We studied what happens when guys add their cats to their dating app profiles

If you’ve used a dating app, you’ll know the importance of choosing good profile pics.

These photos don’t just relay attractiveness; a recent study suggested that 43% of people think they can get a sense of someone’s personality by their picture. You might guess that someone who has included a photo of themselves hiking is an outdoorsy type of person.

But as scientists who study human-animal interactions, we wanted to know what this meant for pet owners – in particular, male cat owners.

If you’re a guy who owns a cat, what kind of effect does it have on suitors if you post a picture posing with your favorite feline?

Prior studies suggested that women do judge a potential male partner based on whether he has pets. While they favor men with dogs, the results showed that they also give men with cats an edge over non-pet owners.

Because of this, we reasoned that men pictured with cats would probably be viewed as more attractive and desirable than men who didn’t pose with any animals.

Secret weapon or poison pill? martin-dm/E+ via Getty Images

In our study, we recruited 1,388 heterosexual American women from 18 to 24 years old to take a short anonymous online survey. In the survey, we presented them with photos of one of two young white men in their early 20s either posing alone or with a cat. To avoid biasing the women’s responses, we randomly presented which photo they saw first. Each participant only rated one man, with and without a cat.

Each time the participants saw a photo, we asked them to rate the man pictured on several personality attributes, including his masculinity, femininity and dateability. We also asked the women if they defined themselves as a “cat person,” “dog person,” “neither” or “both.”

This last point may explain our findings.

Prior research suggests that women often seek masculine men – both in terms of physical appearance and behaviors. So the fact that women in our study found the photo of the man alone more masculine and more dateable supports the idea that women are likely to look first for clues related to masculinity when determining dateability.

We suspect old cultural norms may be playing a role in the responses. Past research suggests that male femininity and homosexuality are still perceived to be connected. Since cats are sometimes associated more closely with female owners – and therefore, considered a feminine pet – posing with cats may have primed the women taking our survey to default to this outdated trope, despite some popular media efforts to elevate the status of male cat owners.

Alternatively, the perception of male cat owners as less extroverted and more neurotic, agreeable and open may have nudged our respondents to put these men in the “friend zone.” In other words, perhaps seeing a man pose with the cat suggests he might be a better confidant than date.

It’s important to note that whether the women identified themselves as “cat people,” “dog people,” “both” or “neither” affected their perceptions. Women who self-identified as “cat people” were more inclined to view the men pictured with cats as more dateable or say they had no preference.

Of course, like any research, our work has its limitations. Our sample is a very specific population – heterosexual, primarily white women, aged 18 to 24 years and living in the United States. We don’t know how these results would change if we surveyed, say, bisexual or gender-fluid women, men interested in men or individuals from different cultural backgrounds.

And that’s the best part. This is a new, growing area of research, and it’s only one of a handful of potential studies on the relationship between pet ownership and first impressions on dating apps. This means we have our work cut out for us.

But in the meantime, if heterosexual men are looking to get a match, it’s probably a good idea if they save showing off their photos with their favorite felines for the first or second date.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Read the original article here —

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The Dos and Don’ts of Dressing for a Virtual Date

Finally, once your entire outfit has been curated, do a trial run in front of the camera you plan on using. Take note of how your look changes as you sit down, and identify which camera angles make you feel best. Beyond this, you should also consider the lighting around your space, and how your makeup may change on camera should you plan on wearing any. Testing how you’ll look once the date begins is the perfect way to determine any style wildcards that may be affected by the camera, keeping you feeling poised and prepared to meet with your love interest.

While a virtual date might not have been your first choice for connecting with someone, you can still mimic the feel of an in-person date by having fun with your style choices and ideas. In many ways, dating from the comfort of your own home can put you more at ease and give you confidence you didn’t know was there.


