Conventional wisdom would suggest that looking for love in the midst of the anxiety, fear, uncertainty and danger of the Tsunami of Covid is so beyond the bandwidth of the average person struggling to manage children and/or parents, preserve an income, and stay safe, that the notion is laughable.
We sequester and work from home, unable to visit or hug friends and family, living on screens and hoping for some scientific breakthrough to end this nightmare. But the drive for human connection is more powerful than even this virus, and we find that at this time of isolation and loneliness, the possibility of “virtually” venturing out and meeting new
people, even in a romantic sense, is stronger than ever.
Some of our clients are busy online, finding interesting men and women to whom they can reach out, get to know in safety and eventually meet in real, socially distanced time at an outdoor coffee shop or restaurant. Even those who have downplayed and shunned the artificiality of the online experience are beginning to enjoy the power of connection that the electronic world provides.
We have often told our clients, well before this pandemic, that the online dating world is too rich a resource to pass up. And now that resource is pretty much the only game in town. Many converts are made daily, once they experience the delight of finding, meeting and getting to know new people who hold promise for the future.
One of our clients, a smart, strong and successful professional from New York City was not only reluctant to go online with her photo and profile but was so concerned that she might be recognized by friends or colleagues that she opted for the “private mode” offered by Match.com. With this feature, no one can see her profile unless she chooses, but even though she gave up a large population of men who would stop at her picture, she is still meeting men who are interesting, accomplished and articulate. And, she is having fun! This lovely woman is, for the first time in many years, feeling hopeful about her chances of finding someone special.
Perhaps finding love in this perilous atmosphere may seem counterintuitive until we look a little deeper and sense the drive of connection and passion of love. When Gabriel Garcia Márquez wrote Love in the Time of Cholera, he understood that the intense emotions of love and fear – set in a life-threatening environment – are sometimes hard to distinguish from each other, but they share the power of forcing us to live in the moment. Because COVID surrounds us with a daily reminder of the fragility and temporal limits of life, we are driven to feel grateful for what we have.
It is inspiring to see the human spirit at work, making music videos with musicians from all over the world coming together on the screen; theater productions performed with no audience produced for “live” streaming to all of us at home; and the millions of singles who are meeting and getting to know other singles who yearn for eventual contact and are using this time to explore and discover the possibilities of new relationships.
Our world is turning on a different axis, but LOVE remains a source of existential nourishment.