Here’s my rundown of the dating trends I’ve seen this year; what’s in and what’s out! Take a look for more on how to create the deep connection and fulfilling partnership you want in 2021, whether you’re currently single or coupled.
1. Fantasy is OUT
Real connection is IN
When it comes to dating in 2020, we’ve been given the gift of building a foundation instead of building a fantasy connection.
If you’ve been in a relationship where the sex was great, but the foundation wasn’t there, 2020 may have shown you the cracks. Only being in it for the fun and good times simply didn’t cut it anymore, we needed people in our lives who we could maintain deep connections with, whether we could physically see them or not.
We discovered just how short life can be this year. Many people threw away the long list of demands of what they thought they wanted and recognised they were stopping themselves from finding real happiness. Others felt the loneliness of shallow connections and recognised that inner work was needed to move forward in a positive way.
2 Fast, Drunk Sex is OUT
Slow, Sober Sex is IN
Pre-pandemic, life as a single, successful Londoner often meant boozy dinners and drunken one-night-stands. We were wild and free and it felt like nothing could stop the party!
Then came 2020 and suddenly everything changed.
Not being able to meet up meant our mouths did a lot less snogging and a lot more talking. Zoom dates and socially distanced walks replaced drunken dinners and rushing into bed.
Without the distractions and crazy fast pace of life as we knew it to keep us occupied, many of us have learned to genuinely feel our feelings (sometimes for the first time as adults).
As a result, we’ve embraced slow dating, slow sex and feeling everything on a deeper level.
3. Focus on Looks is OUT
Focus on Values is IN
My grandma used to always say to me, “Asa, it’s so important you can talk to each other because in the end that’s all you’ll do.”
While I didn’t need to know the details about my grandparents sex life, I understood what she meant.
Yes, sexual compatibility is important, but are you with someone who can really be there for you, whether or not you’re hot and horny?
Thankfully, this year I’ve heard people talking far less about wanting specific physical features (tall, slim, muscly etc) and far more about specific values and characteristics instead (kind, caring etc).
I LOVE this, because who cares whether your partner is tall or has nice breasts if they don’t hold your hand when you lose your job or get ill?
2020 has helped so many of us reconnect to what’s important to us and how the people in our lives make us FEEL.
Yes we want romance, sex and fun, but the reality is it’s not always like that. What matters is who stands with you through the hard times and shows you the kindness you deserve.
4. Ignoring Your Feelings is OUT
Owning Your Feelings is IN
I used to only want to have good feelings and I would use things outside of me to make me feel the way I wanted, whether it was sex, alcohol or achieving at work.
These days I feel it all! From happiness, pleasure and orgasms, all the way through to sad or disappointed. What I’ve learned on my journey is that you can’t feel the peaks without feeling the dips too. As researcher Brene Brown says, “You can’t selectively numb.”
The more we go into the “darker” emotions, the more we can go into the “lighter” ones, too.
To help me feel the full spectrum in a gentle way, I practice the Tantric ‘Open Heart Meditation’. I allow myself to cry tears from emotions I never permitted myself to feel in all my years as a high-flying PR girl.
We have a greater capacity to understand ourselves when we can allow all the feelings of life to be present and not shut any of them away. Owning your feelings, rather than projecting them onto others allows you to become an expert communicator with lovers or partners. That’s how we create the rich and fulfilling relationships we desire.
5. Rushing Forward is OUT
Small Steps are IN
We were all forced to take a pause this year. Rushing became impossible and tiny steps were the only way forward through the uncertainty.
The same was true for our dating life and relationships. Instead of big plans for weddings, holidays (or even lavish dates), instead we focussed on the power of tiny gains.
You don’t have to change everything all at once, you simply have to take the next right step. You can do this by:
Booking an introductory call with a coach or therapist
Committing to going on one sober date to see what it’s like
Looking at one limiting belief you have around love or relationships
Trying the ‘Open Heart Meditation’ once a week
Meeting your needs in a different way that feels right for you
Take small steps forward, keep aligning yourself to what you want and trust the process.
When I stopped drinking I realised how much my social circle was no longer aligned with me, so I had to make new friends. I’m at peace with that because I stepped into who I really am and nothing feels better than that.
You get to choose how you want to show up to empower yourself. Tune into what you need and commit to giving yourself it. When it comes to creating amazing relationships with others, it has to start with the relationship you have with yourself.
If 2021 is the year you want to find or deepen your love and intimacy connections, book a call with Asa to discover your next right step.