We are living in a new normal where social distancing is mandatory, meeting in real life is restricted and online conversations have replaced face-to-face catch ups. We are all finding this tough. And for singletons, this makes the dating game so much harder than ever before.
So, we at PlusMinus warmly welcomed back leading love expert and author, Kathryn Alice to get the scoop on navigating being single through a global pandemic.
Carving a glittering career as a spiritual counsellor, love mentor and coach, Kathryn’s bestselling book Love Will Find You has recently been released on audio and has successfully helped singletons everywhere to find The One – even in lockdown.
You can read our first interview here, where we discuss Kathryn’s nine love magnets to attract you and your soulmate together.
Below we get exclusive advice on finding love in these uncertain times.
Please note: this interview was conducted just before the UK’s national lockdown in November 2020. The following relates to rules in England.
PM: Hi, Kathryn! We are so excited to be catching up with you again! We hope you are doing well during these strange times. My first question for you I think will resonate with many of our readers right now. So, to begin:
We are currently finding ourselves spending more and more time at home. Can you give some coping techniques to those who’re struggling with the feeling of loneliness and, subsequently, their mental health?
Kathryn: I’ve been dealing with this so much especially with extroverted clients. But even the introverts have had enough! Here is what is helping:
• Do what you can outside on a regular basis. Adhering to current government guidelines, schedule walks with one person outside of your household, do your shopping in real life rather than online if you can. Check on neighbours, see if they need any shopping or just a chat, at a social distance. Be open and friendly if you encounter a stranger, while maintaining the two-metres-apart rule. You’re not the only one who needs some human contact.
• Schedule online meetups with friends and family. One of my clients started a new friends single group that meets once a week on Zoom. It started out with just five of them, but she encouraged them to invite other single friends. It’s burgeoned now to over 50. They break out into smaller groups, and several have coupled up.
PM: That sounds like a brilliant idea, keeping in regular touch with others you share similarities and experiences. I’m certain that offers those individuals great support and comfort. This leads on to my next question.
Many of us are craving that face-to-face interaction. How can singletons feel more connected?
Kathryn: Meeting face-to-face with one other person from outside your household outdoors is okay, with distance and preferably sunlight and masking. When it’s cold, bundling up, fire pits, heat lamps and candles can make it do-able – when we’re not in lockdown. Everyone in my coaching group has been tasked with at least one in-person date or socialising per week (with one other person), whether it’s for a walk a coffee on a bench (socially distanced of course) and it’s gone quite well.
Beyond that, zoom groups, social media interactions and phone calls have to fill the gap.
PM: That all sounds really romantic! Online dating is on the rise. In your opinion, what are the main benefits of meeting a potential partner digitally?
Kathryn: There are so many benefits to meeting someone online. Here are a few:
• Dating online, in these covid times, is safer than dating face-to-face. There’s no risk of exposure and spread of the virus. I’ve had many of my students find love since March. Most of the relationships started online. They kept the connection digital until they were pretty bonded, got tested and created a bubble after to stay safe. Online is a real blessing right now as we stay home so much more.
• Everyone doing online dating right now is just as keen as you to find someone. I think that’s why we’ve seen so many romances blossom and even some early engagements. Being alone through this pandemic is not fun. Never have singles been more motivated to find their person.
• App dating shows you just how many great singles are out there. It’s heartening, a sign of hope that there’s someone for you.
PM: And for those singletons who’re starting to lose all sense of hope, can you share a recent lockdown-love success story?
Kathryn: I’ve got so many. One of my clients met a guy in the supermarket – masked – in March. They were queuing up, spacing and she apologised when she felt she got too close. This broke the ice. They chatted as they walked out the supermarket (still distanced), exchanged info and began a phone and facetime romance. Because of the strange circumstance, their bonding was probably a bit accelerated. By June, they had formed a bubble together, breaking the ice to see one another in person and, once government said okay to do so, staying often at each other’s places. They moved in with each other in August, and now they are engaged. She jokes that the pandemic is the best thing that ever happened to her.
PM: So, do you believe the pandemic has changed the dating scene for the better? Have you seen any other positives develop from all of this change?
Kathryn: The pandemic’s bright side is that people are more ready than ever to settle down. The loneliness has driven home how much they want to find their life partner.
Another advantage is that the pandemic is forcing people to slow down and think about what is important to them.
Anyone who was putting off getting their dating profile put together has plenty of time now to get it done and a good reason to delay no longer.
Oh, and one of my favourite things that the pandemic has done is put a damper on one night stands and casual hook-ups. That’s just not safe right now. Therefore, people have to put off getting physical until they’re sure they want to get more involved. Bonding first and deeper is much more conducive to lasting love.
PM: Those are very interesting points! We, as society, are living increasingly-more virtually each day. How have new couples formed close bonds in these digital-first times?
Kathryn: Online dating is the king. But people are meeting in many other virtual ways, too.
• Online speed dating
• Zoom singles meetups
• I’ve even had a couple of students meet someone in Instagram comments and Facebook groups.
Once a connection is established, they can connect one-on-one beyond the app, take time to bond and get safely physical once they’re sure it’s a viable relationship and government guidelines allow.
PM: Wrapping up, to summarise: What three main tips would you give to singletons looking for love in the midst of a pandemic?
Kathryn: Decide that you will find love right now. There has never been a better time, and love could crop up any minute. You never know!
• Jot down a little plan: a combination of online dating and a bit of in-person meeting (when done safely) are best.
• Implement your plan and don’t be shy or make it a big deal. Devote a few hours a week to the plan. Slap up an online dating profile in 30 minutes and use bullet points. No one reads long paragraphs on a profile, so don’t waste your time. And take a nice snapshot at sunset for your best look and get that photo on the profile. Don’t wait! You could be in love and, once restrictions are lifted, in the warm arms of your love before you know it.
PM: Fantastic advice! And finally, I’m sure plenty of our readers are wanting to know, are you running any online coaching sessions catering specifically to lockdown love?
Kathryn: Yes! I have a do-at-home course called “30 Days to Love RIGHT NOW”, a coaching group and private coaching. People can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
PM: Thank you so much Kathryn! This has been an absolute pleasure and you’ve really shed a positive light on this somewhat daunting topic. I, for one, have had my eyes opened to the ways we can feel and stay connected, even in this digital-prominent period we find ourselves in.
For more in-depth love advice and coaching, you can purchase Kathryn’s paperback and audio book here.