Is Love Still Possible in 2020?

This video is an honest look at what the near future of dating could look like for you if you’re single right now.

Even as parts of the world open up again, a vaccine appears to be at least 8-12 months away. That means that for about another year, there will be some significant implications for our dating lives…

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Recently, I was asked to do an interview where I was part of a panel with an anthropologist, an epidemiologist, and then there was I, the love-pologist.

We were there to talk about the impact that all of this is going to have, not just on dating and love now, but on the future of dating.

The epidemiologist was asked, “What constitutes safe when we’re out there dating right now?” And her answers amounted to, “There’s no way to know that you’re safe if you were to meet someone in person right now, and that’s going to be the case until we have a vaccine.”

So, on behalf of single people everywhere, I volunteered the question, “Are you talking about us being celibate until there’s a vaccine?”

And she said, “Well, no, you might be able to meet up with someone in person if you are able to really trust that that person hasn’t been around lots of other people, hasn’t been to any events, any gatherings. At that point, maybe you might meet up with that person and be six feet apart.”

Which then of course begs another question, which is at what point do you decrease the distance from six feet to something more romantic?

We are now introduced, aren’t we, to a different layer of complexity in dating, as single people? The complexity before was, how do I discern someone’s intentions? Do they want a relationship? Do they not? Are they looking for the same thing as me? Are they just looking to play around? Well now, we’re not just trying to discern intentions, we’re trying to discern the state of someone’s health. Whether they are a carrier or not. That is a difficult thing to think about.

We used to think about that, and still do, of course, in the context of sex. At the point of sleeping with someone, we would, of course, want to know whether they had any STDs that we needed to be concerned about. We’d use protection.

Now, we’re not talking about it at that intimate stage, we’re having to figure out certain things about each other before we even go on a date. Have you been around people? Think about that. Not, have you slept with anyone unprotected. Have you been around people. In which case, I’m more concerned about meeting up with you.

So what happens as things begin to open up again, and we start trying to figure out how to navigate our dating lives? It’s a time when it’s going to be even more confusing because people are going to have all sorts of different standards about this.

We’re already seeing this, not just between cities and states, because that gets stereotyped, doesn’t it? This state is behaving really badly. This state’s doing a really good job. This state is taking it too seriously. There’s all of that side of it. But even within neighborhoods, door to door, people have different beliefs. I don’t know if you’ve had the experience of talking to a neighbor or someone who’s close to you and realizing that person has a completely different belief system about this whole thing than you do.

We don’t date a city or a state. We date door to door. We date the person who lives in that house or that house, who might have a different opinion on what “safe” is or how necessary it is to even worry about any of the guidelines that are given to us.

That’s the part we’re going to have to navigate, when we talk about what have you been up to? How have you been spending your time in quarantine? Have you been around lots of people? Are you still seeing friends?

When things open up and you decide you do feel comfortable enough with the way somebody else has been acting in their own life that you want to meet up with them in person, there will be a moment where the two of you see each other on that date and you may have decided for yourself, I’m not going to hug this person right now. I’m going to have a six-feet-apart date. In which case, that could potentially be an awkward moment, but it doesn’t have to be.

Communicating your standards is something that can be done elegantly in a charming and warm way. You could see that person walk through the door and say, “I would normally hug you, but I’m trying to be careful right now. And I’m close to my family and I live with them or I see them often so I’m being super careful. But just know that I would normally be hugging you. And you look very handsome in that shirt.”

Now in that, you’re doing many things. You’re saying, I’m close to my family and, therefore, look what a kind and caring person I am that I’m worried about them too and I’m being safe for their purposes. You’re saying, I have a standard that I’m bold enough and confident enough to communicate to you without dancing around it or making things awkward. And I’m also giving you a compliment: I’m telling you, you look handsome just in case you thought that I didn’t find you attractive.

If we’ve decided what our standard is right now or what we’re OK with and what we’re not OK with, which ideally we should decide ahead of time, not on the spot arbitrarily simply based on how handsome the person in front of you is, we can have made a decision about what we’re going to do without trying to be right. Just because you’ve made a decision, it doesn’t mean you need to be right.