How to nail a virtual date

While lockdown restrictions and normalcy begin to creep back to normal, and we get excited about the prospect of going to a pub, cafe, or restaurant, we at Oneder believe virtual dates are here to stay to date smarter and more efficiently. We’ve all been there – arriving for a date IRL and knowing within a blink of an eye that this isn’t going to work but being too British to not sit through the next hour or so pretending to be engaged whilst thinking you could have been washing your hair.

Malcolm Gladwell explains this concept in his acclaimed book Blink that the subconscious recognizes patterns and connections — what we call a “gut feeling” — long before our brain. But we often don’t know how or why we know something. “Our unconscious reactions come out of a locked room, and we can’t look inside that room. Guided by experience a person can become an expert.”

Anyway enough about the science – here are some tips to help you nail virtual dates in the future….

Oneder’s top 5 tips

1. Dress to impress (well your top half anyway!)
Prepare for a virtual date like you would a real date – dress up, do your hair and put your makeup on

2. Keep it eye level
Set your laptop to eye level – stack it on books if required – this will avoid any double chins or unflattering angles

3. Light up light up
During daytime face a window and in the evening check your lighting for most flattering angles. If zooming don’t forget their “touch up my appearance” setting!

4. Conversation starters
It’s no bad thing to have some standard conversation starters up your sleeve for example
What have you missed most during lockdown?
What’s your opinion about ?
If you could jump on a plane right now where would you go?

5. Ice breakers
If chatting in the evening you can suggest having a drink together to break the ice.

If you’re not drinking, think about your location and background, art works and bookshelves are also great conversation starters or even go for a walk in the park to relax the vibe.

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How to Overcome Jealousy in the Modern Dating World

I was home in bed, alone on a Friday evening. Exhausted from a difficult work week, I had turned down my friends offer of a night out. And now I was tucked in with a glass of red wine and a bowl of popcorn. It would have been perfect, if not for one crucial detail. My jealousy.  

As I was flicking through Instagram the guy I had broken up with a couple of months earlier (and stupidly not blocked) showed up. A new fling in his arms and surrounded by a lush field of grapevines. Hashtag Bordeaux

I kindly reminded myself that he had been cheap, boring and way to vocal about his skepticism against global warming. On top of this his bedroom skills had been way to one dimensional. And despite some hints he just was “not a big fan of personal development”.

Even aware of these facts the pictures of lush vineyards and laughing strangers stung me. His happiness hurt.

See, I have always been a jealous person. I know it’s not a good quality. I try to hide it, to deny it. That’s probably why I hadn’t blocked him. An Instagram denial about my own shortcomings.

No one wants to be jealous. No one enjoys being jealous.

That night I lost control. As I had finished scrolling through Instagram I went over to Facebook and checked in on at least three different exes. My face was burning. I couldn’t eat the popcorn. My soul was hurting.

Thanks to my phone all those lives were too easily accessible. I saw newly born children, marriage vows and holiday pictures. I finally fell asleep, sad, jealous and exhausted.

My own history

My love life started out with a bit of a disaster. Me and my first real boyfriend got together when we were only 18, he was my first love. I was his first love. We stayed together for far too long. 9 years to be exact. During too many of those years, we were trying to figure out if we were for-ever material or if we should just move on.

And a part of us trying to figure out what to do with each other, involved falling in love with other people and being unfaithful.

Our destructive pattern eventually led us to breaking up. He is married now, with two kids, and yes, I am a friend with him on Facebook.

In most ways I have moved on. But jealousy have the ability to keep on lingering around. And it hurts.  

Added to this mix we have the internet. A great place for connecting with likeminded, finding new cool restaurant, doing your grocery shopping on the bus ride home. A place of endless information. And for a jealous person like myself, a place of endless temptations. When I’m scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, I’m jealous of all the lives I’m never going to have.

Endless Temptations 

On top of the Friday-night disaster, I had just started my excursion into online dating. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, considering my jealousy. Online dating in general and Tinder in particular is known for its fickle and multi-dating nature. Something I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to handle. But as you may have noticed by now, I have a liking for playing with burning flames.

