81% of singles say they can’t find the time to date. (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Most of us are spending a lot of time getting up to speed with social engagements that were postponed during the height of the pandemic.
What with barely seeing anybody for two years, suddenly it feels like every weekend is full of plans, trying to catch up with family and friends we missed during the lockdowns.
According to a survey by Badoo of 1,000 daters aged 18-40 in the UK, this could be causing people to de-prioritise dating.
Three quarters (73%) said they feel like they have missed out on valuable time because of the pandemic, which for 60%, is still affecting their love lives now.
Almost half (43%) say this summer will be the busiest they’ve ever had, 49% say they’re struggling to keep up with all the plans they’ve got, and a whopping 81% simply can’t find the time to date.
However, this doesn’t quite align with what a chunk of singles want.
While more than a third (38%) want to enjoy the single life, 48% of those surveyed say they want to find a partner now more than ever.
This makes a lot of sense, given how lonely the lockdowns were for many. People had a lot of time to themselves to think about what they really want – but now that summer is popping off, their calendars are too full.
Hanging out with friends and family is at the top of the list of things that are filling the free time of singles at 58%, followed by travelling (56%) and exercising (40%).
It’s an exciting – but busy – time (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Life coach and single positivity advocate Angelica Malin says: ‘After years of lockdowns and restrictions, many singles feel like they lost time to the pandemic – in a world where we couldn’t date properly and socialising was limited, we all lost out on making those important human connections.
‘Now we’re seeing a “cramdemic”, where people are squeezing in plans and putting everything on fast-forward, which in turn, is affecting the way singletons are dating.
‘It’s important to not let the pressure of the cramdemic take over your enjoyment of finally having freedom. It’s an exciting time – one filled with possibilities, new connections and experiences, and a chance to enjoy dating, whatever that means for you.’
If you want to put yourself out there but aren’t quite sure how to take the plunge and have fun doing it, Angelica has some tips for you…
Remember there’s no set timeline that you need to follow
It’s your life – you can date however you please.
She adds: ‘Everyone dates in their own way so don’t try to keep up with friends or let any other external pressures get to you, as “it” will happen in its own time.
‘You can’t rush love. Taking things as they come is the best way to beat a cramdemic – having the mindset of “what will be will be” allows you to relax and make authentic connections.’
Stop comparing yourself to others
Yes, it’s really hard to stop measuring yourself by your peers, but it’s not doing you any favours.
‘That means limiting your use of social media if you feel like your timeline is filled with other people’s “perfect” relationships, engagements and baby announcements – which in the cramdemic, there’s bound to be lots of,’ adds Angelica.
‘Follow with caution and be mindful of how social media is making you feel – if you need to take a break from it to help your own mental wellbeing, then do it.
‘Feeling overwhelmed can put unnecessary pressure on new connections and conversations, which you normally wouldn’t do.’
Go into dating with an open mind
It can be rough out there, but if you’re intent on dating, it’s important to try and take some optimism with you when you do.
‘You never know where you might find a connection,’ says Angelica. ‘Stay positive and optimistic for what can happen.
‘It’s key to keep in the knowledge that even if things haven’t worked out in the past, it doesn’t mean they won’t in the future – so enjoy the moment and try not to put too much stress on yourself.’
Find like-minded single friends
Angelica also suggests making some new friends to share your preferred version of singledom with.
‘Dating is so much more fun if you have other people on a similar journey where you can share stories and experiences,’ she explains.
‘Make the effort to make friends with other single people, it’s great to have friends who are in a similar life stage.’
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Make dating uniquely yours
Remember, there’s no dating script you have to follow to ‘do it right’.
‘If you’re not a big drinker, you don’t have to go for cocktails,’ says Angelica.
‘Think outside the box. When it comes to in-person dating – perhaps you can do an activity together as an icebreaker, see a play or go for a picnic.
‘Remember that life is for living and knowing your own dating DNA means you can truly enjoy it.’
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