I receive messages everyday from people asking me about my dating life. In the same conversation they also ask me how it’s possible that I always am so happy. They ask me for my ‘secret’. The secret is: I am not always happy nor am I always positive. I just don’t share my feelings very often. But in this column, today I am.
I’m writing this column today during my first day of quarantaining (again). Someone in the house I’m living in had a positive test result, therefor our house has been put under quarantaine. I already got the results from my first test (negative), so now I’m waiting for day seven to do the second test and I’ll be out and about again. Anyway, back to the topic of the day: dating in covid times.
Modern day dating
What I dislike the most about modern dating is the fact that everyone wants instant results or has instant expectations. And this is all just too intense sometimes. I remember it well how I had to wait days (sometimes weeks) to get a reply from a guy I was texting almost 13 years ago. We didn’t have social media like we have it today. Admittedly for a big part social media has given us a lot. I makes us find and contect with people we know, but somehow lost track off. Or it let’s us reach out to people we would love to become friends with. And let’s not forget how much cute and funny video’s we get to watch on a daily base thanks to social media.
But for a big part, social media has brought a level of anxiety and stress we didn’t have before. I’m one who is already dealing with imposter syndrom at work sometimes and even on a personal level I often doubt myself. Although I might come off as someone who has his shit together on social media like instagram, the truth is the opposite. I struggle with how I see myself and how I think others see me. This is a constant battle that also reflects itself on my dating life. Because I’m always thinking about that one phrase that says: how can you love somebody else, if you don’t love yourself? And it’s true that in order for me to be 100% happy with someone, I need to be happy with myself. But as time passes by, I feel like I might never be 100% happy with myself.
I’m not one who will hookup easily or a lot through dating apps with random strangers, to meet up and have fun with (yes I mean sex). Most guys I meet are old acquaintances I met before, so I already know who they are and vice versa. Or it will take a long chat (maybe weeks or months, even years) before I would suggest a date. When I do decide (because yes it does happen) to meet someone new, I stress A LOT. I’m overthinking everything. From the way I look, the way I talk, who I am as a person, but also “what if he expects something and I don’t want that?” And that stresses me out instantly. It makes me act awkward and sometimes I look like and idiot because I don’t know how to behave properly. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about so many things, instead of actually living in the moment and listening to the guy I’m on a date with.
First dates and covid
Nowadays, in covid times, there isn’t much you can do on a first date expect for go for a walk in the park, or go shopping (which is not allowed in every store), maybe visit a museum or two. First of all you have to keep a certain distance. It’s not really cosy and connections are not made as they used to. So dates become very similar to one another and it doesn’t show much of someone’s personality, passion or even intention. There’s also this factor that hits: what if he is seeing other people and he isn’t careful at all. So immeditately you feel different.
A while ago I had some of my followers ask me how they could meet other gay men outside of the gay dating apps. And to be quite honest, I have no clue. Before you could go to a bar where gay people often go to, or you could go to a party with friends and hope to meet someone they are friends with. But today, I don’t know. It’s not like you can invite some friends over and ask them to bring others, because that would be illegal (!). And I know that this is the same for other (straight) people, because they can’t meet up with random people either. But for us gays, it has literally downsized our chances of meeting something by a mile.
It’s funny that I decided to write this article close to Valentine’s Day, but I promise you this is not a secret way of getting my inbox filled with love letters. However, if you do have someone you are into, you might want to slide in his DMs, he might be waiting for you to text. Some people are just more the waiting type, rather than the ones taking te first step. Happy weekend, lovebirds!