You don’t need to be a genius to realize I had to do something different to survive in the modern-day dating world.

The only upside to being a raging jealous monster is all the methods I came up with to try and tame the monster. I’m the disease and the antidote wrapped into one half-skitzo person.

Waking up the next morning I knew exactly what would work. I wowed to be strict about my own jealousy rehab.

If you also have a jealousy problem, you have arrived to the right place.

And yes, these techniques work for dealing with your Tinder-fling connected jealousy as well as those long-lost lovers that you still follow on social media.

This is the first rule of being jealous. Don’t go there. Don’t look at Facebook and Instagram. Don’t stalk ex boyfriends or girlfriends. Don’t try and find out what your new fling is up to by constantly checking their Instagram account.

Unfollow and if necessary, Unfriend.

If it doesn’t bring happiness and satisfaction to your life, don’t bring it in.  Put down the phone. Shut of the computer. Go out and meet a couple of friends, go for a run. Join a yoga class. The best periods of my life have been when I’m so focused and busy with everything else that I don’t really have time to look at social media.

1. Don’t give in

If you can’t handle this moderate approach you have to go cold turkey. Just like not everyone can drink moderately, not everyone can manage their social media presence without going crazy with jealousy. Just be honest with yourself.

The times I have been on a social media break has been freeing and wonderful, and frankly very productive.

Why do I get back on? Because I like to keep in touch with friends, I like to share pictures from fun moments in our life’s. Social media is a part of our community and thus hard to stay away from. But when it comes to taking care of your mental health you have to prioritize. After the Friday night disaster, I put myself on a month of social media celibacy.

2. Don’t Believe it

Social media doesn’t show peoples reality. People rarely publish their failures (but when they do, it’s always freeing and cool) What they do show is a carefully staged, diamond encrusted version of what their reality look like. All those beautiful pictures and inspirational quotes are the highlights. The insta-stories they publish is what they want you to think their life look like.

You turn on your phone and you see the tropical vacations, wild parties and expensive concerts. You don’t see all the hard work it took to reach that destination. It’s not the truth. It’s only a microscopic, carefully curated, part of the truth. We actually all know this. And yet our brain (particularly mine) believes it to be the truth.   

When you’ve had an outbreak of unnecessary scrolling, gently remind yourself that everything you saw was just a dream.

As they say, the best revenge is having a good life. This holds true even when it comes to dealing with social media jealousy.

3. Have a good life

When things don’t go my way, that’s when jealousy gets a grip on me. Other people drink or smoke or eat. I just scroll. Thus the best way to deal with jealousy is to keep yourself occupied and fulfilled. When you notice yourself being in the grip of a jealous period, do a mental checkup. Are you happy? Do you follow your passions? If not, what’s stopping you?

Be brave. Do the things you love.

And when you check social media accept that you can’t have it all.

If you are not in a good place, don’t try Tinder or any other dating app. You will only obsess.

And when you are already in that place, waiting for a text message or wondering exactly what your new tinder-date is up too, turn your focus back to your passions and friends. Don’t forsake all those things that make you a great person and totally different from everyone else.

4. Use it as Fuel

Jealousy is ugly but it’s also natural.

In a relationship that wrenching gut feeling of uncertainty can guide you towards a real problem. It’s not jealousy if trust have been broken, then it’s just instinct.

But part of our jealousy is also unwarranted. We all want things we don’t have. That’s the human nature. That’s what made us build cities, and that’s what make us travel to the opposite side of the world to start a new life. We are adventurers and explorers. We want everything and on top of that some more, please.

Let the jealousy motivate you. Instead of being paralyzed watching what everyone else have. Ask yourself what you would want. If you could choose freely, who would you be? Be brave and go for that amazing career.

When it comes to dating, set a standard. If you are worried that your new guy sees other people, tell him you would prefer if you only date each other during the get-to- know-each other phase. If he turns down the offer, just move on. He has a lot of options, but so do you.

