Dating During Covid-19

Sugar Beach September 2020

Being single and dating during this pandemic has certainly been strange. As a polyamours, extroverted and sex positive person, I usually have a very active dating and social life, especially when I’m single, or looking for a primary partnership like I am right now. However, this virus has forced me to change my ways, out of an abundance of caution and social responsibility. So, I haven’t been nearly as active as I normally would be. 

But as the curve began to flatten in the summer months, I started to relax a bit more. I started meeting people for socially distant walks in parks, picnics and eventually a drink or a meal on a patio, only if they were willing to come and meet me somewhere close to my neighbourhood, so I didn’t have to take the subway. 

Then as things continued to be stable, I started taking the subway again, after it became mandatory for everyone to wear masks or face coverings while on transit. I had already been wearing a mask whenever going inside anywhere, during the entire pandemic.

I can’t understand why this wasn’t made mandatory much earlier in the pandemic! It’s just such an easy thing that people can do and it really bothers me when I see young people ignoring the rules, taking off their masks or wearing them under their noses while indoors. I’m certain people like that are the reason that we are now coming into our second wave of the pandemic.

Now with numbers rising above 700 this week, I’m feeling like I might need to go back to a much more cautious and less active dating life again. Which is really frustrating, because I don’t think I have managed to make much progress with finding someone to start a family with this summer. And now I feel like I have to shut things down again this fall in order to be cautious. Perhaps it’s time to shake things up a bit with my strategy. 

Me with my longtime partner and friend attending my sister’s wedding.

Changing my dating strategy

I recently became very frustrated with online dating, when yet another prospective partner, who seemed quite promising for a while, fizzled out on me. While reflecting on the loss of another potential candidate for baby daddy, and feeling like perhaps this is all hopeless and there is no possible way that I will find what I’m looking for, I realized something… I am STILL not being completely straight with people! And I already know that what works best is being brutally honest and ruthless in my pursuit of what I want in a relationship. 

I know that what I want is a primary partnership with someone who is not afraid to jump in and get serious. Someone who wants to get into a relationship that involves starting a family in the next couple of years. Like I’m talking, not having any if’s, and’s or but’s about that. Ready to GO!

I also want this partner to be cool with the idea of some form of non-monogamy and alternative relationship style. I want to go into it with my eyes open, knowing that the excitement always fades, and a partnership with children likely becomes more of a friendship, companionship and a business partnership than a romance, over time. 

In my opinion, a relationship that is aware of this, could allow both partners to continue to keep the spark alive. Stoking the fires of passion and up the spiciness of the relationship by remaining open to the potential of fun, sex and play outside of the partnership, as well as with that partner and other partners. 

I’m finding that SO many of the people I’m meeting just are not ready for that, or aren’t really serious about getting into the kind of commitment I’m looking for right now. But I’ve also realized that I’m not really asking all of the right, tough and honest questions to my potential partners before meeting with them. 

I haven’t been conducting a proper screening process with people. What I should be doing, especially as the Covid situation worsens, is a thorough investigation of a person’s intentions and desires, before I meet with them for a socially distanced date. 

I’m normally just asking them some basic questions, like “do you want children”, and “are you open to non-monogamy”. But I’m not truly getting into the meat and potatoes of what that means to me, and how I see that working in the long term. I’m not talking about what my timeline is for that, and how it compares to the other person’s perceived timeline.

I think I have reached the end of the road in what is going to work for me, if I keep this same strategy moving forward. I can see, and have seen over time, that it just does not work. I always end up disappointed in the end, after having wasted my time with someone who clearly was never ever going to work out, because we just want different things. 

Traveling to dinner on a patio with friends safely during Covid times.

Something had to shift! 

So, for starters, I got onto this new dating app called Hinge, that all the FB ads keep telling me about. Many of my friends have been talking about it, and using it, in the online dating world I’m a part of at the moment. So I finally downloaded the app and set up my new profile. 

My first instinct was, it doesn’t have all the places to write long descriptions about what I want and need in a relationship. So, I figured I was never going to be able to find the right people for what I’m looking for, because what I’m looking for is so specific. 

Well, it turns out that this app is actually pretty good, even for people like me! Because a lot of people are using it at the moment, that means the traffic on the app is pretty high. More potential people overall increases my odds of finding the right match for me. Also, perhaps having such an incredibly long and detailed personal profile, like I do on OK Cupid, was actually preventing a lot of people from fully reading and understanding what I’m looking for at all. 

If you haven’t noticed, I have a tendency to be quite verbose, and people are busy, stressed out and just don’t have time to read my big long chunky paragraphs about who I am and what I want. They have shit to do! So, it’s time to just get really precise and concise about what it is I’m looking for in a relationship. And this new app has allowed me to do just that.

The other thing I have changed about my strategy is being really direct and detailed in my questions to the potential partners that I’m matching with. I am coming right out and asking them, not only if they want children, but how many? And also what’s their timeline for that? Are they comfortable with the idea of having kids in the next couple of years? And how do they want to raise their kinds? Do they have certain values or moral beliefs that they feel strongly about emparting unto their children? 

Also, not only are they comfortable with the idea of non-monogamy, but what experience, if any, do they have with that style of relationship? Do they think they have the ability to be a clear enough communicator to have that kind of relationship? Are they brutally honest, and willing to have the tough conversations? Are they outgoing, and do they love being with people and get a lot of energy from just being with others? And most importantly, are they the jealous type, or does the idea of seeing their partner with another partner excite them and turn them on? 

I’ve even started talking to people about my current financial situation. About the fact that I’m a bit of a “starving artist type” that I have struggled with my finances over the years, as an independent woman trying to make it in the film and television production world. I share that I’m self-employed and so likely would not qualify for EI when I decided to go on maternity leave. And so, I would need a partner who felt confident in the idea of having to support me and our family financially when I take time off to have children. 

Soon to be gone, are the days of safe socially distanced first date patio lunches with potential new partners. I wish we could hold on to summer a little longer.

These are questions that might seem like crazy things to be asking someone so point-blank, before you have even gone on a first date with a person. I admit I have been feeling a bit “cunty” and a bit demanding for asking so much of someone whom I’ve never even met. 

But it really is striking right at the heart of things, and it allows me to make sure that there is any point in taking a risk and meeting this person at all. Some guys might not like it, it might scare them off or make them feel like they are getting the “third degree” from me. But I think if that’s the reaction someone has to all my questions, well, there’s my answer! And it’s NO! They just are not the one for me. They are not looking for what I’m looking for. And it just won’t work out.

But, you know what? I haven’t had a single person, whom I have taken this alternative strategy with, react like that! Not even once in the past week that I’ve changed things up a bit. 

Since I’ve started this tactic, everyone has responded really well to it! They have been answering all of my questions with really thoughtful and respectful answers and wanted to know the same from me. And not only that they have expressed to me that they truly appreciated the time I took to communicate with them, and be real with them about who I am and what I’m looking for. 

I have experienced people who have straight up thanked me for my straightforwardness and clarity. They appreciated being asked to think about and discuss these important issues. And they feel that the answers on both sides of the conversation are as important and valuable as I find them to be. 

These people that I’m dating, they are grown ups too. They have been through some shit, they’ve had some failed relationships or marriages in their past. And they have learned some things about what they want and what they don’t want moving forward. 

These are people who are appreciative of someone who’s not playing games or acting a part. Someone who’s simply asking for what they actually want in life. And they respond in kind. 

Who knew, you just have to be willing to be the crazy lady who grills her potential suitors with millions of questions, in order to find a level headed lover, who would potentially make a good long-term partner to start a family with?

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