Love in the Age of COVID-19

As if this year hasn’t been hard enough. Between a worldwide pandemic, a rollercoaster presidential election, and a record breaking hurricane season, you’re still single! The holidays are upon us and it would be nice to start 2021 with someone special.

Love in the Age of COVID-19

I’ve had a lot of conversations with single people of all ages. From millennials, to baby boomers, there is a big disconnect between the sexes when it comes to dating. There are many directions I could take this article in, and with all the stories, I could write a book. So I am going to break it down into segments from profiles to dating and real life stories, I will honestly share, and I encourage comments and questions from our readers.

Three years ago when I came out of a long term relationship, I was appalled with what I encountered in the dating world – from online conversations, to in person connections, it all felt impersonal. Luckily I can laugh at it now. I hope you will relate, laugh with me and share some of your experiences as well. In 2020 it seems that sex is easy. But a real connection, a commitment, is as difficult as winning the lotto.

What NOT to Do When It Comes to Online Dating

Profile Photos Do's and Dont's

So, since a picture says a thousand words, let’s start with those profile photos…

  • What happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom! Bathroom selfies are classless. Surely there is another place in this you can take that full body shot. We do not need to see that side of you on line, so don’t post them.
  • If all of your photos are holding a fish, a piece of expensive jewelry, standing in front of a pricey sports car, or a mega yacht, then change them. If you want a fishing buddy, go to another site. If you are filthy rich, don’t show it online. Let it be a surprise for later in the relationship. That’s how you know someone is interested in you, not your money.
  • If your photos focus on your body or mouth, don’t be upset when someone makes a classless comment about your body or the things your mouth can do. I’m sure you have more to offer, so show it. Candid shots, hobbies, a picture of you and your dog, etc. But if that’s all your photos show, it may be assumed you are just looking for a hook up.
  • You are not Bambi. If you are editing years off your photos or worse, making yourself look like a bunny or a deer – STOP! We are adults. Leave the silly filters to the kids. Leave the animals in the forest, and keep the filters off.
  • Where’s Waldo? There is nothing wrong with posting a group photo of you and friends. But no one should have to search through endless group photos to see where you are in them. Keep it simple and keep the groupies to a minimum.
  • Please keep your kids and family out of your profile pictures. No matter how cute they are, or proud you are of them. Online – less is more. You can tell someone about your family on your date. Till then keep your kids off the world-wide- web, and your family out of your love life.
  • Please only post recent, well lit, in-focus photos of yourself. This seems like a no brainer, right? I am repeatedly baffled at the things people post. Profiles littered with photos of pets, sunsets, race cars, and quotes, with no picture of you are automatically considered shady. It’s assumed you are hiding something.

Keep it simple – one head and shoulders shot in which you are smiling, one full body shot, and one shot of you doing something fun. Photos of you with a full head of hair, or 40 lbs. thinner, are deceitful if you don’t look like that now. Be proud of who you are, no matter what size you are or amount of hair you have. You are unique. Just be honest.

Now On to the Things We Say On-line…

What do you think your profile actually says? You may be surprised at how you may be coming across by the things you say. Read on and see if you are doing any of the things below. If I had a dollar for every time I read the following statements on someone’s profile I would be rich.

  • “I work hard and I play hard.” – This is so overstated and says nothing. What do you really do for fun or work?
  • “Sarcasm is my 2nd language.” – It’s negative and gets really boring really fast, usually it’s not even funny.
  • “I have a high sex drive.” – Really? Compared to what? Why did you need to say this upfront?
  • “I want to be spoiled.” – Are you five years old? Because no one is responsible for your happiness but you.
  • “I am looking for my prince, princess, king or queen.” – They don’t exist in the U.S. We are a democracy.
  • “I’ve got over 8+ inches to give you.” – Yes, it’s been said and it’s classless. What else do you have to offer?
  • Do not share any of your body measurements – It screams hookup, not confidence.
  • Saying “Just ask me” with nothing else written in your profile. – It would be easier to just click NO & most do.
  • “My heart is fragile.” – Then you probably should not be on a dating site. Heal yourself first.
  • “I just want something casual” – Well, if you are on a dating site, and want a romantic relationship, that’s not casual. That’s personal. Honestly speaking, isn’t that what it should be… personal?
  • Anything that starts out with “Hey Sexy”, “Hey Beautiful”, “Sexy Mama” or with a flower icon is fake flattery.

If you wouldn’t share it with your peers, you probably shouldn’t use it.   Be creative and keep it simple.

Don’t Tell People Your Rules or Expectations

If you have rules on how people can or cannot act, you will be in for a rude awakening. IE: No losers, No gold diggers, Must be hot. Many of those “must haves” and “you must be” statements are limiting. Be more open and you may meet the most amazing person you never knew existed.

Other "Don'ts" You Might Wanna Keep in Mind

Don't talk about your exes

It’s demeaning and honestly nobody needs to know your history before you meet or on your first two dates. Take your time with personal information. If it does come up, respect your past, don’t trash it.

Please DO talk

Chatting should be like tennis, a good back and for the volley. Match each other’s efforts. One line answers show zero effort, which in the end usually lead to zero results.

Don’t make fun of others

It’s a small mind that has to make fun of others to have fun. Don’t generalize anyone. We are all a little unique and that is what makes life interesting. If you use phrases like “dumb blonde” or “all men are pigs”, or call anyone stupid, you are the one being arrogant. There is always an exception to the rule. Show kindness.

To anyone that really wants to find a substantial connection or relationship I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone or mental box of rules and restrictions. Let go of your expectations of looks, money, cars and your definition of affection or love. There are several love languages, and ways of showing you care. Be open to the possibility of something different than the picture in your mind.

Until our next article, we look forward to hearing from you! So keep those comments and stories coming!

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Kim Hill

Kim Hill

Kim is a South Florida native with a background in Non-Profit work, Special Events, Public Speaking, Community Outreach, and Development. Oakland Park has been her home for 20 years. She is a creative catalyst who enjoys creating win-win relationships on whatever project she puts her mind to. She is involved in Animal Rescue, Art events, C.E.R.T., and an American Red Cross volunteer. In her spare time, she does photography, writing and the outdoors.

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