As cities around the country and the world go into coronavirus lockdown, your search for love doesn’t have to shelter in place. In fact, being in quarantine is a great opportunity to look inward to ask yourself what qualities you really want in a partner and is a chance to prepare yourself for a relationship once the quarantine ends.
Cultivating solitude and embracing it to find love
For naturally social creatures, getting locked into our homes with no end date can be tough to navigate, even for those of us with high levels of immunity to loneliness.
To make peace with solitude, scientists recommend reframing the loneliness.
Reed Larson, professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that solitude is like “a medicine which tastes bad, but leaves one more healthy in the long run,” that creates more positive emotions and less self-reported depression down the line. Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet, says “solitude is a crucial and underrated ingredient of creativity.” This time of social distance is the perfect opportunity to get close with solitude.
So, how is solitude relevant to finding a partner?
Researchers Christopher Long and James Averill write that time alone allows us to order our priorities according to what we need, rather than the needs of others. Solitude is a powerful experience that allows us to prioritize what we want in our relationships.
Start by asking yourself the following:
- Am I listening closely to what I want?
- How much do I weigh what my friends or family want for me?
- What story does my dating life tell?
If answering these questions feels confusing, you’re not alone; isolation can make it difficult to experience clarity, but hang in there and don’t let this opportunity slip away.
Sherry Turkle, researcher and the founder of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self talks about our apprehension towards embracing solitude in her Ted talk: “The moment that people are alone, even for a few seconds, they become anxious, they panic, they fidget, they reach for a device. Just think of people at a checkout line or at a red light.”
Turkle goes on to urge people to create sacred spaces to embrace solitude, where you don’t get distracted or reach for your phone—such as an hour in the morning or lunchtime in between your remote conference calls. It can be over a quiet cup of tea, a soak in a hot epsom salt bath, or whatever else might work for you.
That said, even once you’ve had a chance for solitude, your mind might still not be the easiest place to dwell. Past relationships and other noise can make it impossible to ask ourselves the questions we need to answer before continuing the search for a loving partner.
Consulting with a matchmaker can help bring focus into the equation. Not only can we be a sounding board to get clarity on what those relationship priorities are, we’ll be able to jumpstart your love life once social restrictions are lifted.
Building connection amidst quarantine
If you were already dating before the quarantine, you’ll need to get creative to build and sustain the connection.
- Host a remote movie date. Netflix just released their Netflix Party Chrome extension that lets you watch “Netflix remotely with friends, e.g. for movie nights with that long-distance special someone. It synchronizes video playback and adds group chat.” Should pair well with a quarantine.
- Take a (virtual) museum stroll. Google Arts & Culture has partnered with some of the world’s most popular museums to give patrons a chance to see art and exhibits through their computer screens. The virtual tour might not be the most ideal, but you’ll get some brownie points for creativity.
- Spend a night at the opera. The Met is live streaming their operas each day. Of course you’d be more inclined to watch from the first row balcony, but desperate times call for alternative seating.
- Try a new (love) language. With quality time and physical touch on hold, give acts of service and words of affirmation a try. Support your favorite local restaurant and get a meal delivered. Check in frequently with texts and calls—don’t skimp on showing appreciation.
And if you’re combining social distance with long distance, then be sure to check out my practical tips on making long distance work.
As always, I am here to support you! Consider scheduling a virtual matchmaking session to get the process started. Once quarantine is over, you’ll be ready to mingle with some of the most eligible singles from around the world!