Relationship expert, Stephanie Regan, has opened up on how dating will change as the coronavirus lockdown begins to ease.
If you’ve found yourself struggling to find romance amid the recent pandemic, then you’re not alone.
Clinical Psychotherapist, Stephanie Regan, has shared her advice for singletons looking for love during this trying time.
Here are her top tips:
1- What to expect
Stephanie said: “Although it seems strange to say, I think that coronavirus and lockdown has forced singletons, in their late 20’s and early 30’s, to focus on some of the big questions – why they really want a partner in life and what kind of partner they want?
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“The absence of dating for a while has given them time to consider these questions in some depth.
“I think this can really help them when they get back out there dating as they waste less time and are more decisive in the partners they choose.”
She added: “For those who have dated during the lockdown it has been largely virtual, with video calls and virtual dates. This form of dating has been a kind of throwback to the slower courtship, giving people time to become interested and to assess a partner more slowly before the sexual becomes a factor.
“I think this has been a really interesting turning back of time and I think many will benefit from this slowing down in the mating game.”
2 – Try to reflect on your own self-worth.
“Know your self-worth – you will feel less vulnerable and less reliant on other people’s approval and protect you from the inevitable rejections which are part and parcel of the dating game.
“Try to shift your mindset from, do they like me? to do I like them? So many daters get obsessed with being liked that they forget the purpose of the exercise which is to find somebody that they like. So focus on that – what specifically do you want and like,” she said.
Stephanie advices people to become less passive in dating situatuions.
“Be active not passive – Put yourself in the position of choosing rather than that of being chosen.”
3- Date ideas for the ‘new normal’
“Well the great joy of the outdoors has been thrust upon all of us and I think outdoor dating propels everyone towards walking hiking cycling.
“To be involved in an activity when on a date is far more relaxing and less intense initially and I think far more fun, allowing people to be their more natural selves,” she said.
4- A few more tips for dating smarter!
The author said: “Remember that online dating is just one more avenue for meeting people and don’t let it replace socialising. Face-to-face socialising is good for your confidence and will help you to stay positive and happy.
“Get rid of the term perfect, there is no perfect anybody for you. The truth is there is no one perfect out there nor are you perfect yourself. Really you’re looking for that person with whom you can be totally yourself- no affectation.
“It is this mutual acceptance that makes the magic in love. Did you know that the most common phrase used by couples with a long term love or marriage, to describe what was different this time was “ I could be myself with…) Don’t forget that! Be yourself and if you can’t, then get out of there.”
Stephanie also urges people to keep an open mind when using dating apps.
She said: “Try to keep an open mind and listen. Swiping left because of a person’s hair colour or height is not the best approach. Make an effort to listen more deeply – find out who they are, how they think, what they believe, how they treat people, what is important to them.
“Time is precious and limited – I think a legacy of Covid-19 will be that people will value their time more and consider more carefully how they spend that time.”
Stephanie added: “I see lots of people waste time in relationships that are going nowhere.
“Often, this is evident from the word go, but there is a tendency to hang on, reinterpreting messages so they fit what the person wants to see. Don’t waste time!”
For more advice you can purchase Stephanie’s book, Relationships On The Edge: How To Survive A Crisis, on Amazon.com or read the e-book for free with the Kindle app.