It’s a tricky predicament for singles looking for true love right now… you want to put your health and safety first and not haphazardly date multiple strangers off the internet, but you also want to make sure who you end up with is in it for the right reasons.
So, let’s say you’ve moved past the stage of figuring out that you do want to commit to each other, but you wonder if making it official at a quicker pace than normal was inspired mostly out of a safety measure, rather than out of a genuine desire to be exclusive.
First, remember that pandemic or no pandemic, there are never any guarantees that a relationship will last…
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
It’s possible that once the world goes back to normal, one or even both of you discovers you’re not as compatible as you thought you were.
That said, here are some ways you can gain as much clarity as you can on whether or not he’s undeniably your person, regardless of the fact that there’s a pandemic.
1. GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR FIRST.
It’s easy to be swayed by his hotness or flattered that he chose you to hunker down with during this bizarre time in history, but have an honest check-in with yourself. Ask: Am I choosing to be with him because it’s comfortable and I don’t want to be alone? OR, do I genuinely really like him because he’s all, or at least appears to be most of what I’m looking for?
2. ASK HIM WHAT HE’S LOOKING FOR.
This is an important question, even if there wasn’t a pandemic, and yes, it can feel super uncomfortable asking. You fear that he’ll perceive you putting pressure on him to move things along quicker, but that would be on him. All you’re doing is asking. You’re not asking for exclusivity. You’re asking what he’s looking for. Big difference. Sure, there’s a chance he could lie and say he does want a commitment, or he THINKS he wants a commitment, but his actions show otherwise, which you’ll soon be able to tell.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO HOW HE SHOWS UP.
Is your time together mostly spent having surface conversations, numbing out on TV, and some decent sex? OR, is he genuinely interested in what you have going on in your life OUTSIDE of him? Is he kind? Present? Emotionally available? Is it clear you genuinely have a great laugh and fun together? Does he talk about what you guys will do once the world goes back to normal? Or, when you bring up future plans, does he get uncomfortable and change the subject?
4. DOES HE KEEP YOU SEPARATE FROM HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
Technically, this is easy to do, given that we’re all quarantining and carefully selecting our pods, but people are still connecting with loved ones on Zoom, whether it’s just to catch up or for a fun game night. It’s a good sign he’s in it for the right reasons if it’s clear he’s talking about you to his loved ones. And if he isn’t? My antennae would start to go up if it’s clear they don’t know about you after a solid three months of dating.
5. HAVE PERIODIC CHECK-INS.
Ask him how he feels about the relationship and if it’s still working for him, every once in a while. Similar to asking what he’s looking for, I think this is important to do, regardless of whether there’s a pandemic or not. Don’t check in from a needy, insecure space looking for reassurance, but from a self-owned and vulnerable space, because you care and don’t want to be shy about how you feel, while also wanting to make sure you’re still on the same page. You deserve that.
Again, there are never any foolproof guarantees that a relationship will last forever, but the above suggestions will help facilitate you to be eyes wide open as you embark on this adventure that will most likely catapult you onto a track of getting to know someone much quicker than you, and perhaps he, are used to.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun! You can’t predict the future, regardless of the state of the world, so remember to also be present, and enjoy this chapter that could very well lead you to so much happiness, during this very challenging time for most.