Will we ever be able to safely date in person with no parameters of distance and physical touch in the near future? I find myself wishing there was an official set of guidelines, curated from health care and public health professionals, to help singles approach dating and courting so we can find love in this awful climate of uncertainty and separation.
Aleeza Ben Shalom: No parameters around physical touch isn’t likely to happen in the near future. However, this is good! Physical touch often confuses our brain and hearts. Even before COVIDd-19 I recommend keeping your hands off for clarity. Dating is hard enough. Don’t complicate it with physical touch. First decide if you like the human being in front of you. If you like the inside (and what you see on the outside) then it’s worth pursuing them. You don’t need physical touch to know that.
Michal Naisteter: No, I don’t think this will happen quite soon. We will have some parameters around meeting people for the foreseeable future. I agree, this uncertainty is difficult but I wonder if it is possible for you to explore the benefits that this pandemic has had for you with respect to dating. It’s so hard not to know what we don’t know.
Danielle Selber: A term that has resurfaced from the post-Cold War era is VUCA — an acronym to describe the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of a situation. We are living in a VUCA world! When uncertainty is the new normal, VUCA tells us to make some informed assumptions, identify their implications, and use both to determine what action to take. So in dating, you might make an assumption — a person who goes to the gym daily is raising their risk — and a resulting implication — if I go out with them, I am increasing my risk — and an action — I won’t go out with this person.
About the experts:
Aleeza Ben Shalom is a professional dating coach and founder of Marriage Minded Mentor, which connects singles from around the world with hundreds of trained coaches and matchmakers. She is also the author of the personal growth book “Get Real, Get Married” and an international speaker. She has appeared on BBC World News, NPR, The Huffington Post and writes a regular column on Aish.com. Contact: [email protected]
Michal Naisteter is a senior matchmaker for the national matchmaking firm Three Day Rule. She provides guidance, coaching and matchmaking services to her select roster of clients. She holds a graduate degree in human sexuality from Widener University. Her work has been profiled on Bustle, NPR, Elite Daily and a Philadelphia Inquirer feature. Contact: [email protected]
Danielle Selber is the founder of Tribe 12’s matchmaking initiative, a not-for-profit program for young professionals dating in Philly’s Jewish community. She takes the best elements from the Jewish tradition of matchmaking and reinterprets them to fit modern dating. She received a graduate degree in Jewish studies at Gratz College where she completed a thesis on trends in secular Jewish dating. Her work has been featured on Slate’s “Working” podcast and in the short film “Make Me a Match.” Contact: [email protected]