Written exclusively for It's Over Easy by Jennifer Hurvitz
You matched on Bumble and chatted for two days.
You exchanged numbers and even texted for "real" on the phone.
You had an actual speaking conversation for fuck sake…it was like you knew each other for years! He said all the right things; you were über witty. You continued texting on and off and scheduled a FaceTime “date “ for the end of the week, and you planned on showering. YES!
Then, the night before you were supposed to hop on the call, NOTHING. The douche goes black. And when I say black, I don't mean he decided to take his coffee sans the cream. (Or is it dark? Oh, whatever.) I'm saying the ass-hat stopped calling and texting…you never heard from him again.
During the Pandemic? What kind of human being pulls that crap? It's not nice or kind. It's just flat-out rude. But getting "ghosted" happens all the time! C'mon, at least come up with something new! Although passé, it still stings, and I hear about it from my clients, both women, and men. s
Trust me, this behavior isn't gender-specific.
But it has become entirely acceptable when it comes to online dating after divorce.
And here's why: It's merely the lack of human interaction and contact. Yup! Taking the "face-to-face" away from the initial courting process has stripped us of all emotions. We have no reason to feel any guilt for hurting another person's feelings. "Who really cares if I cancel a date? I don't really know her anyway." Right? Wrong.
You have formed a connection! And especially now, during these uncertain times, when the world is fragile, emotions are raw. COVID-19 Quarantine has created an online dating situation that calls for a deeper, more personal trust than ever before, right? Rhetorical, people.
That person receiving your texts is, in fact, a human with a heart. And even though they might not know you yet "for real"…they feel like they do. Let's have some Online Dating Etiquette, shall we? Let's take a deep breath and remember that there actually is a person with feelings receiving those blue bubbles! Unless you have something other than an iPhone, then they aren't getting shit. Ha.
I get it, I do. Texting makes it all too easy. We have superhuman chutzpah! You say things you would NEVER say in "real life." Am I right? And it's so easy to lie or fabricate via text, too. They can't see your face or body language when you're canceling that date to go out with the other women you met the night before. Or that guy you're standing up simply "wasn't your type." Grrr.
But now, because of this COVID-Quarantine, we have no choice but to move quickly to screens. FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom are seeing facial expressions and emotions, an inside look into a person's lifestyle, maybe even into their heart. So, be kind and empathetic; choose your words more carefully because once you move to face-to-face interaction, you are no longer in a "textationship" it's about as real as it can get under these circumstances.
Sure, it's impossible right now to just hop in your car and go on a date; meet for a quick cup of coffee, hit a club or see a movie. I get it! And masks make it impractical to see a person's smile or expressions when they speak, but there are so many positive things about online dating right now.
- Light Brite. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Know that whatever relationship you start online right now, there will be a time (fingers crossed) when you can meet off-line, so stay positive and make those connections!
- Talk About Sex. Isn't it nice to know that sex is off the table? Can you actually get to know each other without worrying about having sex? This will allow you to make much deeper emotional connections, and then your physical sparks will fly when you do meet!
- One and Done. Take this time to form an intimate bond and get to know one person before moving onto the next. Instead of buzzing, swiping, and beeping from person to person, why not create a beautiful and strong connection with just one?
- Room with a View. You can now see this into this person's life! The video-chat allows you to take a peek into their home in a way you might never actually get to see it if you were in a "normal dating" situation. Do they make the bed? Leave dishes in the sink? How's their taste in couches? Haha. Ummm…do they have a pet snake they never mentioned?
- Talk the Talk. Let's see just how well you communicate. For real. When you can't rely on anything but a screen in front of you, what will you say to each other for the next few hours? Use your imagination!
Whether you are dating online or choosing to wait until after this pandemic, understand that it should be fun! If you can treat each date as a "meet" and a new friendship instead of your next husband or "the one," you'll see that dating can be quite enjoyable. Lower your dating expectations and stop setting yourself up for failure, instead…put on a cute pair of jeans, some gloss, and a killer smile. Easy and chill! Nothing is sexier than a confident woman.
About the Author
Jennifer Hurvitz is known for her no-nonsense approach to dating after divorce. She’s a relationship coach, best-selling author, and host of the Doing Divorce Right (or Avoiding it Altogether). Happily divorced since 2014, Jennifer lives in Charlotte with her two teenage boys. Through her popular blog, The Truth Hurvitz, and weekly podcast, Hurvitz helps people understand what a happy divorce can look like and how to dip their toes back into the dating world. She loves sharing her insight on how to stay in a successful marriage too. With a degree in Family and Child Ecology, a minor in Human Sexuality from Michigan State University, and her training and knowledge gained as Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS)™ she is both empathetic and understanding.