How the coronavirus is changing the dating game for the better
It’s time to talk
With the coronavirus lockdowns, many of you now have more time. You don’t get dressed in the morning, go to work, or meet friends after office hours. Many of you have more time to speak. In addition, you have something important to say. Gossip and gossip have become much less relevant.
Instead, during this pandemic, singles are likely to share much more meaningful thoughts of fear and hope – and quickly learn vital things about a potential mate. Psychologists report that this self-disclosure – the process of revealing one’s innermost feelings, attitudes, and experiences – stimulates intimacy, love, and commitment. These are the cornerstones of a strong partnership. And research shows men are just as likely to reveal their secret feelings as women.
Stop at 9
Before the coronavirus, many abused new online dating technology. Over and over again, singles were typing, slipping, clicking and lashing mindlessly – looking for the perfect partner. But the human brain is not designed to handle so many choices.
For decades researchers have diligently studied how we choose. Some have found that after being offered about six options, we burn out – a condition known as cognitive overload or paradox of choice. Other researchers note that our short-term memory system cannot embrace more than five to nine stimuli at a time.
But all agree that faced with too many alternatives, we choose none.
So after having actually conversed with nine people you think might be appropriate – stop your search. And get to know at least one of these people better. The more you get to know someone, the more likely you are to like them.
Also important: think about the reasons for saying “yes”. We have developed a large region of the brain linked to what neuroscientists call ‘negativity bias’. We are built to remember the negative – an instinctive response that has adapted through our human past, as it does today. So forget that he loves cats and you love dogs. Focus on what you to do like about it. Resist this negativity bias and focus on the positive.
There is a long term benefit to this current lockdown: it extends the “getting to know you” process. In centuries past, marriage was the beginning of a relationship. Today is rather the final. Most of us don’t get married very young. And this 40s continues this global trend towards what I call slow love.