Getting Back Out There

 

Dr. Ashley Mader, sex therapist, educator, and consultant (www.ourshine.org) returned to talk about finding and keeping love in the post-pandemic era. Dr. Diana, author of Love in the Time of Corona, and Dr. Ashley spoke about successful dating at any age. A year of isolation has left many people feeling socially awkward; so, it’s necessary to feel emotionally ready. Part of that process may include getting a new haircut, ditching the sweatpants, and finding a fabulous new outfit. Find your best self … and go for it! But don’t rush into anything, especially if you are an anxious introvert. Online matching may provide an opportunity to practice your interpersonal skills: learning, growing, and modifying your behavior and adjusting your judgment as you go.

 

The secret to successful dating is to have sensible expectations. Dr. Diana suggested to her anxious, introverted client to pull back a bit on his expectations. He decided for the next couple of months to use online matching as a way to motivate him to get out in the world, to see if the dynamic might shift, and discover if his views might open up a bit.

 

Can the dating pool be widened by easing our demands? No, that is not compromising, but it requires some re-framing. A new person may not check off all the boxes you have. For example, he does not share your love of travel and baseball. But this person may actually want to hear about your day and doesn’t judge. Other questions to ask: Do we make each other laugh?  Does he/she truly care about how I feel? Is money an issue between us? Are you judging me for my past? Dr. Ashley has a great litmus test using this question: “If I have sex on the first date, and he doesn’t call back, will I be OK?” If you know you will agonize, don’t have sex on the first date. A slower courtship has proven to be a silver lining for many during the pandemic. Other silver linings? Talk about them! Just enjoy life unfolding again.

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