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December 14, 2020

Dating in 2020: Pandemic Love was Fleeting but the Lessons were Lasting.

Riddle me this, 2020: where did the excitement for love go?

It didn’t escape into the cracks and fissures of things that have broken and shifted this year. It didn’t somehow get misplaced into the boarded up bars and restaurants either. Meeting potentially valuable dating prospects these days is like waiting for a burnt out light to turn back on.

You catch my drift. Dating in 2020, in the short and flowery language of it all, sucked. Yup, we all felt it. Even those in committed relationships felt the tension and precariousness of it all. But, how about for the rest of us single fishes whose lines have been out to sea for a while now?

The waters before 2020 were rocky at best; occasionally, the tides would bring in some goodies momentarily—until the debris was taken back out to sea again. This year has brought hurricanes and tsunamis in the seas of dating, or perhaps further parched up shorelines where the shore has already been thirsting for some time.

Many of us have had dating woes prior to this year, but this one really sealed the deal with even more short-lived romance. I’m not new to those qualms myself.

Most of my romantic ventures in my 20s—okay, rather, my lifetime—have been short-fused, short-lived staunches of lust and trauma bonds masquerading as love. Like breadcrumbs, you keep waiting to get to the whole loaf of bread, but the trail just keeps going on, and on, and on.

By the end of it, you’re so damn hungry, that you eventually mistake a piece of dirt for a breadcrumb. And, yes that’s quite possibly some soured over lens of mine in terms of the romantic partners I’ve chosen over the course of my life. I mistook a piece of dirt for actual, edible food. My bad. Probably because for a long time I thought I, myself, was a piece of dirt.

Dating this year has been fraught with little to do and no one to see, unless of course it’s been socially distanced meetings taking a backseat to analogues of endless (but purposeless—other than filling momentary loneliness and boredom) text conversations and possible work-ups to the awaited awkward video chats.

Most of us have wondered why we even keep trying to date this year. Why in goddess’ name do we keep trying to meet new people in such a weirdly vulnerable and intense time? When things are so unstable and strange to begin with? I guess we like the challenge. I guess we feel that if we aren’t at least trying, maybe nothing will happen.

Well, maybe nothing was supposed to happen this year anyway. Nothing solidifying has happened for many of us single folk.

It’s not been all bad. I’ve rendezvoused with the ghosts of my past this year (yay, more healing). I’ve reclaimed parts of my youth I thought I lost. I thought these people were meant to be my second chance at missed love. Turns out, they were just more lessons and I, their (mostly, kind of) willing student.

This year has brought a lot of lessons in love for many of us. What do we actually want and need in a partner? What are we willing to accept, and what are we realizing is actually just another breadcrumb or piece of dirt along our path? I’m not saying people are dirt. I actually feel and see all people (to a fault, actually) as the magnificent stardust that they are, but only masquerading in human form. I see people’s souls first and their more faltering humanness second.

I have settled more often than I can count. I have tried to see why their humanness didn’t match up with their soul. I couldn’t make sense of it, and if only I tried harder to make them see it, to make them see me and my light, then maybe, just maybe, long-lasting love would be possible.

Ahhh, 2020. The year of lessons and short-lived romance. Another chapter in the growing book of love and lessons. The wheel keeps turning, though. Many of us have been let down with romance and dating this year, among other disappointments. We thought things were looking up and headed a certain direction with someone, until BAM! Reality showed itself.

No more illusions will do, it seems. No more delusions of our own minds thinking someone is what they aren’t. The truth has become more apparent. More clear. The undertone of our intimacy bonds have come to the surface. Our attachment wounds. Our need for deeper healing and safety in connection to self and other.

Dating hasn’t been great this year. It’s been a mixed bag of mostly disappointments and a lot of setbacks—but those needed detours may perhaps reroute us and propel us further into asking for what we actually deserve.

No more settling. No more eating breadcrumbs when the whole loaf is worth waiting for. No more mistaking dirt for actual soul food. And, also, to know that there’s a part of us that might always crave that immediate gratification of lust or desire. And, that’s okay too. It’s all a part of this learning, relating, and growing journey.

Dating is an epic journey of weeding out many and planting seeds with only a few. This year, it’s been a lot of trial and error. Trying something out because at first it felt good and magical and synchronistic, only to find that perhaps the reason it felt so “meant to be” is because it was meant to teach you something, not last forever.

Oof, that’s a hard distinction. But, it’s one that, perhaps, we’ve been learning this year. Getting clearer on who and what we are. What our values are. What our needs are. How can we meet these needs without a partner, and also, how can we receive more of what we want and deserve?

We’ve been fine-tuning our manifestation skills. Each person we’ve connected with is showing us a glimpse or glimmer of what we’ve been calling in, and then we realize we needed to ask for a tweak in that too. To know that it’s okay to ask for what we want. Not in demanding it come now or else we throw a hissy fit (been there, guilty of that). But, asking—with hope that we are allowed. And actually, it is our birthright to call in a divine partnership.

Dating this year has not been easy. We all are craving connection, intimacy, and partnership, maybe more than ever. Or, perhaps, we are feeling more whole and ready for it, but still okay if it doesn’t come in our ego-driven timeline. Dating was never meant to be easy, I guess, for those of us seeking that soul food.

So, for those of us still putting ourselves out there in an otherwise strange and confusing time, or at the very least staying open to connection, maybe we’ve learned some things this year, let some things and people go, moved deeper into a more whole relationship within ourselves, and even if we are standing at the end of this year alone, we are less inclined to pull the line in just because we’ve had a few bites.

We’re waiting for something more this time. Something real. Something worth waiting for.

And, even if in there isn’t a guarantee the next will last, we can feel more and more at ease with letting go of what wasn’t for us to begin with, with a deepening trust of what is still yet to come.

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