Don’t try to find out things by using Instagram or Facebook. Dive headfirst into the unknown. I promise you that you will survive.

It’s terrible how many choices the great guy you just started dating seems to have. Terrible. Just terrible. But if you practice gratitude you realize that you have an equal amount of choices. If it wasn’t for Tinder you may already have been married with that idiot neighbor your parents kept trying to match you with.

5. Practice gratitude

If your new guy chooses someone else instead of you, he was not the right one to begin with. Go out and find someone better.

Find gratitude in everything, life consist of a thousand small details. A lot of times we are so busy with achieving something (like falling in love), that we don’t see the small things that make up every day.

It was a big realization for me to understand that my jealousy was a way to gain control. We have all been there. Encouraged by well-meaning friends I have done my fair share of modern-day detective work and cyber stalking. Trying to find out the “true” character of the different guys I dated. But it turned out that when I got the information, I thought I wanted, the only result was more jealousy. Instead I remind myself to be grateful for this crazy time-period I live in, with all its flaws and wonderful possibilities.

A final note

Now it’s been two years since that horrible Friday night. I’ve done social media celibacy several times since. I’m still very restricted about what I allow myself to see. I have got my life together, with great friend’s, fun activities and a job I like. In contrast to my old boyfriend, my new one is a personal development dream. Following a random blog last week he even made me have a nipple orgasm for the first time ever.

Sure, I’m still jealous from time to time. I can’t have it all. But what I do have is things I’m passionate about. My gratitude diary has a prominent place on my night side table. I try to write something every day. It’s easy to focus on everything you don’t have, it’s hard to focus on what you have.

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Posted by Olivia Isabey

I’m Olivia Isabey, freelance content creator with a genuine passion for writing. Currently I’m guest blogging for
When I’m not freelancing, I’m an enthusiastic long board surfer and Ashtanga lover. At the moment I’m also busy finishing up my debut novel.


My Date Told Me She Can See Ghosts

Have you ever been out on a first date with someone you’re very attracted to? It can be hard to figure out whether to order a steak or a salad, let alone drum up a witty or interesting question to ask them.

I found myself in this exact scenario on my birthday, February 26, 2020, out to dinner with a quirky mid-twenties brunette I had recently met while shopping for wireless headphones at Marshall’s

When I first saw her, I saw that she clearly put effort into her appearance that evening. Everything from her silky brown hair to her wafting perfume to her trendy leather jacket was totally on point.

Flash forward 30 minutes, and I’m just staring at this girl, wracking my brain of just what to say. I’m drawing a total blank; I can’t just stall forever until our waiter returns with our Michelob Ultra’s (Don’t judge me; I’ve improved since then).

My mind can only come up with one thing, so I go with it “Do you have any hidden talents?”

I don’t think it’s possible to ever truly be “expecting” a certain answer to that question, especially on a first date. I mean, it’s a HIDDEN talent. What the hell would I know?

But what she answered left me at first intrigued, then dumbstruck, then horrified
“Oh my god, you’re going to think this is crazy but, I can see and sometimes talk to ghosts”


I’m utterly speechless at that point. I let out a nervous laugh, half hoping she’s going to hit me with a “Gotchaaa” but that gotcha never came. Her eyes just got more and more serious as she nodded her head.

Where is the damn waiter, I need this Michelob Ultra now more than ever.

So anyways, she starts on this story about how she was at her childhood best friends’ house up in Michigan, and she saw the ghost of a little girl playing in the back yard, and apparently the house was super old and dated back to the early 1900s. To top it off, she said when I first bumped into her at Marshall’s, she felt she “knew me” already because I had apparently appeared in one of her visions into the future.

I’m not sure what my facial expression was at this point, but inside my head, I was losing it. I’ve never been too well-versed in the paranormal other than the occasional scary movie, and that one time at a Halloween party where I dressed up as the ghost of Mr. Peanut (RIP, a legend gone too soon), but this was definitely one step too far into the paranormal realm for young Alex, and I was ready to tuck, roll, and jump out of this runaway train as fast as humanly possible.

