The year is 2020 and it can only be described as the “never saw it coming” year. This was supposed to be the year I put myself out there and date. And by putting me out there I mean being intentional by going out with my female friends and taking up some hobbies that would have me meeting new people.

I was ready.

Then BAM!

Coronavirus AKA COVID-19 debut and life as we know it changed. Words like a national emergency, pandemic, social distancing, quarantine, and curfew were now a daily part of our conversations. Essential bring my goal of frolicking and dating to a screeching halt. This sudden change meant that I had to take another approach to this whole dating game. Beforehand, 99% of the dates I went on were purely for a great meal and nothing else. Shoots 90% of the superficial friendships with men I maintained was strictly for the free food and drinks I’d be treated to. The more I examined my behavior the more I realized I was a ‘food digger’. For those of you who don’t know, a food digger is a female that dates, establishes, and maintains relationships with the sole purpose to eat and get food at someone else’s expense. I always and still do say that the way to my heart is through my stomach and there is nothing sexier than a man who can put it down in the kitchen. And I really mean that! The sad part was that I had become too focused on the free meal part of things with little to no interest in the man offering these things.

COVID-19 changed all of that for me. I was still able to meet people and hang out but this was all done virtually and at my expense. I had to now stock my cupboards with the drinks of my choice and started cooking a whole lot more. Something about this virtual dating just didn’t sit right with the food digger in me. But several weeks in, I have adapted to this new norm and quite frankly I’m enjoying it too. I’ve had the pleasure of spending a copious amount of conversations. Ranging from the deep and meaningful to the fun and trivial. I’ve got the opportunity to really get to know some people beyond just the surface-level BS that one usually encounters when dating. I’ve removed myself from relationships that were draining and quite frankly of no benefit, other than Friday night drinks. I’ve experienced a man telling me that he likes me but doesn’t see a future with me and I’ve experienced the strengthening of genuine friendships.

COVID-19 has changed so much in and around me. And I’d be the first to admit that those changes were necessary and beneficial. There is so much truth in the old adage that growth requires separation and that real growth happens when you step out of your comfort zone.

2020 has been a phenomenal year. I didn’t enjoy all the unexpected changes however, I have a newfound appreciation for the people and things around me.

The goal of the dating game has changed.