself I need to take a week or two off from ALL of it, or as much as able and concentrate on my house. Then this coronavirus hit, and the rehearsals for the play are on hold until the community center re-opens. At this point I think it is doubtful that the production will even happen (whew). All of our volunteer work was cancelled. The events we planned on attending, cancelled.

    So I have been deep cleaning my house, organizing my files, trying new recipes, binge watching TV. I actually am enjoying this force hiatus, although I am very sad for the reason for it, and I’m not happy for the health and financial toll it is taking on others. (my investments are circling the drain as well, but I think they’ll bounce back, and I have some money in some “safe” accounts)

    There has been a tiny bit of me and my hubby getting on each other’s nerves, but nothing that we can’t manage.

    I do feel bad for people who are losing their jobs, loved ones, having to work from home while their kids are home from school etc.

    Social media helps too.

    1. 11.1
      Mrs Happy

      I know, weirdly, there are positives aren’t there? Not to negate all the sick and deceased people. But it sounds like you really needed to step back a bit SE.

      For instance, I’m cooking and eating whole, old-fashioned sorts of foods, which feels healthier, like stewed apples and sultanas with home-made custard tonight. Maybe because I’m avoiding take aways and restaurants, and have time to cook since I’m home all the time? And to get out of the house I’m walking and cycling all the time, multiple times a day (we’re not in lock down here, and I don’t get near anyone when out), and with the kids go to the local deserted tennis, baseball and netball courts and play for hours.

      I’m not loving the work from home while simultaneously home school supervising 2 constantly demanding children weekdays though, and moving my entire work to electronic, but with so many out of work now in this country, I will not complain.

      1. 11.1.1
        SparklingEmerald

        Mrs H “I know, weirdly, there are positives aren’t there? Not to negate all the sick and deceased people. But it sounds like you really needed to step back a bit SE.”

        Yes, I really did ! I was worried that now that I am not going to the gym 5-6 days a week, that I would blow up like an inflatable life raft, but my yoga teacher is live streaming classes, and with my generally healthy diet, I have maintained my weight. I would like to take walks with my hubby, but he doesn’t do the social distancing thing too well, he stops and chats up every neighbor who is out, and really doesn’t keep a 6 foot distance. He always says he will, but then, he doesn’t . . . Sigh . . . I guess he’s getting stir crazy. He wants to go grocery shopping every other day it seems, even though we have enough food and toilet paper to last for at least 2 months. I signed up for grocery curb-side pick up. I have told him there is no need to go to the store to shop whatever it is he feels compelled to shop for, and besides, our freezer is packed to the brim, and so is our pantry. He stays home about half the time I object. The other half he at leasts wears a dust mask that he found from his working days, and we re-wash and re-use. I would just rather order online and pick up curbside a few times a month, he would rather do “essential grocery shopping” in the store every other day.

        My house is the most cleaned and organized since . . . well forever ! It took a pandemic, but I have unloaded a bunch of old stuff (clothes that no longer fit, knick knacks and junk that have been in the closet for years) into those big donation bins in parking lots of shopping centers. I can actually walk in to my walk in closet and see the floor ! Now that my house is so clean and tidy, it’s a shame I can’t have company over !

        Mrs H said “I’m not loving the work from home while simultaneously home school supervising 2 constantly demanding children weekdays though, and moving my entire work to electronic, but with so many out of work now in this country, I will not complain.”

        Wow, that’s a lot on your plate ! I can’t imagine trying to work at home, home school and parent all at once, and I really feel for parents who have had all this dumped on their shoulders. You can complain if you want, I won’t judge you for that 🙂

  12. 12
    Newbie

    Newbie to the EMK experience and online dating in general! Hi everyone! I have great timing with this COVID nightmare, am I right?! Haha!

    I’m “meeting” men on the dating apps right now who “hate video calls” and prefer texting to actual phone calls. This isn’t just a millennial problem! What happened to good old fashioned telephone calls? I know some people feel awkward about phone and video calls but my goodness, texting is far more awkward and not conducive at all to real discussion! Oh well—at least this nightmare can help us all take everything more slowly and get to know each other better—no matter how we communicate!

    Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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