The date finished and as I was walking her to her car she hugged me goodbye. I was half-expecting her car to be a hearse, but it was in fact a Toyota Prius, which calmed my nerves. Not because it wasn’t an omen of black death, but because its the perfect combination of gas mileage and safety ratings.

I never saw that girl again (part of this was my doing by my steering clear of that Marshall’s, no matter how ridiculously-low priced their workout shorts are) but one thing is for sure, that was a Birthday I won’t soon forget.

Moral of the story? When asking a girl if she has any hidden talents, be prepared for an answer that may surprise you.

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You Broke Up with Someone Great

You broke up with someone great. Moving on isn’t about being enraptured by any intense emotion. It isn’t being petty. It isn’t being vindictive. Not yearning, nostalgic, or even joyful. It’s…calm…and content.

Think about it. Saying “I broke up with someone great,” automatically will make you second guess yourself. But in a good feel-good way. Because the ex you broke up with is still human. Because the break up was great. In serving them, in serving you. They are great for THAT MOMENT.

What better action will instigate change and your happiness? Who enabled that for you? Your Ex. Yes, your Great Ex. Yes, it’s a challenge to think that way. That’s why you have to read on…Here are 12 reasons they are.

1. You Woke You Up.

If it weren’t for the hardship, the processing, the idealization, and the fall thereafter, you wouldn’t see the world with fresh eyes. To all the possibilities. The great eye opener.

2. You Want More.

They sold you short. They were a great salesman. Now, you can see the gimmicks and the tricks a mile away. You know when someone is trying to pressure you into buying when it’s not mutual, and frankly, when it’s not beneficial.

3. You Love Harder.

You were flighty, needy, doubtful, fearful, angry, and desperate. But you were also brave, vulnerable, sincere, and hopeful. They were a great emotional development. There is now a deeper and more colorful tapestry to how and why you love.

4. You Heal and Hurt in New Ways.

They awakened your flaws. And let the insecurities sit by you. The insecurities bothered and hurt you at first, but soon you learned how to deal with them and eventually greet them, and finally– embrace them. Your ex was a great mirror.

5. You Want to Be Different.

They were a great comparison. Period. In goals, values, ambitions. In growth. In the way you wanted to conquer the world. Maybe it was a healthy competition. During or after the break up, your desire to evolve spiked.

6. You Want to Stay the Same.

They were a great reminder. Of who you essentially are. Of your inner child. Of the real you. Of your idiosyncrasies. Of your individuality. You still never want to completely lose.

7. They Wake Up.

You were not what they wanted or needed at the time. You were the great realization. That something was missing in themselves, missing in you, or missing in the relationship.

8. They Want More.

You were the great desire initiator. Something in the relationship that you weren’t giving. Maybe it was more affection, more admiration, or more stimulation.

9. They Love Harder.

You were the great game changer. If you both had something really meaningful, then their caliber for dating will change. If they mistreated you, lost you, and really understood the consequences, then they know to try harder the next time they shoot for love.

10. They Heal and Hurt in New Ways.

You were a great soul shaker. Break ups are the epilogue of all the challenges and obstacles in the relationship. A break up is always ultimately two-sided. Whether you were the dumpee or dumper, everything that led up to the break up and after, will stir up their demons and later hopefully, their angels.

11. They Want to Be Different.

In the same vein, you were a great inspiration. After the break up, they’ll process on whether it was a loss, an escape, or even both. And opportunity for them to stretch themselves out, run, and flourish.

12. They Want to Stay the Same

When they want to stay the same, the break up could mean one of two things. Breaking up with you could have reaffirmed to them what they truly value and find fulfilling. But it could also have convinced them they don’t want to change (for better or for worse). They are and will be then just that. The great epitome of who they are.

“Someone Great” is actually a wonderful movie under the similar title. It has the following treasure of a quote:

When something breaks, if the pieces are large enough, you can fix it. Unfortunately sometimes things don’t break, they shatter. But when you let the light in, shattered glass will glitter.

