BEST LIFE: Looking for love in all the right places?

The quest for love and connection is an ageless process and something that most of us seek throughout our lives.

The issue for many right now is: where is the love? Whether we find ourselves married, just starting out or finally starting over, love can be messy and all over the place, even in the best of times.

But for those trying to find their passion these past nine months, love is wondering if finding a new partner is worth the risk of getting COVID.

Love can be settling to stay in relationships that aren’t right because the fear of being alone when the world feels so closed is just too much to consider. If you find yourself thinking — this is too hard, this isn’t working, why should I bother, what should I do next - hear me when I say that you are not alone.

So many people are panicked by the isolation and uncertain how to attach at a time when we are kept 6 feet apart and behind masks. They wonder: how can we develop chemistry with this virus between us? We are locked behind screens trying to feel something meaningful and dynamic, and as wonderful as technology is, holding a phone is not like holding someone’s hand.

And the pressure is only increasing. The holidays are coming. Another lockdown may be around the corner. Singles and those in relationships that may not be fulfilling all want to be quarantined with the right person or spared from the being trapped with the wrong one.

So how do we cope with the mini-dramas and find our way through the ups and downs of relationships when we are living either all alone or closer than ever with our partners and are struggling with the many changes that this pandemic has bought to us? How do we get out into the world and find that love match when our normal routines and practices are limited? There is so much tragedy in this crisis, but perhaps a silver lining in slowing down is that we can get more creative in how we approach our relationships.

So, get creative with technology and allow a bit of long-distance courtship over the screen to be your means to really get to know someone for who they are. In turn, don’t be afraid to show yourself as you are, in your real-life setting. The barriers to connecting can actually allow for something ultimately more fulfilling. Talk, dance, cook, play games, mix drinks, sing, share, watch shows, work out - the possibilities are endless — and these opportunities are not the normal ones that lead to snap decisions. This is old-fashioned romance with a modern twist.

If you’re ready to venture out, then really get out into nature and find a way to share an experience and not just a meal. I am not here to tell anyone that they can’t meet for dinner, but I would suggest that health histories right now extend beyond more intimate connections so having conversations about exposure risk is a good idea not only for yourself, but for those around you.

The bottom line is that you do not have to wait to create connections during COVID-19. We just need to create them differently. And most importantly, the number one relationship we want to work on is the one with ourselves.

Think about working on yourself and getting into the best emotional and physical shape of your life. Then you will be ready to search for long lasting love in a calm approach rather than racing into dating and romance from a place of anxiety, stress or pressure.

As you consider what New Year’s Eve looks like for you as the ball drops this year, understand that there is no simple answer or formula to the ceremony of falling in or staying in love, but know that I would love to help and empower everyone out there who is ready to tune up their dating skills.

Please email me to share your dating experiences with me.

Jodi Harrison-Bauer is the founder and owner of the award-winning JodiFit, Branford. A two-time World Fitness America and World Fitness Universe champion, she placed in the top 60 out of over 10,000 women less than half her age in the iconic Sports Illustration 2019 swimsuit competition. A motivational speaker, who empowers women to be fit and fearless at any age, Jodi hosts a radio show and podcast, Fearlessly Authentic, which can be heard live every Thursday at 3 p.m. EST on Voice America Talk Radio.

Connecticut Media Group