If you are in a “lockdown relationship” think about creative ways to spend time together, working with your other half to create a new love language that suits your situation. If your virtual date is worth the effort, it shouldn’t feel like an effort.
When the first nationwide lockdown started in Australia, you may be wondering what it may look or feel like to go after a “Zoom Date”. Restrictions might be difficult, but they are necessary which is why it appears it is best to treat each one as a challenge rather than a roadblock.
Challenges are things we can overcome, which is why it is possible to carry on dating even during a pandemic.
The First Online Date
Preparing for first date online can be complicated, while digital settings can make it both impersonal and intimate. Much thought may go into where you decide to take the video call. If you decide on your bedroom, which is often one’s most private and personal space, you could show too much way too soon. If you still decide on your bedroom, you may be wondering where to position the camera. Which wall provides the backdrop that represents you best?
In addition to this “virtual intimacy,” it is somewhat “flattening” to interact with another person through a screen of a laptop. Does this “flattening” make it difficult to “read” the person? How is it possible to work on a rapport if you cannot play off non-verbal, physical cues?
There Isn’t Just One Approach…
At the end of the day, the ideal approach to this question is that there isn’t an approach. Even though you are online, dating should not be seen as a game. Life and mindset coach Jeanine Sciacca offers some excellent advice, “If the other person is judging you according to how your bedroom looks, or when you can’t find rapport even though you are face-to-face on a laptop screen, it is accurate to say that you are speaking to the wrong person.” The answer to successful Zoom dates is to pretend that it isn’t one.
How To Create Shared Moments Together When You Are Apart?
Moving past the first date, you might first call each other once a week, then moving up to twice a week, and then more. Dating during lockdowns offers interesting propositions, but it does lack when it comes to shared experiences which most of us are used to in the “real world”. Isolated and online, it is important that you both work actively to create shared experiences. Instead of regarding this as a setback, it can turn into a gift.
Dating during a lockdown, rather than stopping your abilities to connect, can allow each date to turn into an exercise involving creativity and thoughtfulness. These “shared experiences” offer the opportunity to draw you closer to the other person, which can lead to the next obvious step: a relationship in lockdown.
When You Are Unable To Give Gifts And Hugs
Lockdown relationships will feel very different from real-life or in-person dating. There may be a “sense of security” that surrounds the ability to call the other person your “partner”, but this distance can also make it harder to share unique and intimate pleasures you typically associate with relationships. Similar to in-person dating, making sure everything remains fresh will involve both commitment and creativity.
Even though physical touch and intimacy are something that everyone values in relationships, many people often turn to gift-giving. In certain ways, the act of sending a surprise such as food, a book, or something else special in the mail, is probably the closest you can get to “physical touch” when separated by closed borders. Nicola Verissimo, who owns an online skincare store noticed the trend towards creative lockdown gift-giving, “There was some attention on lockdown skincare routines which we noticed, but on top of that I was surprised about how many people were shopping for gifts for their partners”.
Now would also be a great time to turn into a “cheesy romantic”. You can work on developing your own “love languages” ignoring what you cannot do and rather focusing on things that you could do. “The couples I have met who got together during the pandemic have such an interesting bond, lockdown relationships can really put some people to the test, but I think the end result is something truly special,” says Couples Retreat owner Tamara Large.
Walking down a street with your mask on, listening to a song that your new flame associates with you, can start to feel a bit like “quality time”. And contrary to popular belief, it is still possible to achieve a “socially distanced and healthy sex life” (this involves mutual openness and creativity).
Verbal affirmations are also usually more important than ever. If you are not able to display the way that you feel about your partner through touch, you can use words to say how you feel.
In this case: Be romantic and cheesy!
If there was ever a time to go overboard with the overwrought, cringeworthy romantic that you know is hiding in you, it is in this time when you can only hug your significant other using words.
Even though the border closures that continue, and uncertainties surrounding restrictions can be frustrating, especially when you are so excited to see your partner, don’t see it as a roadblock, but rather a challenge. Rather than focusing all your time and energy on things you cannot do, invest more time into things you can do. If you are not able to date the way you were once used to, focus on creating new ways to share your experiences.
So don’t let a pesky little lockdown give you the relationship blues, why not step outside the box and give it a go! Just remember to keep safe and know that Vital Partners are always here to help.