Your ex is great because they are great in their purpose of what they did for you in your life. So you can be someone great(er) and be with someone great(er). That’s right. Your ex may be great, but what’s in store for you is something greater.

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Posted by Sarah Suhaimi

Sarah Suhaimi practices 명음 by day and the art of dark chocolate bar swindling by night. She is currently working closely with a local Pittsburgh non-profit that serves sex-trafficked victims, Living in Liberty, as a volunteer and grant proposal writer. She founded the Southeast Asian Student Alliance (SEASA) at her university, and, as well, the “Offer Islam Campaign.” Her works vary from prose to poetry to articles. Her published works include, ‘The Home of an Immigrant’s Daughter’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2012 Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland and ‘Hidden Beauty Reveals Itself (Intellect Vs Instinct)’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2011 Florence Biennale VIII, Florence, Italy.


Dating App Luxy Allows Singles to Match Based On Political Opinions

Matched among Trump supporters or the BLM movement

Luxy members search actively for singles who also support president Trump, the BLM movement or Joe Biden. Luxy detected already more than 2,900 profiles with political messages.

Singles can soon filter for singles with a preferred political mindset

As first dating app, Luxy will add a filter to give their members the opportunity to match among people with desired political opinions. Luxy is the only dating app, that does not delete political messages as long as the support is expressed tasteful and not discriminating. The political mindsets are diverse as its people range from Republicans over Democrats to the BLM movement. While political discussions should not become the focus for dating apps, Luxy gives its users the chance to find compatibility much faster if the political ideology is an important criteria.


Online Dating Safety Tips for 2020

Are you actively seeking that perfect partner? Are you looking for a special someone that truly enhances your life and shares common interests and goals with you? It can be hard to find a perfect match nowadays, especially in person. This is exactly why online dating has become such a huge trend in the past decade, growing in popularity and becoming the mainstream way to meet new people.

So what if you consider yourself a classy single, one who enjoys the finer things in life, and you want to try online dating for the first time? What should you be aware of?  The most important thing is to ensure your safety is protected at all times. With that said, we’ve gone ahead and created a list of safety tips meant for online dating in 2020.


Dating During Covid-19: Seven Ways to Do It Safely

dating during covid 19

There’s been a lot of bad news about not dating during Covid-19. There are risks to be sure. And at this writing 170,000 people have died from the pandemic. So you have to be careful if you do proceed. The good news is that guys are reaching out more because there is a desire for connection.  Because they are working alone at home, cancelling all travel and other social plans.  They feel very lonely and isolated.  They know now more than ever that they need companionship and love.  So, crisis equals opportunity!

Jeanette Starts Dating During Covid-19

And that opportunity happened to Jeanette. Jeannette, a single 46-year-old paralegal, found herself working at home for her law firm.  She felt lonely and alone in her small one-bedroom apartment, even though it overlooked a lovely nearby park.  Spurred on by only having a few cardinals for company, Jeannette got busy.  She decided that she had to try dating during Covid-19. So she took lots of new photos of herself using a selfie stick and scored one great one where she was looking warmly into the camera with a great twinkly smile. Jeannette then got more active on a large dating site and a popular app.

Along came Dave, whose profile was intriguing, although his photo didn’t immediately ignite sparks.  As they messaged and texted they found lots in common, including a shared sense of humor and a strong interest in sci fi and astronomy.  Jeannette loved Dave’s upbeat attitude about turning the pandemic lock-down into a fun foray into his new interest:  YouTube videos of the surface of Mars.  They shared many exciting virtual Zoom dates where they watched footage of Mars as well sci fi movies and stimulating lectures about the emergence of anti-gravity cars together.

After a few weeks they met at a local outdoor cafe wearing masks and shared many hours of conversation and speculation about the future.  As they casually linked arms, sparks began to fly between them.  They decided to each have a Covid test and then meet without masks.  After some amazing kisses, the rest was history.  A few months later they were quarantining together in Jeannette’s cozy apartment.

