Courting: The Skill You Need to Thrive During the Coronavirus Era

Love and pandemics don’t mix well. Or do they?

Experts have made it clear: the responsible and socially caring approach to curbing the speed of coronavirus spread (and saving many people’s lives in the meantime) is to practice #SocialDistancing and, at the time of this writing, to shelter-in-place. While some folks are ignoring these recommendations and swiping away to their end-of-the-world hookup, others are hitting the pause button on dating altogether.

Do you wish there were a third option? Let me be the bearer of good news: There is actually a way to ENHANCE your dating life while embracing the current social distancing recommendations.

“How can I boost my dating life without touching, hugging, kissing, sharing food, or seeing a show,” you ask?

One word: Good old-fashioned courting (Okay, that was four words.)

Yep. It’s prime time to take this thing off the shelf, dust it off, and use it. Good old-fashioned courting will help you shine and rise above the fray, and line up some amazing post-pandemic dates. True, we’re not living in 18th century Europe, but the coronavirus has brought back a bygone tradition, for now.

What does courting look like, in practice? Here are a few step-by-step tips.

Edit Your Online Profile

Address the coronavirus situation in the first paragraph of your profile and announce your new “fun-but-responsible” dating plan.

Write something along these lines:

As much as I would prefer sharing some Pad Thai and hand-holding on our first date, I am aware that #SocialDistancing is the best way to slow down the spread of the virus and save lives. So, I’m defaulting to good old-fashioned courting for the time being. Let’s relax, FaceTime over a glass of wine, talk about our dreams and all the fun things we will do on our second date!

Doing this will elevate your profile by displaying a powerful combo of desirable personality traits:

1. Being fun and creative. You are showing off your ability to create a good time in any circumstances, even in a pandemic. If you can do this, your courters will rightly fantasize about how amazing real-life adventures will be with you!

2. Having a sexy personality. You begin your profile by writing that you would rather meet in person and share something sensuous and pleasurable (like food and physical contact)—BUT at the same time, you are willing to think outside the box to create emotional intimacy using different avenues, which is incredibly attractive. By suggesting a playful “first date” on FaceTime over a glass of wine, you are beginning the flirting process and building anticipation. This is what good old-fashioned courting does: it creates excitement before things get physical.

3. Showing up as a thoughtful, caring, and safety-minded responsible adult. This brings in a sense of level-headedness and intelligence that makes you an amazing catch in the eyes of men looking for a long-term relationship.

Seriously, who wouldn’t want these three qualities in a partner?

Court Away

Once you establish contact with someone, let the courting begin. Without physical proximity, courting requires more inventiveness. But with the right person, it’s possible to build amazing emotional connection and sexual tension with virtual tools. Here are some tips that will increase your ability to foster authentic intimacy before you meet in person. By the way, you should try these tips in non-pandemic times, too!

1. Step up your messaging skills. Ask interesting questions of the person you matched with. Instead of the yawn-inducing “hey, how are you?” message, try something creative. For example, comment and ask a question about a specific thing the person wrote on their profile. Or, try an inspiring conversation-starter like, “If you could reinvent yourself in any profession without consideration for money, what would you do?”, or “What is your biggest dream?” Be kind, write in complete sentences, use your spell check, and create thoughtful engagement with every message.

2. Set up a phone or video call first date. Once you have exchanged a few messages and feel inspired to take the conversation further, suggest a phone or video call so you can get to know each other better in spite of social distancing. Set up the date at a time you know you will be relaxed and at ease, such as after your workday is done. Show up with a curious mind and heart, and a warm attitude. If you are not naturally talkative, you might want to prepare a few meaningful questions to have in your back pocket in case there is a lull in the conversation. Treat this like you would a first coffee date. Have fun with it, and be mindful about balancing out listening and talking.

3. Foster the connection through the art of virtual flirting. Until you get to meet in person, send intermittent, playful messages that give a window into your unique little world, and respectfully inquire into the other person’s. Here’s an idea. You could send a photo or a written description of something interesting you recently saw. Ask him about the best and worst parts of his day. Give him a sincere compliment.

Whatever you do, be humorous, curious, and kind in your communication. Think quality over quantity when cultivating a new connection virtually—you never want to smother someone with too many messages. Finally, integrate authentic communication and flirting with a healthy awareness of the fact that you will not truly be in a relationship until you meet in real life!

When Life Gives You Lemons

While many people are either suspending their dating lives or taking unnecessary risks by resuming usual activities during the coronavirus pandemic, you have the opportunity to make the best out of the current situation while keeping yourself and others safe by practicing good old-fashioned courting. Who doesn’t want to date someone who is fun, creative, sexy, and responsible and caring for others? Here’s your chance to be a good citizen while giving your love life a boost. Follow this advice and you might have LOTS of amazing dates lined up once the pandemic subsides!

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