The pandemic has certainly changed the relationship status of many. As a result, people are now more intentional than ever about finding, and keeping love. Many are divorced, some are widowed and others simply realized they do not want to endure another pandemic with the one they were with. Now, people have been vaccinated and are out there trying to shoot their shot in the dating game. Dana Michelle sit’s down with relationship experts to discuss dating post-pandemic and how to get back out there to find the healthy and fulfilling love you deserve.
Guests on the Show
- Trenia Johnson-Norford, Professional Matchmaker-Connectricity
- Troy L. Vaughan III, Dating Commentator-RING|SIDE, LLC
- Charity Shaw-Moyado, MSW, LCSW-Grow Wellness Group
- Kimberly A. Cook, Esq., Divorce and Family Mediator-Dovetail Conflict Resolution
- Jocelyn and Aaron Freeman, Couples Coaches-Empowered Couples University
Dating is a Muscle?
Dana asked the group “Some say dating is a muscle that should be used and there is a skill to dating. Do you agree with that?”
Troy L. Vaughan III responded with “Dating is absolutely a muscle, just like any muscle on the human body that you work out. The more you use it, the more it grows and you become stronger and so the more you date the more you become familiar and the less anxiety you feel out there in the dating spectrum. So regardless if you are single, in a relationship, or if you are married, you need to continue to date and build that muscle.”
Confidence is Key
Dana inquired, “Before people get into the dating game and test these skills, being confident, living their best life, is there self-work that needs to be done? Particularly if there is trauma or a breakup that people are moving on from?”
“Confidence is super attractive, Sometimes folks need to process and do some self-work if they are lacking that confidence. Because you can’t go out into the dating world if you are insecure or uncertain about yourself. So sometimes work needs to be done,” said Charity Shaw-Moyado.
Dana asked, ”What is the most frequent advice you find yourself giving to your clients?”
“I frequently find myself telling my clients to be open to the dating process. Be ok with meeting someone you’ve never dated before. If you’ve always dated someone who is tall, dark, and handsome, meet someone from a different mold, it’s ok. Chemistry and attraction are much more than physical appearance and there are other traits that should be considered,” responded Trenia Johnson-Norford.
Navigating Hard Times
Dana then probed, “Hard times are inevitable in life. What can couples do to better navigate them?”
“Seek the skills to down-regulate your emotions. Because during hard times, what’s usually happening is that you are just reacting now to life, you’re reacting to circumstances. So what do you do? You react to your partner. So that does more damage to your partner. And even in tough times, having the skills to up-regulate your emotion, meaning anything can be going on, but can you generate joy, can you generate gratitude, that’s the first piece. The second piece, would be having a scheduled time to be vulnerable with one another, and not just sharing the functional activities and managing life, but actually scheduling a time to talk about your experiences with each other and with life during these tough times,” replied Aaron Freeman.
Dana asked the panel, “What does a mature and healthy relationship look like?
“For a relationship to last and be healthy, what we see in a mature relationship is that there is a willingness. A willingness to gain skills. There’s not a this is who I am, take it or leave it,” responded Jocelyn Freeman.
“I think that what happened with the pandemic, is there are a lot of people who had the opportunity to say, you know what I’m not willing anymore to go forward in the way that I was before. We were all kind of on a hamster wheel, we were all busy, we were all rushing, and then really in March of 2020, it was a full stop for everybody. You had nowhere to go, you had nothing to do, you were all in the house. I think it was really an opportunity for people to say I am not willing to put up with what I’ve been putting up with or masking over the last couple of years. I think that it allowed a different movement in different ways. I will say that some couples strengthened during the pandemic because they were stopped in the rat race of life, and they were able to focus on the relationship, whereas others were able to say it wasn’t working and we were just kind of masking things,” said Kimberly A. Cook.
Dana Davenport is a Naperville resident who is passionate about life. Originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago, she is now a Naperville resident and a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Chicago Law School. An attorney and mother, Dana divorced in 2015, unleashing a new lease on life. She has a live radio show on intellectualradio.com on Wednesdays at 9 pm and is excited to bring that show to television audiences on Naperville Community Television each month.
Previously, Dana has appeared on “He Said She Said” with Wanda Bee, “The Drive at 5” with Roman, and “Jaw Jackin” with Bob and T.C., and she was a relationship advisor on the “Gift of Gab Show” with Gabby Smith.