Woe Is Me! “I Can’t Find a Date in My Small Town!”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
I had to move to a small town during the lockdown. But the dating pool here is obviously not anything like what I’m used to. It’s so bad, it makes me want to abandon the very idea of dating. I have swiped an entire city left — what do I do now?
— Got To Break Free
RD: Hey, the beauty of online dating is that it’s online, and therefore doesn’t have to be limited to your current geographical location. Where did you move from? Swipe there. Ask to be set up by your friends. See if any of your past matches want to start anything up again. It’s not like you’re going to be meeting people on a regular basis anytime soon (sorry!). Online can be anywhere.
KB: Maybe the universe is telling you that now is not your time for dating. There are many things to do during a pandemic — reorganize your kitchen cabinets, cower under the feeling of impending doom, perfect your downward dog — whatever floats your boat. But pandemic-time actually does not seem like the best, safest time to be actively dating around and trying to meet (in person) tons of new people. So maybe give it a pause? Focus on other activities and other interests that give you fulfillment and joy. And you know what they say about meeting good people… when you least expect it, someone great will come into your life. But sometimes when meeting people is all you’re focused on, you whip yourself into a frenzy of anxiety and insecurity about it. So read, play cards, call friends, journal, stare out the window, do whatever you can to distract yourself for a while. And try dating again in a bit. Maybe by then, we’ll be able to leave our houses.
LG: I, too, am from a small town and can only imagine how frustrating it would be to move back (and presumably in with the parents) after breaking out. HUGS! Hopefully this is, at most, a really frustrating but brief interlude in an otherwise big-city and swipe-right-fueled life. Until you can resume that lifestyle, I suggest manually setting your location to the big city of your choice, where you think the dating pool is most compatible for you. It’s not like you’d be dating in-person much, thanks to Covid19, even if you could find someone who revs your algorithm. In-person Netflix and chill is so pre-pandemic. So why be limited by geography? Hopefully, with a broader net, you’ll find something swipe-right-worthy — and a way to scratch that itch.
ADT: I like to call my slightly-smaller-than-metro city a small town so I can vaguely relate. The brain-numbing boredom of living with your family with literally no friends to hang out with absolutely sucks. But, as you well know, so does the endless swiping on dating apps to find somebody-anybody to have a conversation with. Even then, those conversations are a bit of a drag and hard to truly steer when you know you’d never really meet and none of it matters anyway. I think the real answer is: do whatever you like. There’s no cure for boredom unless it’s suddenly cured on it’s own — you can’t force it. Get on the apps, switch to whichever city you like, and live your best life.
AS: I can understand where you’re coming from. It can be really hard to meet new people back in the hometown, especially if your active social life is elsewhere. But think of it this way – even if you were back in the big city, I’m guessing there’d still be some form of restrictions when it comes to meeting people or going out, right? So, no matter where you would be, the pandemic would have changed your circumstances, and you’re not alone to be stuck this way. I think instead of abandoning dating, you could try seeing this as an opportunity to explore other ways of connecting with people digitally. I know it’s not ideal, but if there was ever a time to look beyond geographical constraints — be it the limits of a city, a country, or simply the boundaries of quarantine — I think this is it!
RP: That is a whole lot of swiping! Obviously this is an insanely difficult time in so many ways and one of those ways is the lack of real human contact that we need. But, in some strange way, that also has made where we are physically located less important. It’s hard to be in a place where you feel like you are not vibing with those around you, but with everyone stuck at home and everyone’s digital communication styles evolving, there’s more opportunity to recreate the intimacy and connection that you crave regardless of distance.
With the whole world going through something collectively, there seems to be a shift in what people are sharing and how vulnerable they allow themselves to be in digital platforms, changing how we get to know each other. People are sharing their art and interests more frequently, video chats are now a regular part of the day where the conversation is two people in their homes which makes it automatically more direct and about finding a connection, whether you’ve met through an app or a comment debate on Instagram. So I’d say be location agnostic and be open to conversations online. Those can evolve into the intimacy that you need!
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