Like many single girls, I started 2020 by firing up Bumble with dates on dates on dates lined up at least 3 days a week.
I had dating down to a science (it’s a numbers game after all). I would match and engage in conversation with 10 potential suitors, spark interest via chat/text with 5, follow through with dates with 2-3, and casually date 1-2.
There was …
the 30-something guy still mentally living in a frat house
the lawyer with the expense account
the earthy bohemian coder
the WeWork entrepreneur
the trying-to-justify-living-with-a-roommate-in-his-30’s- guy
the divorced guy
the every type of guy that the city had to offer.
I would follow through with this “wave” of prospects and when all or most seemed to fizzle and fade, I would “clear the roster” and start anew.
This was a “rinse and repeat” process until … March of 2020 when the world, as we knew it, went to a screeching halt.
A severe shift happened to the dating mindset during the pandemic – whether you were in a relationship or not. The stock value of mere companionship skyrocketed, old world forms of romance resurged, the value and strength of a relationship reevaluated and of course… many old toxic exes dug themselves out from their own graves.
Week 3 of the pandemic, I received a stunning designer bouquet with a note from a good friend asking me formally on a date and expressing his romantic interest. While I willed it to come to be, my heart was unfortunately not there to my brains everlasting dismay. As an enormous fan of “shooting one’s shot”, I similarly but very casually reached out to a crush in a feeble attempt to spark interest which fizzled immediately.
Pre-pandemic, I dated almost as if for sport. A business emotionless approach to dating or even the mind of a man trapped in the body of a woman (a significantly lesser promiscuous version of Samantha Jones).
When pandemic platonic companionship lost its luster, I reapproached the “rinse and repeat” method in a post-Covid world. I entered a 9-month relationship coming out of it none the wiser. The issue? When dealing with the aftermath of yet another breakup (re-watching the scene of Legally Blonde where Elle throws chocolates at the TV, on repeat), what I did learn was that I was dating without a roadmap, without a manifestation of what exactly, precisely, and accurately what and who I was looking for.
After 3 months of therapy dealing with modern day life (romantic, professional and just the new norm) as I knew it, I decided (with the help of my therapist) to paint a picture of my perfect partner. A very specific list with deal breakers, nice-to-have’s and bonus points. I didn’t compromise, I went back into dating in 2021 with a roadmap and for once, I actually enjoyed the ride.
[ Part 1 of a short series on dating for the modern woman. ]
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Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.