As 2020 turns into 2021, not much has changed. We’re still washing our hands, staying inside, and online dating remains the only way to meet someone (unless you’re able to make a connection with a cutie across the grocery store aisle and you are really good at flirting with only your eyes). Since we’re not about to meet someone at a crowded bar anytime soon, our dating app Ship is rolling out a bunch of new features to make online dating with your friends’ help and input even better.
With most dating apps, the only way to unlock certain features like sending unlimited likes per day or finding out who likes you in advance is to pay for a premium membership. Ship knows nobody wants to pay for that sh*t, so they launched Ship Rewards. It’s a virtual in-app currency called Ship Sparks, which you can earn by doing things like inviting friends or swiping. You can then redeem Ship Sparks for those perks like unlimited ships and swipes—without having to put in a credit card. It’s a win-win: you get the added bonus features, all for doing the stuff you’d normally be doing on Ship anyway.
Gone are the days when your friend would wingwoman you with the cutie on the other side of the bar. But never fear, because Ship’s new Hype Line feature is basically that, but virtual. Now, when you’re swiping for your friend, use Hype Line to leave your friend’s prospective match a note. Maybe something like “your dogs would make such a cute couple” or “ask her to explain why Parks and Rec is better than The Office”.
Being able to see who else liked you is typically a luxury that other apps make you pay for—but not Ship, because they’re offering it for free. Soon, you’ll be able to see which eligible singles have already liked what you’re putting out there, just unlock the feature by picking up some Ship Sparks, and you’ll be on your way to quicker matches.
Just because it’s still a pandemic doesn’t mean all hope is lost for your dating life. With these new features from Ship, you’ll find your quarantine bae in no time.
Quarantine has been hard AF. As a single twentysomething who’s been watching an endless Instagram reel of friends and acquaintances getting engaged, it’s been especially hard. (Can I get an “AMEN?”)
A month into quarantine, I met a guy at the dog park where I take my dog. Our dogs got along well with each other, and he seemed nice enough. He wasn’t exactly my physical type, but he was one of the very, very, very few guys with whom I’d gotten the chance to interact in any way since the pandemic started. So after some friendly flirting and playing parents to our dogs, I gave him my number and texted him just a few days later, asking if he wanted to go hiking with me.
We started to hang out once a week, and once a week quickly turned into almost every day. It was easy to fall into this routine because, well, quarantine, and there wasn’t much else to do.
There was a point, though, when our relationship began to feel less like “He’s ~The One!~” and more like “he’s just the one for now.” Three months into dating, right after we’d made it official, we took a little getaway to an Airbnb in a Texas country town for a couple of nights.
A romantic getaway with just us two gave me space to ask myself some valuable questions that made me realize my quarantine boyfriend wasn’t my forever guy. Here are those questions:
Do you text him when you’re bored, or are there personality traits of his that you genuinely like?
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If you have any of the following thoughts before you text him (or anything like these), you’re probably just dating him because you’re bored in quarantine:
I’m bored. What’s he up to?
UGH, I need attention. Lemme hit him up.
I feel lonely, so I’ll hit him up.
If there are things about him that you like, take note of those, either mentally or create a list. I know lists aren’t the most romantic things, but they’re super helpful!
After I dumped my quarantine boyfriend, I made a list of qualities that are important to me in a boyfriend. I keep it handy and I know it’ll help me attract me a guy that’s a better fit for me next time.
What kind of thoughts do you have about him when you’re not together?
While I was dating my dude, I would sometimes tell myself: “I’m just dating him until I can find someone better.” I actually caught myself having this exact thought while doing yoga on the porch of the Airbnb. It was a wake-up call. I know I’m not the only person in the world who’s ever had this thought, either.
The problem is that if you’re having these thoughts about the person you’re dating, it isn’t fair to them—but it isn’t fair to you, either. You’re wasting their time, and you’re wasting your time by spending time with them when you could be opening your heart up to someone else, or just feeding your own soul.
It takes a certain type of self-awareness to be able to figure out whether you’re dating someone out of like, love, or loneliness. So pay close attention to your thoughts. And if you’re feeling anxious, if your mind is racing at 100 miles a minute in quarantine—which is normal—then listen to your gut.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Can you see a future with this person? When the head can’t sort things out, it’s time to listen to the heart. Everyone has an intuition—and while some have stronger intuition than others, there are things you can practice to feel closer to yours, like meditating on it.
What do your friends think of him?
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When my friends met my ex-boyfriend, they threw some challenging questions my way. They made good points: that I didn’t seem super excited when I was around him, and that I looked more interested in the hot guys walking past us at the dinner table than the guy I was with.
At first, I resented my friends for giving me such, er, unfiltered advice. (But if they don’t give you the realest advice, are they even your friends?)
After sleeping on their advice, though, I realized I resented it because it was true. And that maybe, just maybe, I had been in denial for months, lying to myself that this guy was, in fact, ~The One~, when my heart had been telling me all along that I was just using him to pass the toughest months of quarantine.
