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A Pandemic Silver Lining
Sandy Sternbach
Founder & Managing Director, The Right Time Consultants
The views, information, or opinions expressed in these blog posts are solely those of the author's and do not necessarily represent those of Harvard Magazine, Harvard University and/or its employees. These blog posts do not appear in Harvard Magazine's print edition nor are considered Harvard Magazine editorial content.

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic tested our mettle, resilience, faith, value systems, blind spots, and levels of compassion. This extended period of social isolation gave us all a great deal of time to look inward and become more acquainted with ourselves…to “reconnect the dots” and become better, more authentic versions of ourselves.

In conversations with valued clients, loved ones and acquaintances, it became very clear that most are ready to invest more time and energy in their personal lives for dating, finding a relationship, and developing deeper friendships. Previously jam-packed pre-COVID calendars are now open to allow for quality time to meet someone new and promising as well as to expand their social networks. More people were reaching out for matchmaking/coaching services to aid in their search for a new love or friend. I’ve also experienced many more men stepping up their dating "game plan" and the age range of motivated and active candidates has expanded well into the 70s and early 80s. In general, individuals are more transparent and candid about the personal and often private areas in their lives.

One of my clients illustrated what she discovered during the pandemic, and I think it resonates with many others…

“COVID-19 crashed into all of our lives. It was as if we were all frozen in time for a year and a half. As a single woman, the gift I was given during this time was the opportunity to think and meditate on my life, and explore what really brings me joy and what may need to go because it no longer serves me. I realized that emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy is something that my soul needed. I wanted to know that when the world felt like it was falling apart, I could reach across the couch and grab someone’s hand and know they will be there and always have my back. The pandemic crystallized for me the importance of partnership in life.”

It rings true that you cannot expect love, kindness, respect, and compassion from others if you do not value these things in yourself. This might sound very simple, but it truly is “the secret sauce” to a romantic relationship or friendship that has legs or a foundation to build and grow.

As we ease into a “new normal”, social connection seems to be something many will be placing more emphasis on. Perhaps this is one of the silver linings to all of the turmoil we experienced over the past year and a half. We are realizing that “people need people” and human connection is important for our well-being.

For previous personals blog posts, click on the links below:

Spring Is In The Air
Valentine's Day
Dating in the Age of COVID
Creating Holiday Joy, It's Up To You

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