Can you ask someone for commitment during a lockdown?

May 27, 2020
▪ 2 mins read

So, you’ve met someone you like during lockdown, but can you ask them for commitment before you meet in real life?

Lockdown has changed a lot for dating and relationships, which is why we created a series of mini-video advice with Match to help you create something real, even during these unusual times! 

So, let’s talk about that big C: Commitment! A question that has come up a lot during lockdown is "But Hayley, what if I met someone I really like recently. We’ve been chatting a lot and I feel that we have a connection. Under normal circumstances, I would be asking them what their stance is on commitment... But now, that we haven’t met in real life yet, am I even allowed to ask that?". 

In this video with Match, I gave some tips on how to negotiate that tricky topic that is commitment! 

Before we start, let me just say that it is really good for you and important to acknowledge what you want to get out of dating and what your boundaries are. By knowing what works for you and what you’re seeking from the dating process, you can actively lookout for people who are on a similar wavelength. 

When it comes to commitment and lockdown, my tip is this:

When having this conversation, it is better for you to state your own preferences around commitment rather than asking the other person a very direct question. In fact, asking questions like "So what are you looking for?" or "Do you see me as a boyfriend/girlfriend?" can actually create a lot of pressure and put the other person on the spot! Instead, saying something like "I have to tell you a little secret... Under normal circumstances, I would definitely be using the g-word/b-word right now..." gives the other person more space to respond openly and honestly about what they want. Instead of putting it on them to make a decision, you open up about what you want, which creates an open discussion around commitment. 

Now what is important in how the other person responds isn’t agreement, but authenticity! Some people might be hesitant to commit with someone they’ve only met virtually, but this doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in the same goal. They might just be operating on a different timeline! So, as long as they respond in a way that is open and clearly communicates what they want, you can continue chatting to them (whilst also feeling more comfortable, now that you have expressed your feelings).

So, back to that very popular question: Can you form commitment during a lockdown? 

Well, I would suggest hanging back until you have formed a real-life connection and trust. However, if you really feel that you need to express your feelings, make sure to do that by stating your own preferences rather than asking a question that might make them feel uncomfortable. Then make sure to listen and accept their response. As long as they are open, communicative and have similar long-term goals to yours, you’re all good to continue talking to them! 

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About the author

Hayley Quinn is a leading dating and relationship coach, with 3 million views of her TEDx talk and 18 million YouTube views. She is spokesperson for Match, a columnist for Cosmopolitan, a regular contributor to international media, and has been published by Harper Collins (“The Last First Date”, 2022) and Simon & Schuster (“Do This, Not That: Dating”, 2023).

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