TL;DR: If you have to ask yourself if you should dump your quarantine boyfriend, the answer is probably a resounding yes. And when you do, you’ll feel happier, freer, and able to give yourself the time and space to reflect on the following question: What kind of partner do I really need?
Image: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash; uuppod / Instagram (2)
Need Jordana to answer your most pressing dating questions? Email us at [email protected] for a chance to have your dilemma featured on Dear Betch.
I very recently went through a breakup with my boyfriend of ~3 years. We are both 27, living in NYC.
We live very close to each other in the city; however, after a few weeks of city quarantining (and seeing each other often), we each left the city to quarantine with family in separate states. During this time, it seemed there was a shift in our relationship: less communication, less FaceTime, less attempts to see each other (on both our ends). Eventually this led to us deciding to go our separate ways, as it seemed we couldn’t give each other what the other needed out of the relationship (wasn’t the first time we discussed not meeting the other’s needs). Nothing specifically happened, but I honestly felt like we just weren’t the match for each other—and I had these thoughts before the pandemic but wasn’t really forced to face them until our time apart.
My question is, how do we get over breakups during this time? There aren’t as many usual distractions to help, and I worry even more so about having to relive/grieve the breakup once life is back to normal, and I’m forced to face the reality of my life without him in it. Even if I do think our breakup was for the best long-term, it doesn’t stop it from being hard to go through, deal with, and worry about.
Any and all advice would be welcomed!
A socially distant single
Dear Socially Distant Single,
Socially distancing is tough enough without the added distress of going through a breakup, so I’ll start by saying I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I’ve been there, it sucks. Breakups are often even (ironically) tougher when things end semi-amicably and you can’t villainize the person or blame the breakup on some horrendous event (like cheating or some other dramatic event).
However, breaking up in the midst of a global pandemic has its own silver lining. In 2019 you might think you could fix your heartbreak with distractions like drunk brunch with friends and hooking up with random people, but you’d actually be wrong. When you use distractions to make you forget the pain you’re in, you avoid feeling it and never really deal with it. The shortage of activities like parties, weddings, and festivals this year will ensure you don’t bypass this important stage in the breakup grieving process: letting yourself feel sh*tty. I know we all want to avoid pain as much as possible, but like a nagging Slack from your boss, pain is something you will have to face eventually, either full-on in the beginning, or drawn out over the course of an even longer time period due to numbing it with your distraction of choice.
Take advantage of quarantine by letting yourself feel bad for a while and reflect on the highs and lows of your relationship. What did the relationship with your ex teach you about what you want to do differently next time? What did it teach you about yourself, and your likes and your dislikes? What red flags will you look out for next time? Using quarantine to let yourself feel everything will ensure that when things start to open up you can enter the world with a fresh, healed heart and be ready to go out and meet new people. You’ll be able to actually have fun at the events that are happening instead of having to beat back the lingering sadness in the back of your mind.
That’s not to say that there aren’t certain things you can do to help yourself in the meantime while you’re grieving this breakup. First off, delete him from all social media, not because he’s a bad person, but because constant updates about anyone will make it impossible to move on from them. There are probably days when you second guess your decision and the heightened feeling of socially distanced loneliness makes you want to reach out your ex. When this happens, text a designated friend about what you’d want to say to your ex, and she can remind you of all the reasons you broke up. Finally, break up your sadness by getting into something new, be it a new workout routine, podcast, really good book, or anything else that will make you feel like you’re channeling your energy into something and growing as a person. This will make you remember that the rest of your life is ahead of you and there will be a ton of amazing people you’ll get to date along the way.
Best of luck, Betch!
Need Jordana to answer your most pressing dating questions? Email us at [email protected] for a chance to have your dilemma featured on Dear Betch.
Is it just me, or is it terrible how everyone on the internet is joking about they’re going to kill their partner while working from home and being stuck inside together all day every day right now? Maybe it’s supposed to be funny and I have no sense of humor, but if you don’t like being around your partner, then why TF are you dating them? I will concede that all of the stress that comes along with this pandemic can lead to frustration and petty arguments. But try to remember this sh*t is temporary, so don’t let your relationship take a fatal hit while it lasts. Here’s how to not go crazy on or break up with your live-in partner during this quarantine period.
1. Give Each Other Space
“Couples who live together can prevent arguments during quarantine by being mindful of each other’s space and remaining communicative,” says certified dating coach Elsa Moreck. This means that if you’re the type of person who wants to cuddle your S.O. 24/7 right now because it’s comforting for you (like me), they might be down… orrrr they may actually need more space than you. Talk to them and find out how much alone time and affection they want before you cling to them for dear life because you want to. Do your needs for space misalign? NBD—just respect that difference and don’t take it personally, suggests clinical psychologist Angele Close, PhD.
If you’re struggling to find your own space, “having indicators of availability can clarify needs and boundaries, closed door vs. open door times when one is able or willing to be interrupted by the other partner,” she adds. No matter how you do it, go take some time for yourself and let yourselves breathe, whether that’s scrolling through Instagram, going for a drive, working from a different room, or stepping out for a solitary walk. You’ll probably both be happy you did.
