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Love in the time of coronavirus

Isolation during the coronavirus pandemic can be a

Isolation during the coronavirus pandemic can be a good excuse to self reflect and try to improve your dating life. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Alina Kvaratskhelia

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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that people looking for love will create every excuse in the book not to find it. 

Coronavirus is certainly no exception; actually, it’s the ultimate excuse.

As a dating coach helping women learn how to become the CEO and entrepreneur of their love lives, I have seen and heard just about every excuse in the book: “I’m too picky”; “Once I lose those 10 pounds”; “All the good ones are taken”; “I’m not cut out for relationships”; “When the weather gets nicer”; “When I’m less busy (work is soooo crazy right now).” 

The thing is, excuses are like face masks (see what I did there?): A disguise we wear to conceal and protect what’s underneath. Like the ones we’re currently being told to wear to keep us healthy, our metaphorical masks protect us. 

Ask yourself what excuses you are making in your love life and what’s hiding behind them.

With the current fiasco we collectively find ourselves enduring, however, people will happily push aside these typical justifications, embracing a once-in-a-lifetime one: global pandemic. 

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying get out there, start dating, and playing tonsil honkey with wild abandon (not unless you want the police hauling you off in handcuffs or the dreaded “Karen” breathing down your neck). 

But I am saying this: There is time. There is solitude. There is reflection. There is introspection. You will never have another opportunity like this one to sit, ponder, and, if you have the courage, truly listen for and to the answers. Looking inward is the one aspect of dating struggling singles do not engage in enough, mostly because it’s hard to do and often because nobody is consistently there to help them do it. 

As I do with all my clients, before they get online and start meeting people for dates, I spend a fair amount of time prodding them to engage in deep reflection and then helping them unpack and address their discoveries. We discuss questions such as these:

—How do I feel I have held back from getting what I want in my love life?

—What are my biggest fears in relationships?

—What kind of love/relationships have I been experiencing?

—What kind of love/relationships do I want to experience?

—What are the patterns and thoughts that get in the way of me giving love?

—What are the patterns and thoughts that get in the way of me receiving love?

—What stereotypical or cultural beliefs, whether they come from society, family, or friends, about dating, relationships and love are stopping me from finding a healthy, happy relationship?

—Do I have specific standards, rules, fantasies and expectations about who I’m supposed to be with or how it should happen that might be preventing me from finding love?

—Do I have certain values or boundaries that I keep disregarding that may be keeping me from moving forward in my dating and love life?

—What negative statements or thought patterns about myself do I keep repeating?

—What positive and negative things did my parents show/teach me about relationships?

These reflection exercises are a fundamental part of any single person’s journey toward creating a healthy, happy relationship. 

Use this time wisely, productively. If you’re going to spend the next few months alone, cooped up inside, you may as well take a break from Netflix bingeing and TikTok memes and start preparing yourself for the day when the face masks (literally and figuratively!) come off.

Neely Steinberg is a dating coach, image consultant and founder of the dating coaching company The Love TREP. She wrote this for

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