Since COVID-19, there has been a rapid increase in activity on dating sites during COVID-19. Before the pandemic, dating sites were seeing a decrease in activity but Dating.com reported that online dating activity was up 82% during March.
Dating sites are also reporting an increase in conversations, for example Tinder’s conversation lengths increased 10-30%, and more messages are being exchanged between users.
If you think about the fast-paced way in which relationships typically develop, this forced slower pace is an excellent thing.
One-night stands replaced with zoom dates.
Texting date details replaced with FaceTime conversations.
And this is the upside of dating during a pandemic…forced boundaries that require individuals to talk and get to know one another without the distraction of sexual tension or chemistry.
These boundaries are so great for people who tend to test compatibility though chemistry; however the sexual relationship is not the only way you may be blinded to red flags.
Blind spots can occur in relationships in so many areas and one of the most common has to do with having an inflated positive belief in someone or trust in them (check out another post on trust here).
The current, stay-at-home, dating climate is ripe for this imbalance because people are getting to know each other in only one dimension.
In our online course for singles, we talk about the 3T’s for getting to know someone: TALK, TIME, and TOGETHERNESS.
Here’s the thing, you can talk all you want. Even stay up for days on end just chatting.
However, there is no replacement for being together. When you are together you are seeing a person in action, feeling their vibe, observing them in the wild so to say. This is essential to truly knowing someone.
And you cannot replicate time. There is no replacement for what time does, which is reveal a person’s true character and allows for patterns in behavior to emerge (check out this post on why you need a 90 day probation period when you date).
What can so easily happen (and if you watched the hit show, Love is Blind, it did happen) is that when you talk to someone without the other T’s, you can create an INFLATED POSITIVE BELIEF in someone.
This inflated positive belief happens when you learn just a little bit about someone, and YOU LIKE what you’ve gotten to know, SO THEN you fill in the gaps based on this information, accelerating your confidence in them without testing it out over time using other points of data (aka seeing them in person, around other people, being with them when they are annoyed or angry, etc).
This premature high level of confidence creates an imbalance in your relationship and puts you at risk of missing major red flags. This imbalance is on par with moving quickly in the sexual aspect of the relationship because it creates a false sense of security in a relationship that is really in it’s infancy.
So here’s the advice:
- Find matches online if you’re in the market for a relationship.
- Enjoy video chats and the fun of getting to know someone new.
- Be aware of how you may fill-in-the gaps of your belief in this person based on the little amount of information you actually know about them.
- Withhold drawing conclusions about this person until you have spent time with them in person.
- Maintain healthy boundaries with this person until you have tested out their true character over time (check out this post on why you need a 90-day probation period when you date).
Remember that true knowing always involves: talk, time, and togetherness.