E-Dating and the Return of Romance
It is perhaps the first time that our lives are upended in such unexpected ways. What an ill-timed obituary to our social connections! This pandemic has wreaked havoc on the very essence of our being. As we grieve and yearn for more human companionship and warmth, we realize the importance of human touch more than ever before, when a simple air-kiss or a quick peck of hug-kiss appears unimaginable.
Shaking hands, hugging, and meeting people in-person are some of the most basic phenomena that connect us. How can we then romance with the newfound norm of video calling?
Dating requires personal commitment and sincerity, and things aren’t easier without the scope of direct eye contact and the natural cadence of conversation. So how to date when there’s no hope of an in-person meeting after a series of texts and memes.
This year we have redefined the rules of dating, and as Covid etiquette demanded, we started easing into the winding paths of socially distanced virtual dating. Yes, welcome to the world of dating and loving in the times of Corona.
‘Please date virtually now,’ the clarion call by the healthcare advisors has made the rules of dating rather rigid; however, surprisingly, a lot of good has come out of this.
1. From non-committal one night stands to finding the elusive OTP (One True Pairing)
As Carrie Bradshaw said in Sex and the City, “You have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.”
Many times, we have pinned ourselves to the idea of ‘No hook up with strangers’ but have failed to abide by it.
The Covid outbreak and the resulting virtual dating phenomenon has worked as a prophylactic measure to those who have probably thought about doing things a little differently.
Now, with no scope of a quick physical interaction and several weeks of a foreseeable lockdown at hand, daters’ first meet on video and continue to maintain an emotional connection.
2. From attraction to romance
In this ever-crowded marketplace of human complexities, relationships are in a profound state of flux, harder than ever to navigate, especially for the sexually emancipated generation of Gen Z’ers. In this environment of rapid gratification, video dating has brought upon us the opportunity for something that comes close to a courtship (maybe not what Orlando and Rosalind were doing in As You Like It or Bingley and Jane were up to in Pride and Prejudice), and
for many, this could be the experience of a transient connection culminating in real shared intimacy.
The American think tank Pew Research Centre confirms an increase in real attempts to find love in the lockdown. Despite the limitations of the online medium, the virtual date holds all scope of comfort, authentic revelations, and a deeper connection.
Far from being spotlighted by one’s unnerving attentiveness, the on-screen realness of a virtual date could be surprisingly satisfying.
3. The idea of self-expressive dating
The paradox of well-photoshopped consumer products compared to the real thing often confounds us. We have all felt the pressure of appearing as our best selves in photographs and physical dates.
Digital dating has worked in many ways to break these beauty biases. Many of us have chosen to present ourselves more authentically in our most beloved ghar ke kapde and no make-up.
When one has seen you in the most simple avatar, the chances are that you will be liked in any state and veritably dazzle when you are all decked up.
The new dating landscape, led by video calls, has really gotten us to open up as we navigate dating without the pressure of physical engagements. This format helps shy daters with their usual anxiety about the dating process. It gives them a chance to bloom.
We are standing at the cusp of a rather extraordinary shift in dating where people are able to forge meaningful relationships without the advantage of physical meetings.
Today, let’s take a moment to embrace this new age of digital dating and celebrate the return of romance through an untrodden path.