Love on hold? Many have stopped dating during pandemic as Valentine’s Day approaches

National News

DETROIT, Mich. — About 70% of people plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home, according to a real-time market research platform Suzy.

More than 1/3 of those surveyed say they’ll cook, while 1/4 say they’ll order takeout, and just 23% say they plan on going to a restaurant for Valentine’s Day this year.

No matter what your plans are, it can be a difficult time if you’re single and looking for love, and that’s made worse by the pandemic.

But, as vaccines are rolled out and the weather warms up, the dating scene could be about to heat up.

Being alone is also really difficult. I don’t have family nearby, so I’m kind of alone up here in Michigan,” Caitlyn Ferguson said.

The 34-year-old doctoral candidate said the strain of being single during the pandemic grew as time went on. COVID-19 restrictions closed normal meeting spots, connecting on Zoom isn’t easy, and Valentine’s Day can bring feelings of loneliness.

“You’re trying to make plans with people, not, ‘Oh let me see, you know I might not be able to I have a date or have this.’ Then it kind of reminds you that you’re single,” she said.

Experiences like these are common according to Licensed Professional Counselor Chanel Johnson.

“So now you have this love that you’re looking for that you feel like you have no control over when it’s going to happen,” Johnson said.

She added that it’s OK to acknowledge those feelings, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or any time. She said we can all look for other ways to express affection.

“Maybe you have nieces or nephews who are super excited about Valentine’s Day and they would love a package,” she said.

Ferguson says her love language is cooking for others.

“I’m not very creative when I’m cooking for myself, but when it’s for other people, I just kind of becomes a passion and a gift,” she said.

California native & EMU student Joshua Murray has tried looking for love online with a cross country move, only to be learning online.

The change of climate and the difficulty of meeting people when most folks are staying inside makes him feel like he’s ready to give up.

“Maybe this is just not the time to meet people and. And that’s just I think I’m not the only young person with that mentality,” Murray said.

Johnson said taking a break from the dating scene is fine. Stay connected by making appointments to speak with friends and family. Also, reach out and reconnect to old friends, so you’re not starting from scratch and that old friend might become something more.

This story was first published by WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan.

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