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Don’t Let This Crisis Ruin Your Relationship Goals

July 24, 2020

Just a few weeks ago, coronavirus infection numbers were falling across the U.S. Those of us in major cities were looking forward to a gradual and safe reopening of our entertainment venues. We were anxious to see our friends without apprehension, and go out on dates without eerie feelings and fears.

The Catch office was already getting busy with calls and emails from people wanting to go out again, and our team was beginning to wonder how we would handle this spirit of enthusiasm responsibly and safely, despite our staff being reduced and working remotely.

But it turned out differently. With infection numbers breaking new records in many states of the U.S., the local government decided to once again close all bars and nightclubs, museums, as well as all public indoor entertainment and including indoor dining at restaurants. Word is that these limitations will last for a few weeks, but nobody knows for certain. Even many of the outdoor dating activities we suggested in a previous article were not possible for the 4th of July weekend, and some still aren’t.

Now What?

During the last couple of weeks, I have been listening to many clients, friends and people in my network, consisting of both singles and couples, straight and gay, old and young. Here’s what I learned.

Although we are often told that “we are all in this together”, the reality is that each one of us is experiencing this crisis in different ways. The only commonality is that in one way or another, we are all stressed and aggravated, and we all suffer.

Our relationships and love lives are normally among the most important occupations in life. As of now, there are some who have put their desires on hold for the time being. If this is you, and you are happy as you are, then that’s perfect. Now is the time to pursue your personal hobbies, get to know yourself, reconnect with your friends, and do all the things you can do without endangering your health.

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio (IG)

As long as it sparks joy – now is the time to do it! This is also a  great time to learn something new, and to work toward becoming a better person, a better date, and a better life partner – and we’ll be discussing this path in future articles.

But I also heard from people who are not happy and fulfilled with their current relationship status, yet can’t find the motivation to do something about it. It almost seems to me that some people have settled into what I call “comfortable depression”. By that, I mean feeling of resignation and lethargy in the hope that they can “just wait it out”, which somehow seems less draining (and potentially disappointing) than actively doing something.

Photo: Mikoto (IG)

Get Off The Road To Nowhere!

I’m finding it difficult to convince our clients (and people in general) that when it comes to happy  relationships, the “wait and see” approach is the proverbial road to nowhere. My take on it: There is not one day, not one hour, and not even a minute to waste. How come? Because the odds of love are wildly unpredictable. Love is completely beyond what we humans can create or mindfully control. Love may only offer you one, rare chance. And if you miss the turn, it’s gone, and you’ll find yourself on the road to nowhere. Get off that road, right now!

Photo: shy sol (IG)

To illustrate: A client picked a great lady who seemed perfect from him. I contact her as we normally do, shared my client’s pictures and bio, and she was eager to meet him. This seemed very promising! But then, my client hesitated due to the dating restrictions we all face. And guess what? While my client was trying to “wait out” the crisis so the two of them could have a perfect date, this beautiful lady met someone else and is now in a steady relationship. Much to my (professional) frustration, my client lost out on a golden opportunity.

Love Is Unique

Love and romance are unlike anything else in life. Our whole life depends on it, and one chance meting and one single split-second decision can result in a lifetime of happiness. Or in a lifetime of misery. That perfect stranger crossing your path might only be within reach for a mere seconds, then gone forever. With odds that high, we simply can’t rely on fate dealing us multiple chances. Sometimes there is only one, and that’s all we get! One chance. You can miss it if you blink.

Photo: Jens Johnsson (IG)

We all know that single person who has spent years and years, even many decades, “waiting for the right one”. It’s the most common theme our team gets to hear!

There always is one good reason or another. People tell themselves they are “too busy”, or “not ready”. They attest they’ll “start looking seriously” but only after some goal is met — whether it is graduating from college, getting that job or promotion, or loosing those extra pounds. 

Meanwhile, as they see their old friends getting hitched one by one (and often becoming former friends), the procrastinators begin to either doubt their own qualities, or wildly exaggerate them. And in some complex cases, they fluctuate between the two, which leads them into a swamp of internal conflicts. The longer this prevails, the more difficult the job becomes for us matchmakers and counselors. Before we professionals can help, we must first help with disentangling the complex situation and make clients aware of their self-imposed (but subconscious) barriers. Unless these are mitigated, it is nearly certain that “the perfect one and only” can never be found.

Be Bold

The statue of Eros basking in the late afternoon sun in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

If there were deities of love, as the Ancient Romans and Greeks believed, they surely favored bold and decisive action, not a laissez-fair attitude. You snooze, you loose. Through war, famine, fires, floods and pestilence – love does not stop for anything. It waits for no one. It can grow and flourish in the most forsaken times and the most forbidding circumstances. It can neither be banned nor banished.

Today Is As Good As Any

Experience taught me that whether you want to find someone new or improve an existing romantic relationship, the best time is now. I mean today! Don’t wait. Don’t let the aggravations of our times, don’t let the restrictions on dating venues and couples activities bother you. These are just inconveniences. Love doesn’t give a rat’s ass about convenience. Love needs neither fancy stuff nor grandiose gestures. Love always finds a way – on one condition: it must truly be wanted. 

Gustav Klimt: The Kiss, oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1907–1908.
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere

In fact, the timing could not be any better. It is precisely in times of crisis that the human longing for companionship and true partnership grows stronger than ever.

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio (IG)

Solitude has a tendency to remind us how much of our time and energy we waste on circumstances we can’t change, on people who aren’t our friends, and on things we don’t need.  These are the times when we realize that a home cooked meal, shared with a loved one, tastes better than poring over a fancy restaurant menu with someone we don’t care about.

Photo: Daria Shevtsova

The isolation this crisis has brought us also gives us a chance to reflect and reevaluate, to look inwards, and to figure out what truly makes us happy. Loving and feeling loved has always been one of those universal sources of happiness. That’s true in all peoples of the Earth, and it’s been true since mankind’s earliest beginnings.

Take my advice. Seize the day. You have nothing to lose, but you have much to gain: your own love and happiness.

The author, Katie Chen is a professional matchmaker and relationship expert. She is the owner of Catch Matchmaking Inc., a boutique dating agency and relationship consultancy in Los Angeles, California.

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