By Will Jennings
Love guru Anna Williamson thinks lockdown will make the dating world a more ‘enriched’ and ‘considered’ place.
And the Celebs Go Dating star is urging Brits suffering online fatigue to be ‘assertive’ about their intentions as face-to-face contact returns.
Anna, 39, says the pandemic will change the dating scene forever but reckons the injection of a ‘carpe diem’ attitude can be a positive force for change.
Anna, who lives in Hertfordshire with husband Alex Di Pasquale and children Enzo, four, and Eleanora, one, said: “I actually think the pandemic will affect the way we date in a positive way.
“It’s given us all a chance to stop, slow down and take stock of who we are, what we want and made us become more empathetic to people.
“It’s allowed us to be more objective in our day-to-day lives – and also made us look at our own mortality.
“People are going for it more with bucket lists, and cutting the crap with their lives. Suddenly, this attitude of carpe diem has really kicked in for everybody.
“Let’s go for it, because we’ve all recognised our own mortality and we’ve all had to change the way we’ve conducted our lives.
“I have my fingers crossed the dating world will actually become a lot more of an enriched place, with a lot more considered daters.
“I think we’ve all learned to function under a different a pace. People will be a lot more considered about what they want and what they don’t want.”
Anna knows young Brits are sick and tired of the ‘fatigue’ of online dating, with apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Grindr becoming a strain of lockdown monotony for many.
But television’s resident love expert is a huge fan of using the virtual world to find the perfect match – and knows it’s been the only option after a gruelling year of restrictions.
Anna is urging daters to have a clear plan and make no bones about their intentions as normality eventually returns.
The TV star, also a published author and qualified counsellor, added: “Online and app dating is brilliant and a great stepping stone.
“It can be full of fatigue, but what I say to people is: don’t give up on online dating.
“Just be really picky and really know what you’re after, and be really specific about what you’re looking for.
“The key thing is: utilise online and internet dating, as that’s all we’ve got at the moment, to hone your communication skills and hone how good a dater you are and to really work on yourself.
“However, when restrictions are lifted it’s really important to end that distance. You can’t continue a relationship forever over Zoom, so it’s about having those markers in place of knowing what the next step will be.
“If you are doing online dating at the moment, have that conversation – ascertain and let your intentions be known.
“Be clear on what you want and have a plan to end the distance and get to know each other face-to-face.”
Mum-of-two Anna, a dating agent on Celebs Go Dating since 2019, says she equally enjoys talking about parenting and the relationship world.
And in the build-up to Mother’s Day, she has partnered with The National Lottery to host three episodes of the ‘It Takes A Village’ podcast – an uplifting and informative mini-series that shines a light on some of the Lottery-funded charities who offer support to mums at this difficult time.
Each episode focuses on different themes around motherhood – including mental health, providing essential items for your child or dealing with grief and pain – as Anna was joined by six inspirational mums representing projects across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Anna, an ambassador for several charities away from her TV role, says the series is raising vital awareness and admits it opened her eyes to mums’ struggles around the UK.
She added: “This is the perfect idea in the world of podcasting to bring to life some of the stories behind the amazing charities and causes that are helped by National Lottery funding.
“Hosting this podcast series has reaffirmed my passion and pride for every single mother’s story.
“Mother’s Day is a bitter-sweet day, and it is important to not write off those mothers who are finding it particularly difficult.”
“We are ready to offer much-needed therapies to families who have been cooped up and struggling in recent months and we are grateful to National Lottery players for their support.”
National Lottery players raise £30 million a week for good causes. National Lottery funding to support the UK-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic has exceeded £1 billion during the last year.To find out more about how to access extra support at this time, listen to ‘It Takes A Village’ now via lotterygoodcauses.org.uk, Spotify or on Apple Podcasts