Humans are hardwired to connect, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We were not meant to live life alone. Being single has its perks - no fight over the remote, no cleaning someone else's dishes or compromising about which of the latest box office movies you'll see first. On the other hand, being single for too long can be lonely and isolating.
Findings from the Pew Research Center (February, 2020) show 3 out of 10 people have used an online dating site or app, with 11% having done so in the last year. 12% have married or had a longterm committed relationship with someone they met online, and 23% say they have gone on a date with someone they first met online.
Most online daters shared it was "somewhat easy" to find others that were physically attractive, shared common interests and seemed like someone they would want to meet in person. 7 in 10 online daters also shared they believed it was easy for people using these platforms to lie in order to appear more desirable.
I'm a 40 something on again/off again online dater myself, so I get it! Meeting that special person can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack! On the other hand, online dating is a great tool for weeding out the "not what I'm looking for" men from the "has potential" or "could be the one" possibilities.
Online dating naturally includes a large pool of suitors to choose from, though not everyone has the same goal or agenda. Regardless of the site, members (free and paid) have one or more of the following dating goals:
hook-ups/one night stands
short term dating
long term dating
Regardless of goal, online dating has become super challenging since COVID-19 erupted and all hell broke lose.
Yes, I said "hell" in a professional blog post. I've found there are few words to truly describe the emotional volcano of emotions people have experienced; dread, overwhelm, depression, sadness, loss, trauma, fear of the unknown, heightened worry and anxiety for health of themselves and family members. If you think of a better word of phrase to describe the impact of COVID-19, I'm all ears! Send a message to sara@wonderwomanrising - I'd love to hear from you!
Okay, back to online dating... Political values and health/wellness issues have taken center stage when chatting with a new connection and deciding whether to meet. On the upside, it may be easier to weed out the "not right for me" people if you are wearing masks in public and adhering to social distancing guidelines and potential dates are being nonchalant, expecting you to meet them in person or becoming irritated if you are hesitant or want to maintain six feet of distance. With a pinch of creativity, pixie dust, laughter and flexibility, online dating while staying at home can be fun! Here's a few questions to ask during a phone call or virtual date:
1. Favorite new series to binge-watch on Netflix?
2. Favorite Hulu show you miss?
3. Most ridiculous show you can't help but watch?
4. Favorite comfort food to cook or bake?
5. Favorite take out food/local restaurant offering curbside service?
6. Most ridiculous news segment you have seen since March?
7. Best puppy/kitten Youtube video?
8. Favorite travel destination? Window or aisle seat?
Virtual Coffee Dates Can Create Desired Intimacy
For several reasons we rarely invite a first date over to our place. I've always preferred coffee for a first date option. Years ago, a first described himself as "boring" minutes after ordering a bottle of wine at an Italian restaurant. Lesson learned! Coffee requires minimal investment and can always turn into lunch or dinner if you feel a connection.
Virtual coffee or cocktail dates can be perfect for letting another person have a glimpse into our personal lives. We can introduce our pets, show our favorite coffee cup, our personal style and decor, without any pressure for sexual connection. Perfect way to show a new guy or gal how you prefer your coffee, the brand of your favorite creamer or whether you like it black.
Cocktail Dates Are Fun Too!
After a few phone conversations or coffee dates, cocktail dates can be fun too! You can still get all dressed up, strap on those fancy stilettos and flirt, all from the comfort of your home! It's the perfect time to try out a new cocktail, show off your favorite specialty beer or share what your favorite drink is and why. Personally, my new favorite summer drink is a Watermelon Cucumber & Mint Vodka Martini. Here's my homemade recipe:
Fresh chunks of watermelon, about a quarter of the big plastic carton Ketel One Botannical Cucumber & Mint Vodka (you decide how much!) 1 Stevia packet per drink 5 ice cubes
Blend ice, watermelon and vodka together. Makes about 3 drinks. If you add too much vodka (by mistake, of course!), add some Peach Sparkling water or extra ice. Don't forget to add the Stevia in each drink!
I love fresh juicy watermelon and light fruity drinks as an after dinner delight. It's super easy to make (you can forget the Stevia if you like it more tart than sweet). I think there's even an app where you can have a watch party and binge Netflix together. Gives new meaning to Netflix and chill) doesn't it?
Here's a poem from my book, Naked Toes (2018). I thought you, the reader, could appreciate. Enjoy!
Strange way to meet people
browsing profiles for a hint
of magic, a spark.
One would assume
meeting people naturally
would be easier.
Yet thousands rush to download
Match.com, Plenty of Fish
Attention, at the touch
of a button
avoid missing any winks,
likes or messages
from the person that
could be the one.
Hope enticing our brains
and bodies and hearts
like drug addicts searching
for their next hit
to temporarily fill the void
left by the last love affair.
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Sara Minges, M.S., is an Award Winning Speaker (Toastmasters, 2014), 2019 Pitch Best Poet of KC Award Nominee, touring poet and published author (Naked Toes, 2018-2019), motivational life coach for women and Owner of Wonder Woman Rising. She has 20 years experience coaching and empowering women to live their best lives by listening to their gut, eating intuitively, releasing stress in order to let love in and saying goodbye to toxic habits and people in order to find their happy place.
She's a contributor for Pathway to Hope's blog, KC Parent Magazine, yahoo parenting and the Lawrence Journal World; a former panelist for Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation (2017) and has been a featured guest on KC Live, Better Kansas City, 41 Action News, Fox 4 News, Women's Radio Network. She lives in Overland Park with her tabby kittens, Tazzy and Honey.
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