2. Keep Open Communication
“We commonly understand that stressors can either bring us closer together or tear us apart,” says Close, but “there are opportunities for people in relationships to nurture deeper closeness and connection if they learn to respond to each other with openness, validation, mindfulness, and compassion, for themselves and their partner.” Did you hear that? Things are crazy right now, yes, but it’s actually the perfect time for us to strengthen our bond with our partners through solid communication. So take this as your prescription to get real about how you feel, regularly check in with your partner, and actually listen to each other when you speak. “There’s nothing like a global pandemic to add strain on a relationship, so be ready to have the hard conversations and to hold space for each other throughout it,” says Moreck. Don’t be afraid to lean on them when you’re feeling anxious or need to vent about how hard work has been for you. She recommends keeping open channels of communication about everything—how they like the toilet seat, how their mom is doing, and whether they remembered to wash their hands after taking the trash out. I’ve been annoying AF yelling “WASH YOUR HANDS” to my BF every time we walk in the door after being out, and I’m not sorry.
3. Have More Sex
As if we really need a reason to have more sex, it could actually help you stay on better terms with your partner throughout this whole sh*t show. Moreck confirms there’s no better time to get busy than when you’re quarantined together because you 1) aren’t actually too busy, 2) aren’t too tired, and 3) why TF not? It’s a no-brainer. Spice up your mundane routine by spending your spare time banging, playing with or buying new toys, or taking turns giving each other massages—happy endings optional. I’m pretty sure orgasms can boost your immune system, too, so win-win-win! “Give each other orgasms, not the virus,” she adds. CHEERS. New motto.
4. Find Humor Wherever You Can
Sense the tension rising? Diffuse that bomb by trying to make each other laugh or crack a smile. “Yes, the world is kinda ending and soon we’ll all have to wipe our ass with coffee filters, but make it your task to laugh together at least once every day,” says Moreck. “Whether it’s a quarantine meme or a cringy joke, find opportunities to humor each other.” My expert opinion (from personal experience) is that memes really do make everything easier to deal with, even your deepest fears and anxieties surfacing from this pandemic. Try it out.
5. Stop To Reflect Before Reacting
“When you’re feeling frustrated or angry with your partner, or perhaps rejected or anxious, it’s a good idea to take an inner pause to calm down and prevent unnecessary conflict,” says Close. So basically when you feel like you’re about to flip out of rage or pure emotion, take like, five seconds to check yourself before you—wait for it—wreck yourself. Need some ideas on what to do in the meantime? She recommends taking a second shower of the day, going outside for a breath or a walk, or going in a separate space to practice meditation.
Jordana Abraham, cohost of the Betches dating podcast, U Up? echoes, “it’s easy to get annoyed with anyone you live with, but it can be especially tough with someone who you are now not only around 24/7, but also share a bed with, often in spaces as small as a one bedroom or even a studio apartment.” She actually recommends waiting an hour before expressing irritation over small stuff, and instead watching TV, listening to a podcast, or whatever you can do by yourself for an hour. After the hour is up, she advises, “if you’re still upset, you can vocalize why you’re frustrated. You’re less likely to be seen as overreacting the more distance you have from the situation.”
Close also recommends, after taking a breather from a potentially contentious situation, to “reconnect with your partner only when you feel you have more awareness, your nervous system has calmed down enough, and you feel clear in your perception of what the problem is.” I personally suck at meditating and have zero filter when emotional, but this tip definitely sounds helpful.
What’s better than solo meditation?
Eating a ton of snacks and laying in bed for hours Meditating with your partner! Moreck suggests you block out at least 30 minutes every day for you to meditate together. “Not only will this give you something to do as a couple that doesn’t require talking, but it’ll calm you both down and strengthen your immunity.” I’d much rather spend 30 minutes having sex or playing Nintendo Switch, but to each their own.
6. Practice Gratitude
You’re stuck hanging with the person who you love, enjoy hanging with, and will bang you on the reg. You poor thing. Cut it out, and look on the bright side! “Now is we need each other most, and despite how annoying it may be to be stuck with the same person all day, at least it’s YOUR person. Be grateful you’re not alone like so many other people right now,” says Moreck, who took the words right out of my mouth. Being quarantined with your partner is a gift, so start being thankful. It’s not enough to just be thankful, though. Close recommends speaking up and sharing that appreciation and gratitude with your partner. “Often we focus on the negative and take for granted the good,” she says. “It goes a long way when we express to each other what is working or the good things we noticed from each other’s efforts.”
COVID-19 might be super anxiety-inducing and straining on everyone right now, but that doesn’t mean you should let it pull you away from your #1 support system: your partner. If you’re living with them right now, consider yourself lucky. I know I do. Even though this situation might seem like a nightmare, “this is a test of perseverance and a testimony to your love,” reminds Moreck. “So cherish your connection and breathe through the challenges. The future of your relationship will thank you for it.” Cheers to our future selves thanking us sooner than later. I’m going stir crazy.
Images: Pexels, GIPHY (6)