ARTICLES, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ADVICE. BEST DATING TIPS
Can I even start a healthy relationship right now during Covid-19? What would that even look like?
Even though Covid-19 has made things a little weird, life and dating go on. Fortunately, these challenging times can provide a great opportunity to see how a new partner will behave under fire. When considering a new relationship with someone, especially now, let us point out a couple of red flags:
Red Flag #1: Do they make fun of my worries about safety?
It is one thing to make fun of how silly we look with masks on all the time, but if your potential partner does not want to wear one and makes fun of you for wanting to, that is a red flag. The pandemic is real, and many people are affected, including our loved ones. Safety concerns aside, in a relationship you will disagree, and it is important that when you have disagreements, they respect that you do not see everything their way. Mocking and ridicule are signs that they do not respect your views as much as their own.
Red Flag #2: Are they as interested as I am in making this work?
Sure, it can be hard to find things to do that are not sitting at home or going out for walks. However, if you are the only one trying to spend time together or get to know the other person, that is not setting up a healthy future. The amount of effort that they put in is probably its highest at the beginning of something new. If they are not trying to connect with you, asking questions to get to know you, or even trying to make things work now, chances are they will not do it later.
This is a hard time for many people. Some people may not be at their best. They need support and you may want to provide that (which is great of you!) but this may not be a good time for a relationship. Those red flags are indicators that important elements necessary for a healthy relationship may not be there right now.
Okay, so if there are no red flags and you really like them – What now?
First, know what is important to you; communicate and stand by your boundaries. Telling people what your boundaries are and having them respected is important in any healthy relationship. For example, you value making your own decisions, but while out for dinner, your partner orders for you, saying that they know what you will like. You may be open to trying it, but this is when you could say, “Oh, I really don’t like you making decisions for me. Please do not do that again; just ask instead.” Boundaries tell people how we want to be treated. If people do not respect your boundaries, they’re telling you they don’t respect you.
Relationships are often filled with so many things that are unsaid, so there may not actually be a clear “Go Go Go!”. For most people, we spend time getting to know one another, and before you know it, it is clear to both people that they really like each other. To get there, get to know them as they get to know you in ways that feel safe for both of you. If you need something more explicit, that sounds like an opportunity to set a boundary (e.g., “This may be a little weird to ask, but are we on a date? I just want to make sure.”). And if it is not going anywhere, that is okay too.
A healthy relationship is worth a million unhealthy ones.