SOUL MATES UNLIMITED® Jewish Matchmaking Service

Judith Gottesman, Matchmaker and Dating Coach for Singles in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Arizona, and Beyond

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New York Times interview

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How to Adapt Dating to COVID-19


Real People Real Money: Matchmaker

The Benefits of a Dating Coach & Matchmaker

Soul Mates Unlimited® Celebrates 10 Years of Helping People Find Love

The Benefits of a Dating Coach & Matchmaker

Dating Advice for Over 50 — Hadassah Magazine

Seeking a Jewish soulmate? Interview in JWeekly, May 2018

Valentine's interview with Judith on KWMR Radio, February 2018

Story featuring Judith in San Diego Jewish Journal, February 2018

Story featuring Judith in L'Chaim San Diego Magazine, February 2018

Soul Mates Unlimited Listed Among Top 8 Jewish Matchmakers

Judith Gottesman interviewed on how to find love after 65

Jife Orange County article about Soulmates Unlimited, Professional Matchmaker

YourTango.com article about Yentas and dating apps quoting Soulmates Unlimited's Judith Gottesman, MSW, Professional Matchmaker

San Diego Jewish World article about finding love during Pesach, by Judith Gottesman, MSW, Professional Matchmaker

Los Angeles Jewish Journal Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

Story featuring Judith in L'Chaim San Diego Magazine

California Magazine(UC Berkeley Alumni) Interviews Judith Gottesman

Fox 5 San Diego Interview with Judith Gottesman

NPR Interview with Judith Gottesman

Judith Gottesman interviewed on Stanford Radio

Judith Gottesman on Online Dating Sites.net panel
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Matchmaker Judith Gottesman interviewed on Blog Talk Radio

May 2014 OC Jewish Life Story Including Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

May 2014 OC Jewish Life Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

San Diego Jewish Journal Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker, May 2014

JWeekly Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

Jewish Woman Magazine Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

Jewish Journal Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

Jewish Life Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker

San Diego Jewish Journal Interview with Judith Gottesman, Professional Matchmaker, February 2010

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Header: Think an Old-Time Matchmaker is an anachronism in Digital Age? Think Again
 

When COVID-19 first appeared, a slew of coronavirus-related love stories populated our news feeds. There were clever “Love in the Time of Corona” references, a modern-day play off of Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera.” The news covered socially-distanced weddings and sweet stories of couples in relationships meeting for dates along Europe’s country borders when they were closed to travelers.

There were also stories of couples breaking up after being cooped up with a partner that they never had to spend so much time with before. On the other end of the spectrum, some singles stayed with people they weren’t that into just for company or jumped into relationships with those they otherwise might not — maybe even after just a date or two — to avoid sheltering in place alone.

Some couples, where one works in a high-risk job, are temporarily living separately or staying in separate parts of their home. If couples are dating and don’t live together, many are only seeing each other outside at a distance and wearing masks.

Three seasons have passed, and despite a vaccine on the horizon, there seems to be no end in sight, and people are as isolated and lonely as ever. As a matchmaker and dating coach, I still get a lot of questions as to how to find or maintain love amidst a pandemic. Many want to know if it is even possible to date during COVID-19.

Although the stakes are higher and dating is more dangerous than it used to be, the overall idea is still the same: Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Where there is a Will, there is a Way

When I advise individuals on dating, I always encourage them to take things slowly and to be safe. But people will make their own decisions and use their judgment to do what they feel is best for them, as with anything else in life. Those who are generally cautious and careful will be so with dating during the pandemic. Those who have never been concerned with safer sex are not likely to worry about catching COVID-19, either.

Many of the cautious people had put off trying to meet someone new to stay safe and because it became seemingly complicated to date. As the months dragged on, though, most people have found ways to adapt. I’ve had to adapt my dating advice, as well.

Before COVID-19, I usually asked my clients to meet in-person as soon as possible and not spend much time or emotional energy emailing, texting or talking on the phone so as to not develop attachments before an actual date. If you don’t have in-person chemistry, it can all be over in a few minutes. For my matchmaking clients, I usually encouraged blind dates, unless it was a long-distance match and people had to travel for hours to meet.

But now, after consulting with several doctors, I suggest talking by phone several times and maybe even exchange photos to see if there’s an attraction before meeting. I also usually recommend a brief first date, like a walk in a park or beach, to see if there is chemistry in person. That way, no one invests too much time or money on the first date — which they would have done if they were having a meal together. That much still applies, but to minimize the risk of COVID-19, I suggest a socially-distant walk with masks as a first date.

After several socially-distanced dates, if you like each other, you can essentially isolate for 14 days, still talking on the phone and even adding video calls to get to know each other better. I suggest not doing video calls at first since people tend to look bad on web cameras. Moreover, conversation usually flows better on the phone when you are not distracted by how you look on the screen.

If all goes well after the two weeks and you still like each other, then have dates without masks a few times to determine if you want to become each other’s “pod” and turn it into a relationship. As with normal times, after a few weeks or months, it’ll become clear if this has the potential to turn into something serious. If the two of you can successfully navigate a relationship during the trying times of COVID-19, you probably have a pretty good chance of making it long-term.

Good luck, stay healthy out there, and I wish you love!


Judith Gottesman, MSW, is the West Coast Jewish Community’s Matchmaker and Dating Coach. She founded Soul Mates Unlimited®️ in 2009 to help Jews of all ages find lasting love. Her companion book set on finding your soul mate and dating tips is soon to be released.