Waiting to Meet

Howdy Colin!

So I’ve been talking to this girl that seems really cool, we met through IG and just kind of hit it off from there.

It’s kind of exciting but also a little weird, because I’m a girl who doesn’t normally like girls but she’s pretty great and I think I might like like her, but I also think I won’t know until I meet her in person, which shouldn’t matter but I think it maybe sorta does.

But it’s also weird because the coronavirus is keeping everybody at home, and she lives like an hour away, so it’ll maybe be a while before we’re able to safely just go out and hang out and see what happens.

Any advice on how to deal with this and survive the waiting and maybe think about the whole situation?

Thanks much!

Margo

Hey Margo-

Very glad to hear you’ve made that kind of connection, despite the distance and other hurdles.

A few things to think about:

First is that it’s wonderful you’re allowing yourself to reassess what sorts of people you might like as you’re presented with new data.

Many of us struggle because we decide who we are early in life, and that determination becomes dogma, rather than just a starting point to build on as we learn and grow and change as people.

Whatever happens with this new person you’ve met, good on you for maintaining a growth-oriented sense of self. That’s valuable not just in relationships, but in every aspect of our lives.

Second is that it’s common for relationships of any kind to change as the context in which they take place changes. Being under lockdown during a pandemic, for instance, is almost certainly shaping this dynamic you have with this other person to some degree.

This doesn’t mean that the dynamic between you will be better or worse when you finally meet up, it just means that there are subtle variables at play within all of our relationships, especially right now, and it’s worth keeping this in mind so we’re not caught off guard after things return to some semblance of normalcy.

It may be that you won’t notice any real change after that readjustment, but you might. And acknowledging the possibility that things will be different when your work and/or school routines are different, when you’re spending your days surrounded by different people, when you’re both spending different amounts of time on your devices, can help you be prepared so you read it as such—as the consequence of shifting variables—rather than as a problem with the relationship.

This is true, by the way, of all contexts and all dynamics, not just pandemic-related ones. You might be great friends with someone when you’re both on the road, traveling to some unknown place, and barely talk to that person when you’re back amongst your familiar routines. That, too, is okay—it’s just worth knowing about so you can categorize that change appropriately.

Finally, your outcomes for this relationship, but also, arguably, all relationships, will tend to be better if you’re open to them taking whatever shape best meets the needs and priorities of everyone involved.

If you enter a relationship with someone and are open to it being a friendship, but also maybe becoming something more, you’re less likely to be disappointed if it doesn’t end up being something more. You’ve tempered your expectations by setting a reasonable baseline, and then building atop that.

Opting for a moderate and stable baseline in this way means you can end up countless interesting places, while still being happy with whatever dynamic actually emerges between you.

Regarding the potentially long wait, and surviving it:

Remember that you have countless communication tools at your disposal, and the opportunity to learn a great deal about each other before you even have your first, in-person sit-down.

That’s an interesting opportunity, if you choose to see it as such.

Make use of that time, have fun with each other, and do your best to enjoy the anticipation rather than fixating on the delay.


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