By Kelly Werthmann

(CBS4)– Whether or not you’re single, the pandemic has affected just about everyone’s love life. Quarantine has made things better or worse for many of us.

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, Founder and Clinical Director of Growing Self, said relationships are becoming even more important amid the pandemic. She said many people are developing a deeper appreciation for their relationships, and singles are more deeply aware of their longing to have connection.

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“Technology has afforded us so many opportunities to really get to know people virtually,” Dr. Bobby told CBSN Denver’s Kelly Werthmann.

Dating during a pandemic can be tricky. As for singles who may be using dating apps, but are not comfortable meeting some of their matches in person, Dr. Bobby offered some advice.

“It’s always wise when dating to take some time to get to know people before you start meeting in person so this is a natural opportunity to do more of that,” she said. “I think there are ways to date safely. Go outside, social distance kind of activity-based dates as opposed to going into a restaurant or inviting somebody into your home.”

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Talking on the phone, Dr. Bobby said, is also a great way for singles to connect.

“I was just meeting with a Millennial client who is single and dating,” Dr. Bobby explained, “and I suggested [talking on the phone] to her. It’s hard, but I think it’s an easy way to get to know people quickly, at least to determine who you want to invest time and energy and risk meeting in person because not everyone is going to be that person.”

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When it comes to couples and those in long-term relationships, some may be missing out on “me time,” especially with many people working from home. Some could feel like they just need some space, but that can be hard to come by.

“Sometimes it is,” Dr. Bobby said. “I think it it’s important to have courageous and open conversations about how you’re feeling before it turns into a conflict. It’s absolutely okay to talk about what you’re need and to also restructure things in your home if it’s having a private space, if it’s having dedicated time where you’re not obligated to talk to each other or even do things together. I think that can be good for the mental health of both partners.”

That said, not everyone needs or even wants to be in a relationship. And to those individuals, Dr. Bobby says the world is your oyster!

“I think that people who are comfortable with solitude are really in such a nice place right now because they don’t feel anxiety about being alone,” she said. “They know how to entertain themselves and even though they value their friendships or companions, they don’t need it. That’s a huge advantage in this particular moment in time.”

So, whether you’re single and looking, in a relationship or simply happy being alone, Dr. Bobby said now is a beautiful time to deepen our connections with others.

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“I think it’s achieved through authentic vulnerability,” she explained. “Not just spending time with people and investing in your relationships, but opening up about how you’re really feeling, what’s going on in your life and making yourself known. Chances are other people are feeling very much the same way, and to have that point of connection makes it safe for them to talk about their feelings, too, and that’s how safe relationships are cultivated.”

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For more of Dr. Bobby’s love and life advice, or if you’re looking for counseling and therapy, visit www.growingself.com.

Kelly Werthmann