Embrace the Change: Dating Now vs. Then
The last two years have changed life as we know it. I don’t have to tell you this because you lived it too. From the initial periods of being asked to stay home, the shut down of some of our favorite places, watching friends and family get sick (or getting ill ourselves), the pandemic changed us. Have you changed your dating life to mirror who you are now instead of who you were?
There’s the camp of you who are going to be like, “I didn’t change! I’m who I’ve always been!” and while that might be true, I’d bet that there is something that’s different. I can’t name it for you because it’s different for everyone, but I can share mine in hopes that it helps you evaluate things for yourself.
For me, pre-pandemic, I was on the go all the time. Travel was my middle name, having gone on a total of 38 trips within the span of 3 years (I remember one month, I was only home for about 6 days!). I had my hands in so many different projects and EVERYTHING was important. I couldn’t say no to a lot of things.
The pandemic forced me to sit down…literally, because we couldn’t go anywhere. And in that time, I learned that the thing I actually wanted was to move from being booked and busy to a slower pace where I got to savor life. I honestly don’t know if I would have known how to do that without the pandemic happening.
I know it seems like I went on a tangent, but I didn’t! Stay with me here, sis!
How did this apply to dating for me? Well, pre-pandemic, my dating life was all about where we could go (travel wise or locally), how often I could see you (basically every day–um, hello boundaries, where were you? Oh, nonexistent I see), and how we could go out to be seen.
Now, as much as I love to see my man, I also enjoy the quiet of being at either of our houses alone, I’m not super pressed to really go anywhere (laying on his couch is legit one of my favorite places), and when we do go out, it’s not based on the hottest spot, but more along the lines of what what both of us have energy for. I don’t NEED to see him every day…I WANT to see him every day. And even with that desire, we still don’t and it’s fine.
The pandemic allowed me a slower pace to focus on the most important piece in this whole thing–connection. And while I knew connection was important before, I don’t think I fully understood how much until I was lacking it and almost at my wits end when we had to stay home.
So what is it for you sis? 9 times out of 10, some part of you has changed in some way and it affects your dating life. Here’s a few things to think about to figure it out:
What was life like pre-pandemic?
What’s the same and what’s different? For me, I still love travel, but I don’t need to hit 10+ trips a year.
For the things that are different, how do you find yourself operating? What does that look like for you now? (i.e. Do you enjoy different things? Where do you find peace? What type of connections do you crave now?)
How does this affect your dating life?
Ok so why is this even important? Well boo, as you’re out there navigating dating, you’ll start to understand yourself even more. Things that wouldn’t have bothered you before might actually bother you now and it can be weird for you if you haven’t evaluated this first. If you were a person who relished the chance to be out and about, you might find yourself being more reserved. If you didn’t have clear cut established boundaries for yourself, you may see now that you’re willing to tolerate less nonsense. You get to have more intention now that you possibly did before.
My overall point is, dating is likely different than it was in some capacity. And that’s totally okay. Offer yourself some grace and decide if what you were doing then works for you now. If it does, more power to you and keep going! But if not, take some time to figure out what you need and make the changes instead of just going along with what was true for you before. It’s okay for you to change what you need at any point.
If you’re already dating and you’ve been feeling some friction, remember that you should be considering you and your needs first, not the person you’re seeing. You’re not changing overnight, the shift has already happened, and now you have to determine whether or not the person you’re with has been changing with you or if they want to force you into your old ways of being. If yall seem to be on the same page, keep moving forward. But if you’re not, have that candid conversation, express your needs, and see what happens.
Change is constant and the one thing you can always come back to is reflection, evaluation of self, and choosing to live the life you want. Give yourself this gift and always always, DateYourselfGirl!