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Virtual Event Series

Experts say ‘dating is like a drug, so be responsible with it’, during Millennial Love event

The Independent’s Olivia Petter hosted a virtual event discussing the reality of love and relationships after 18 months of a pandemic

Thursday 30 September 2021 16:15
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‘Dating is like a drug, so be responsible with it’, that was the message from experts during a panel discussion on love and relationships.

The Independent’s virtual event on post-pandemic dating, relationships, love and everything in between was hosted by senior lifestyle writer and the host of our Millennial Love podcast and the author of Millennial Love the book Olivia Petter.

Olivia was joined by psychologist and dating coach Madeleine Mason Roantree, behavioural scientist turned dating coach Logan Ury, who is the Director of Relationship Science at Hinge and Francesca Specter, journalist, author of Alonement: How To Be Alone & Absolutely Own It and former Millennial Love podcast guest.

Watch the video below for a full recording of the event

Millennial Love: Dating post pandemic

The experts covered a range of scenarios that people might have experienced over the past 18 months when it comes to relationships and dating.

Some have suffered breakups and been forced to spend time alone during the lockdowns while others have found love and been fast tracked into the more involved stages of a relationship by the restrictions enforced by the pandemic.

All three experts were in agreement that one positive to have come out of this period of time is that people have been forced to slow down and take time to think about what it is they want from a relationship.

Ms Ury said: “We did some interesting research early on in the pandemic which showed people were breaking bad dating habits. There is a new dating termed called hard balling, where people say early on ‘I’m out’. People had been really busy and so this gave us a chance to slow down and decide what we really want, this has been one of my favourite silver linings from this moment.

She added: “Our brain in love is like our brain on a drug and so we are very addicted to the person and so when you are in a breakup that is a similar experience to the withdrawal of a drug. You have to be responsible with it.

“The desire for love is universal, you do not grow out of it. In general a lot of people want to be in partnership and that is something you don’t age out of.”

Ms Specter added: “You think that a relationship is a jail free card but it isn’t and actually you are never really free from a relationship with yourself and so that can be a good thing to lean into.”

Ms Mason Roantree added that our behaviour hasn’t necessarily been changed by the pandemic.

She said: “I don’t think the pandemic has changed human behaviour but it has highlighted some things for us and the lockdowns have particularly have sped things up for us, hence the mention of intentionality, and sped up important questions for us about am I happy and am I content.


Our next virtual event is on the hidden costs of Brexit. It is being held at 6.30pm on 6 October over Zoom and is being hosted by our chief political commentator John Rentoul. For more details and to sign up for free click here

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