I think we’re living in a time where everyone is trying to be right about the decision they’ve made instead of accepting that I’ve decided something for now based, to the best of my ability, on the information that I’ve gotten. I don’t know if I’m right. I don’t know if three months from now, I’m going to look back on the things that I did to be safe today and think that was overkill. That was way too much. I don’t know, I might. But this is the decision I’m making right now. I don’t know if me not hugging you is really protecting my mom, but I care about my mom, and based on what I’ve heard, this is what I’m going to do right now.

We don’t have to be right to have made a decision for now. And all of us can reserve the right to look back on that decision and think it was too much or too little, or to change our mind about that decision at any point in time. That’s our prerogative at any point.

A little humility will actually help a lot of this, because instead of me defending my position and saying, “Well, I can’t believe you’re doing this. And I can’t believe you’re doing that”, we can simply say, “This is what I’ve chosen to do for me. And this is what I’ve chosen to do for the people around me.” That stops something from becoming dogma, from becoming a political position that we take against somebody else, and instead allows us to communicate about those things while still respecting our own boundaries.

You know what I think it’s going to happen?

Firstly, people are still going to find a way of sleeping with other people.

There will be a disproportionate bias towards known entities: the people that you already know, the people you’ve already slept with, your ex, the person you’ve been on a few dates with, the person you already trust. Even if that person hurt you before, even if that person was not right for you, you’ll find a way to justify going back to that person because the activation energy for going back to that person will be lower. It will simply be easier to go back to that person than to go online, meet someone new, develop enough trust to meet up with that person in person, because you now believe that they have been pretty careful so now you’re with them and now sleeping with them feels like a kind of a decision. Kind of a, oh, I’m really making a decision here. If I kiss you or sleep with you, I’m almost committed to whatever you have or don’t have. It seems like more of a decision. I do think that there’ll be a propensity to go for the people we already know.

And where people don’t have someone they already know that they can go to, I think that in the near future of dating, as people date, there may be an inclination towards less promiscuity. There may be an inherent squeamishness against sleeping with multiple people and it might, frankly, become more selective. Do I really like you? Do I really want to take the risk with you?

There’ll also of course be differences in people’s situations. People who have weakened immune systems or prior conditions are going to have to be more careful when they date. People who live with their parents might find themselves having to be more careful than a dater who lives alone and has no one to worry about but themselves.

All these things are going to play into it.

And, of course, there will be certain people who disregard all of it and simply do what they want to do when they want to do it. I think those people will reveal themselves pretty quickly. The person who meets you online today and then says, “Shall we get together? Do you want to do something tomorrow?” But also says, “I don’t normally do this.” It’s kind of like the person who sleeps with us in five seconds and says, “I never do this.” And you go, “Was I really that great in the first five seconds? Could I really have been that charming in the first hour of meeting you that you’re just sleeping with me right now?” It’s the same thing. I think we’re going to know fairly quickly if someone is very liberal about meeting up with lots of people.

But if you do want some encouragement, consider this:

There are many, many, many, many, many, many, many wonderful single people, just like you, who also want to find a relationship and find themselves stuck at home, figuring out where that next right person is going to come from. The single people of the world did not vanish. They are still there and they want to meet you.

And, a lot of people who were in relationships a few months ago are now broken up because they’ve realized that the person they’re with is a nightmare to live with. So they’re on the market too.

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20 Responses to Is Love Still Possible in 2020?

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  1. Sammy says:

    Wooow very inspirational message Matt. Thank you so much this video and message spoke to me it gave me hope. I have bn wondering and stressed a big deal lately, because am single and the pandemic seems to be taking forever…But now got new hope….I hope will also find my man…Will definitely share to my single friends…

  2. Lira says:

    It is sad that whole
    World has been sucked up into the madness ans screens Orders for disease that has 0.27 % mortality rate ! Please don’t encourage your audience to buy into more fear as any connection based on fear will collapse … people need to be human and wake up to their own instinct but unfortunately majority brainwashed wirh social media apps etc .

  3. Ola says:

    Thank you so much… Your words are very helpful in this difficult times

  4. Kristina says:

    Amazing timing! Just yesterday, I reconnected with someone I stopped dating just before quarantine started. It felt so good to touch someone again after sheltering in place alone for nearly 3 months. We’ve both been really careful since this whole thing started, so we should be okay – but I’ve had mixed feelings about it today, wondering if I did something “wrong”. Watching your video made me feel understood, and less inclined to judge myself. Thank you.
    P.S. I love your sense of humour!

