With COVID-19 hampering Australians’ opportunities to get out and mingle, many single men and women believe they could be facing the holiday season alone. But at the same time, as restrictions lift, the summer air could bring with it a new chance for you to get out and make up for lost dating time.
To make the most of closing off a year which turned singles into master texters it’s time to sharpen your social skills and adopt some healthy habits heading into 2021.
Why are there more opportunities to find love post-COVID-19?
With restrictions easing across the country, visiting bars, dancing, travelling and even simple beach walks seem more appealing than ever, as does the opportunity to do it with someone by your side. As a result, more singles are out and actively seeking a partner.
Having been restricted to connecting online, the risk of ‘Cabin Fever’ and ‘social anxiety’ are real phenomena that seriously impacts our cognition and behaviour. When we’re cooped up in one space for an extended period, we feel more bored, anxious, irritable, restless and inhibited. For some losing confidence and worrying about being back in the social spotlight opens other fears. Basically, with restriction comes a desire to bend the rules and satisfy that desire for freedom, and that extends to dating. In the same respect for the many who struggle through the brutal world of online dating apps having an excuse to hide away slowly erodes social confidence. It’s important to date mindfully and make the most of the fresh start.
How to date this post-COVID Christmas
With the reset of the new normal, here are the six do’s and don’ts of dating to ensure you date your way to success in 2021.
- DO NOT fall victim to dating app addiction
Particularly in a time of lowered inhibitions, it can be tempting to download every app, jump on every site and set up as many profiles as possible to maximise your chances. But the thrill of the chase releases dopamine – the reward-chemical. The feel-good chemicals keep us going back for more which can lead to the start of addictive patterns. Instead of losing control and potentially falling into the dating addiction trap, follow the rule of one app, one focus, one person at a time. Likewise, it’s time to step out from behind the app and meet people in person.
- DO be a picky partier
While it’s alluring to accept every Christmas party invitation to make up for lost time not dating during coronavirus, being selective about who and where you spend your time socialising helps to maintain health and vitality and reduces festive fatigue. Additionally, being THAT single at every party, every event and on everyone’s invite rent a crowd list is not only exhausting but complicates potential relationships.
- DO NOT succumb to ‘grass is greener’ syndrome
Those seemingly loved up couples may be feeling stressed after a challenging year, dreading another Christmas with the in-laws or fighting over where to spend Christmas day. As a single at this time of year, you get to live life on your terms. This then extends to your dating life, where you place less pressure on the date to move to the next level quickly. Date one person at a time and get to know them without always looking for greener grass.
- DO focus on making mindful decisions
Overspending, overindulging, over partying has a knee jerk reaction of guilt, an empty wallet and the year starting off with bad habits. During the holiday season have fun but put some boundaries in place, focus on staying healthy, setting mini-goals and practising mindfulness. These simple swaps ensure you’re not only practising self-care but becoming more appealing for a potential date or relationship.
- DO NOT rush sex or get carried away
We crave touch as physical beings, and social distancing has certainly intensified those desires. However, getting carried away at the work end of year party can blur lines and lead to Christmas chaos. It is a myth that ‘putting out’ on the first date will make the other person like them more, when in fact, the opposite is more often true. Remember: leaving your date wanting more actually has far more benefits to increase your attractiveness, and their desire to see you again.
- DO take responsibility
It’s easy to fall into the mindset of thinking there is nothing worse than resigning yourself to singledom as another year closes which started with the intention of not being here again. While COVID-19 has made festivities look different to your goals, it’s okay to have down days, but taking responsibility for your own happiness is key to dating success. Prioritise what makes you feel good, fill your own bucket and get out of the house to embrace the post-lockdown life. On the flip side, making excuses or bringing others down by continuously unloading your lonely rants isn’t in the spirit of love or Christmas cheer. Instead, put yourself out there and commit to new experiences making the most a fresh start.
From navigating post- dating during coronavirus freedom to avoiding seasonal regret, 2021 brings with it many challenges and positive opportunities for single men and women. By remembering do’s and don’ts like being selective, bettering ourselves and taking responsibility for our own happiness, there’s no reason not to embrace a new season of love.