As we slowly ease our way out of the global pandemic that has kept many home-bound for over a year, we see a lot of new trends emerging. New styles of clothing, workspaces, social functions and yes…even dating. While some of these new trends can be the positive changes we all needed in our lives, some of them are not so great. Let me introduce you to a new and not-so-great trend in the dating world, called… Apocalypsing.
What It Is
Apocalypse dating is akin to coming out of the end of the world, and being one of the only two survivors. Or at least feeling that way. It is basically when someone comes in way too hot, with someone(or multiple someones) they barely know. Kind of like taking the concept of “ a new lease on life” to an extreme.
Did you think during parts of the pandemic you might not ever have sex again? Might die alone? Might never have human contact again? Well, didn’t we all, but we don’t need to take that out on a new partner. The sun will rise again, and we will all have more partners, sexual and otherwise. There is no need to overwhelm or put pressure on the first person you date coming out of the pandemic.
I mean I get it because let’s be honest…the pandemic was scary. Lockdowns, curfews, quarantines, vaccines, medical tests, learning how to use Zoom, yes it was all quite a lot to handle, especially if you lived on your own. So it’s understandable.
Being released back out into the world feels a little like getting out of our small, self-made prison of an apartment. But we have to proceed with caution when entering a new relationship. The last thing we want to do is get ourselves into a situation that won’t last the test of time or another global pandemic.
Proceed With Caution
One of the things the quarantine has shown us is that a lot of relationships were not built to last, because they were not built on anything solid. The pressures of a global pandemic and a time when life got very real for a minute, really highlighted that. When the entire basis of a relationship is built on impermanent things like a job, a car, income, looks, etc., and not a deeper sense of connection or understanding, then when those things disappear, what is left? Well, many people found out that answer very quickly…nothing. Nothing was left of the relationship after those things dropped off.
So the last thing we want to do or have done to us is to be thrown headfirst into a relationship, simply out of not wanting to be alone. We do not want a relationship built on something as unstable as fear. Whether we are the ones taking a nose dive into a relationship, or someone is asking that of us, we all just need to take a second, and a breath. Stop, drop and roll. Don’t fan the flames of panic.
It’s understandable, the pandemic was a scary experience, especially if you were single or lived alone, there is no denying that. But clinging to the first person you see after leaving your home for the first time in months, is not necessarily the makings of a healthy relationship either.
So how can you avoid falling into the end of the world, dating trap? Well, there are two antidotes to this dating virus known as apocalypsing.
1. Ask The Questions
Ask. Ask yourself, ask your partner.
Do you have anything in common with that person? Are you physically attracted to that person? Do you even like that person? These are important questions to ask of yourself and potential partners.
Does your potential partner seem to be interested in who you are as a person, or just the fact that you are a person other than their roommate?
In ten years, when everything has settled, do you truly still see yourself with that person?
Are there things you are overlooking, or red flags you are choosing not to see? Did this person walk out of the pandemic with some bad habits? Or do you just want different things out of life?
Ask, ask and ask again. Be direct, both with your partner and yourself. You need to find out the answers to these questions and it’s definitely better to know them sooner rather than later.
2. Give It Time
Give the relationship some time to unfold. That means maybe don’t give up your lease or bank account info, just yet. Don’t make any sudden moves or decisions that will tie you to someone that in reality, you may not know very well.
We all make some wacky decisions when we are afraid, and one of those could very well be diving headfirst into a relationship that over time, we will see isn’t a great fit for us. Making relationship decisions based on fear never really ends well.
So just give it some time. The world is starting to re-open and things are starting to feel more normal (whatever that means.)People are beginning to find their footing again, so give yourself time for the dust, and your emotions, to settle. Allowing yourself to feel the emotions the pandemic may have stirred up for you, without adding all the additional ones that come from a new relationship, is a good way to start getting your bearings.
Take it slow. Have some coffee dates, go for a hike, maybe grab some dinner. But leave the lifelong plans and exchanging of keys, for a little further down the road. Just because this is the first person you date after the pandemic, it does not mean it has to be the last. You will date again, you will have sex again, I promise, even though it might feel like you are the last two people on the planet, you are not. There are others.
So take some time to get to know each other and see if there is anything there other than a shared fear of the impending end of the world.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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