  5. Julie E Moya says:

    So we were supposed to be less worried about “just” AIDS, lol? Health risks are just apart of trying to find love. But seriously, guys aren’t connecting with women right now, or barely. If they think their chances of getting laid are low, they bow out. That’s great; because if I find even one guy who wants to risk “just talking,” he will probably be worth marrying, tbh.

  6. Verina says:

    I’m experiencing exactly what you say about people still planning to hook up. I feel more at ease with the men I know, than hooking up with a new guy. I’ve been connecting with more guys online than I ever before, and even though we never ended meeting up in person, I learned more about what I want in a romantic relationship than I ever did when I met these guys in person. I think the fact that we don’t meet up, the risk of hooking up is reduced and I’m not clouded by my emotions… now I feel like I’ve dodged allot of bullets:)

  7. Laurie says:

    I always appreciate how timely your videos are Matthew! Thank you for touching on this topic and providing guidance and insight. Much gratitude for the work you do. Stay healthy!

  8. Pat says:

    Just a big and nutritive hug to you Mathew, I like your style

  9. Janie says:

    Brilliant video Matt, as always. Touching on the topic that we are all thinking about right now. I’ve been single for 5 years now, by choice, and decided at the beginning of the year, that this was going to be my year. Now it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. Lol. I think though that this virus has got rid of a lot of people in dating sites, who previously just wanted to hook up, and hopefully left the ones that are actually serious about wanting a relationship. Unfortunately it’s been 16 years since I was last single, and it’s a minefield. I haven’t the first clue where to start. I love you though, and think your inspirational, let’s hope there are guys like you out there, who are as dedicated and respectful of women, or I’ll be single another 5 years. Lol xxx

  10. Gail says:

    You are incredibly inspiring – thank you

    How do you explain a weakened immune system to someone new without sounding extreme or divulging too much too soon.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Perfect final touch to that video.

  12. Mary wilson says:

    You gave me a very good laugh at the end. Omg that’s funny.

  13. Paulina says:

    Your encouragement message it’s threes best of the video! Love it

  14. Annabelle says:

    Such a great video! Filled with intelligence and humour. This is exactly the way I met my guy during covid. First ensured he lived nearby. ✅ Took things VERY slow ✅ and did not touch the first time we met. ✅ But I told him how much I so wanted to kiss him but wouldnt. ✅ The first time he touched me I was like “are you sure” haha but it was after over a month talking, dating… and making sure we were not playing eachothers but looking for the same connection and longterm relationship. ✅ Actions are so more meaningful than words these days. But such a great time to develop a deep connection and making choices. Either they are not the one and can be gently discarded to not waste our time ✅ or they could possibly be and this accelerates the commitment ✅. This time is tough when you are somewhat impatient with delayed gratification because you are being forced right into it! Covid is the best thing that could have happened for my love life! With all your advices of course!

  15. Joanne Austin says:

    Amazing video as always Matt! I’m in a situation where I’m video calling regularly with someone I’ve never met, and feel like I’m building a bond with him… I’m weary of that actually, but also I have a weakened immune system, and have contact with my Dad… Tricky times, but if something is right, I find it finds a way of working itself out….

    Thanks for being brilliant!

    Stay safe!

  16. Bridget Bond says:

    Another great video, Matt so thank you, Love-ologist! This aspect needed to be talked about objectively since singletons like myself want to feel dating strangers is not paused for 12 months, but rather achievable. Yep, your insight is perfect timing of navigating new normal with class.

  17. sheryl says:

    oh my g…. Anyone see the screaming teacher’s song video. This makes me feel like that! And as always, so genius, so real, so helpful. Best part was about making decisions vs rigidly being right. Evolution and Learning over Polarity and Division please, and thank you.

  18. Casey says:

    Your videos are very inspiring and now I have hope in meeting the right guy someday. Hopefully this quarantine ends soon. Last thing I want to do is go backwards to my ex. Is it really possible to meet a good guy during quarantine?

  19. chizoba nome says:

    It hurts alot but is ok

  20. Yellosunshine says:

    Withhold this opinion until you know if the vaccine’s efficacy just yet.

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