Can Dating During Covid-19 Lead to Romance?

In fact on many apps and sites, coronavirus has become one of the top icebreakers in initial messages to new matches. Social distancing is like being in a pod similar to what the contestants are placed into on the reality show Love is Blind. Couples are matched and meet without seeing each other.  Two couples  found true lasting love on that show!  You can too!

Plus more people are now finding long distance love on the internet.  They spend up to several months getting to know each other before arranging a trip to meet.  (I’ve heard great stories of people from different countries meeting on Facebook or Dating sites — and the relationships actually end up working out!)

Here then are seven great opportunities that you can take advantage of dating during Covid-19:

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 1:  You get to know new matches more quickly

This is a great time to get to know someone quickly—it is like being thrown into a life-raft together in the middle of a storm.  Are they proactive?  In denial about what is happening or super risk-takers? Are they germophobes? Caretakers?  How do they respond to crisis? Making lemonade out of the pandemic lemons?  Super worried or laughing about what is happening and sending you funny videos about toilet paper? You can get lots of info about your new matches right away.

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 2:  You can learn about how closely a guy truly matches with you

You now have a chance to quickly connect to new matches at a deeper level, rather than just on the level of appearance. You can get to know each other’s core personalities, whether you are both on the same wavelength, or have similar values, goals and styles of relating.

Use lots of virtual contact—talk and get to know each other via texts and calls.  Be sure to Facetime, Skype or Zoom so you can get some visuals. Go on virtual dates.

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 3: You weed out the players

Guys who just want a booty call will not hang in there as you date virtually.  They are not really interested in getting to know you.  If they sense you are not going to hook-up quickly they will move on.  This is great for saving you from heartbreak.

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 4: You can date 3 guys at the same time

I strongly advise women to date three men casually at the same time, with no sex. This enables you to get to know who really meets the calling of your heart.  It also empowers you, where you feel more desirable and attractive. And it helps you avoid disappointment and heartbreak–when one guy falls away, you can turn to another one.  Since you have more time in your schedule, because of not needing to commute, etc,  you can more easily do the dating program of 3 and have lots of fun!

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 5:  Virtual Date Ideas

Have happy hour together on Skype or Zoom.  Watch YouTube videos about your shared interests—for example, on the latest photos from Mars, keto-diet suggestions, or cool workout programs  and discuss the videos.  Or watch a movie together as you video-chat about it.  Play a multi-person online game. You can also cook a meal, or exercise while he does the same and video chat about it

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 6:  Safe in-person dating ideas

First, check with your government guidelines re being able to get together.  There may be places where this is frowned upon. But, if you feel an exceptional connection and attraction meet for a short date only.

On the other hand, if you are older or have a health condition that puts you at greater risk, put off meeting in person until after the pandemic is over. You can still have the relationship unfold virtually in a great way.

Dating during Covid-19 Opportunity 7:  How to make a first date work out safely and well

Before you meet, ask, How are you feeling today?  And let him know, I am feeling great! Do not meet face-to-face if either of you is not feeling great.

Do not go to his place or have him over to yours for a first date.  This is too much too soon.  It puts you at risk for contracting the virus, or having premature sex, or something worse if he is a bad egg!  Instead go for a walk. When you first meet, do not hug.  Just smile and blow some kisses his way.  End the date the same way.  If the chemistry is there it will still be there! Don’t be too physical, i.e., do not hold hands or kiss.

If you do go for some take-out food, take sanitizer, clean up an outside table and have a meal.  Do not drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate. Wash up after the date.

Dating during Covid-19 presents real opportunities for romance and love.  But if you are feeling anxious, stressed, lonely or uncertain about dating, definitely take advantage of a Breakthrough-To-Love Session with one of my expert coaches. You can have the support you need and deserve.


