Social distancing is a term on everyone’s lips lately. As the world weathers the storm that is COVID-19, people around the globe are being urged to do something we’re used to avoiding during difficult times: stay away from one another. Depending on your living situation and lifestyle, social distancing could mean anything from waiting out this period on your own, to spending a lot of quality time with your family, roommates or pets. Regardless of what this temporary new day-to-day looks like for you, here are some ideas on how to isolate without feeling isolated.
Technology Is Your New Best Friend – Utilize It
Here at the Plenty of Fish office, we mourned the loss of our Friday happy hour/social hour as we transitioned into working from home. Many of us joked about implementing a virtual one, but it’s truly not a bad idea. Technology allows us to be in the same space without being in the same space and the creative ways in which we can utilize this are truly endless.
One thing many people enjoy about physical social interaction is the ability to see body language and facial expressions when communicating with others. More than that even, people enjoy being in someone’s physical presence because it takes the pressure off of keeping a conversation flowing. There are so many ways for us to video chat these days, and taking advantage of this ability can help replace the physical interaction many of us crave so deeply.
Have a standing dinner or lunch date with someone? Great, make it virtual. Missing your weekly drinks date with your crew? You can make that virtual too. Keep your coffee catch-ups, weekly TV show viewings (we see you, Netflix Party), and romantic dates – in fact, schedule more! At Plenty of Fish, we’re even rolling out our new live streaming feature, LIVE! to new regions every day to help you date from a distance. It might seem strange at first, but replacing your in-person interactions with virtual ones can offer the same social satisfaction while allowing everyone to stay safe.
Don’t Fear The Quality Time – Embrace It
Social distancing from the outside world means increased social interaction with those who are with us at home. For those of us who are used to spending the workday away from our families, roommates, and/or pets, the thought of spending 24/7 with them might feel overwhelming. The best way to combat any fear you might have? Just embrace it, along with maybe this hilarious addition to your household. Yes, it’s a lot of time together, but that doesn’t have to be a problem. Think of the quality time as the blessing in disguise that it is (and blame any problems on Cheryl).
Maybe you’ve always meant to get closer with your roommate but your schedules just didn’t allow it – now is your chance to bond like you’ve never bonded before! Maybe you’ve been wanting to spend more time at home with your family – now you’ve got it! Things at home might feel crazy, and your routine might be totally out of whack, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lean into the uncertainty and still have fun. Dig out those puzzles you’ve never had time to build or that board game that always takes too long. Start a household book club, or just simply enjoy the luxury of being able to eat more meals together. Every activity you do together is an opportunity for closeness, and your relationships could flourish without you even knowing it.
Try Online Dating – Now is the Perfect Opportunity
Now, more than ever, singles are craving connection. As feelings of isolation and anxiety creep in, it can be difficult to feel alone during times like these and it’s only natural for us to be looking for new ways to connect. At Plenty of Fish, we would be remiss if we didn’t suggest you try online dating. If you’re an avid online dater, or the process is totally new to you, it’s an amazing way to put yourself out there and spark new relationships when you’re feeling socially distant.
In fact, the team here at Plenty of Fish has even begun rolling out our new live-streaming feature, LIVE! to help encourage singles to date from a distance. Our CEO, Malgosia Green, put it best when she said, “we’re in a unique position to innovate quickly to combat the anxiety singles may be feeling right now.” If this is you, we get it! Trying out this new (free) feature, as well as taking a chance at online dating in general, is a great way to spend some of your newly-found free time and reduce those feelings of isolation. If you need help perfecting your dating profile, or want to learn more about how to use LIVE!, don’t fret – we’ve got you covered. So far, the feature is available in select regions in the United States, but our team is working hard to add new locations every day! If it’s not available in your area right away, stay tuned and keep an eye on your app – it’s coming soon.
Replace Physical Touch With Meaningful Conversation
If you’re someone who craves physical touch within all your relationships, romantic or otherwise, this time may be difficult for you. It is, however, a great opportunity to step up your conversation game! If you are online dating (and we recommend it, of course!), you won’t have the ability to be together physically and as such, you have an amazing chance to have some really meaningful conversations instead. The foundation of every relationship is communication, but this often gets thrown to the wayside due to our physical nature as humans. During this time of social distancing, give communication your all – we promise you won’t regret it!
If you struggle with small talk when getting to know someone, or you’re just not the chattiest of people, it’s totally okay to make a list of conversation topics. Try starting with questions that you wish someone would ask you, or questions that relate to values you hold dear. You’ll likely find that once one question strikes a chord with the other person, the conversation will begin to flow naturally and you’ll really get into the good stuff. Even if you’re not single or aren’t dating, use this time to work on your communication with everyone close to you. Soon, you’ll be a conversation expert!
Stay In, Reach Out
Yes, many of us are working from home during this time, but beyond that, everyone’s schedules are suddenly more open than they have ever been. We all have at least one friend who seems to always be busy and trying to make time to catch up with them often seems impossible. Well, now is your chance. Now is your chance to catch up with all those friends who you’ve fallen out of touch with – near and far, and even make new connections as well. Technology cushions the blow of isolation tremendously, but don’t overlook the power of a phone call either. Catching up or getting to know someone over the phone instead of via text or Facetime can bring about a sense of nostalgic closeness that many of us have forgotten about.
The bottom line? Just reach out. Reach out to your family, your friends you talk to every day, your friends you rarely talk to at all, or get to know someone completely new. If you’ve been accustomed to avoiding phone calls for fear of burdening someone who may not have the time to chat with you, now is the time to let that fear melt away. Everyone is craving connection right now, whether they act on it or not. By reaching out, you might provide the push someone else needs to do the same while simultaneously keeping yourself from feeling so distant. Explore virtual relationships or all kinds during this time. You never know, you could just come out of this with stronger bonds than you could have ever imagined.
Stay safe everyone, but stay connected. Everyone is only a phone call or Livestream away!