Despite being a seasoned vet in the dating world, none of my training prepared me for dating during a pandemic. This is a whole different ball game than what I’m used to.
Pre-Covid, my life was always on the go. I was rarely home because I kept myself busy. Now, all the things I used to love doing have gone away. I can’t go to a Spurs game, I can’t get up and go to a concert, all my trips were cancelled, I can’t be surrounded by friends like I was used to, and my karaoke sessions are now strictly in the shower. All of this has taken such a hard hit to my mental health. Even work, that was previously my place of solace, causes me so much anxiety. To top it off, none of us know how long this is going to last. There’s so much uncertainty with everything in my life, and we’re all still trying to figure out how to deal with it all.
Then to throw in dating into the mix brings so many new pressures that were never felt before. You have the pressure of wanting to spend time with someone, but the fear of not wanting to get yourself or others sick. There’s this weighing of guilt whenever you want to step outside of your house and do something “normal”. There’s pressure with every decision you make, even if it was something you would’ve done without a second thought pre-Covid. You can’t just get up and do the same things you did before. As someone who was always a “yes man”, I’m now having to say no, and feel like a fraud. I feel like I’ve become a storyteller trying to convince someone that I am who I say I am.
I’m someone that is a planner. I always think 10 steps ahead with every decision I make. Right now, I feel like I can’t plan ahead. For the first time in my life, I have to take things day by day and pray for the best. This is extremely tough for me, and until I feel comfortable, it’s irresponsible for me to bring someone else into that.
Turning 30 was already a big deal for me. I’ve said before that it took me a long time to be okay with the fact that I was going to turn 30 and still be single with no kids. I felt like turning 30 was already a sacrifice, but one that I was okay with. I came to terms with pushing that back a few more years. Now, I feel like I’m going to have to learn to be okay with pushing that back even further. I feel like I’m preparing for the worst while living in a time of such uncertainty.
With all this going on in my head, I can’t think about bringing someone else into it. I can’t put energy into someone that isn’t myself right now. I’ve learned that I am such a nurturing person when it comes to dating, but rarely is it reciprocated. Now, more than ever, I need support. I need someone to understand that I’m still navigating how to deal with a pandemic. I have the best support system with my friends, family, and coworkers, so I’ll decide to date again when I don’t feel the pressure of being strong for someone else all the time. I’ll decide to date again when I’m not looked at like I’m crazy for having anxiety about all these uncertain times. Until then, I have a lot to work on.