On Healing: Rejection and a Broken Heart

Although I struggled to admit it, I was in lust with Noah Peterson*, and I had been for six years. We were juniors in high school at the time of the incident, but my crush on Noah dated back to seventh grade, when Ms. Hamilton, in science class, paired the two of us for a genetics assignment. The project involved using Punnett squares and dice to predict the genetic traits of our hypothetical offspring. We were, in essence, “making a baby” together, and I blushed at the thought. We drew the baby on paper, and Noah declared it “the ugliest thing on the planet.” I laughed, loudly and easily, whenever Noah was around.

The crush was reciprocated back in those days; at least, that’s what everyone claimed. Noah teased me publically, the universal flirting style for a 12-year-old boy. He would make showy, idiotic remarks whenever I entered the classroom, seeking my reaction; I would giggle or roll my eyes to feign annoyance.

I resisted our eighth-grade promotion with vehemence, knowing that high school would change the interactions between Noah and me—or, at least, make them fewer in number. And it did.

But as freshmen in high school, Noah and I went to the TOLO together. I found his number in the phonebook, called up his landline, and asked for Noah when his mother answered. I could barely hear Noah’s words or my own thoughts over the echoing of my heartbeat, but I remember him saying “Sure,” which was more than enough to thrill me.

I picked out matching T-shirts for us to rep his favorite college basketball team together—the dance was an informal one—and coordinated with girlfriends and their dates; we all played games at my house before going out for Mexican food and then heading to the dance. In every picture from that evening (including the professional ones—a miracle!), I looked so happy. My cheeks flushed and my eyes smiled. I had wanted to kiss Noah for years but blissed out instead on slow dancing to his “mom’s favorite song,” Amazed by Lonestar.

Aside from occasional glimpses while passing through the high school hallways, Noah and I did not socialize over the next two years. After all, Noah and many athletically-oriented males did not stray outside the boundaries of their “cool” group any more often than most of my academically-oriented friends and I entered it. I held on tight to my fantasies of dating Noah, though, and my friends knew it.

At a home football game junior year, which was our small rural town’s main event in any given week, the student section was abuzz with talk of homecoming. I did not have a date yet, and there was, of course, only one person I had in mind. In a moment of relative quiet, between quarters, my friend Lily decided to take my fate into her own hands and, cupping them around her mouth, yelled across rows of students to Noah, who sat comfortably amidst the popular crowd.

“Noah!” She got his, and everyone’s, attention; the crowd parted briefly, and heads turned. “Want to take Allie to homecoming?”

I was desperate to disappear, feeling entirely out of control of the situation. The actual act of disappearing (running down the bleachers and through crowds lining the football field) would have drawn more attention to myself and shown that I cared (and cared deeply) about Noah’s response. So, I stood there, vulnerable, paralyzed in my fear.

“Nah, I already went to a dance with her,” he yelled back.

There it was. The final blow to any hope around what might have become of Noah and me. Friends and acquaintances looked back and forth between us, studying my face for signs of disappointment and faintly grimacing at the awkward scene.

I left at halftime, with friends. They tried to comfort me, and I deflected, making light of the situation to prevent pity and preserve dignity. I dispensed self-deprecating jokes and stuffed my face comically with foods.

I told them I wasn’t bothered by Noah’s rejection, which was as far from the truth as I could stretch.

Ten years later, though, on the couch of my therapist, I sobbed about that night. For the first time, I was letting myself feel—really feel—the pain of that very public rejection.

“Allie, this is what you need to tell me. This is what you need to show people,” my therapist told me gently. “I feel more connected to you when you let me see these parts of you.”

And then I realized: Noah’s rejection of me did not make me any less lovable to my people. In fact, it may even have had the opposite effect – making me more relatable, more approachable, more lovable. This reframe of rejection was like a healing balm to my hurting heart, and it freed me to be more vulnerable in like, lust, and love. I still feel fear when expressing romantic interest in others, but the shame is gone – or it’s leaving, anyway.

And thank goodness for that.

*All names have been changed except the author’s.

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