I’ve been with the same person, happily, for over a decade. That’s to say I am very lucky to have romance in the time of COVID. This privileged position I’m in has often led me to think about those who are single and dating.
The Problem of Loneliness
Bumble and Tinder have recently seen a surge in user conversations. The Danish government has opened borders to divided lovers. Dutch officials encouraged citizens to have a fuck buddy while in lockdown. An ad that says “You are your safest sex partner“, has been shared across the U.S.
Corona virus has transformed the way we seek intimacy. We are mammals that thrive on carnal satisfaction. Many fuck before they even go on their first date. Some would switch from one person to the next in the span of a week. We get our fix from physical contact, and to be suddenly deprived of that has led single people to feel like they’re in the Wild West.
When the slightest touch can mean a loss of life, it makes one rethink how to tackle romance.
That Thing Called Talking
The dating landscape pre-corona feels more like racing than pacing. There’s a lot of pain that comes with this pandemic but if there’s a shed of positivity here, it’s that more people have been wearing their hearts on their sleeves. The single and dating are learning to take it slow.
Love’s a labor, and much of it is experienced through talking. Self-disclosure in the absence of physical presence creates a more meaningful connection; the kind that births long-term intimacy and commitment. Opening up has taken over dizzying swiping and often meaningless sex sprees. When fucking is off the table, we resort to what actually matters too: A really, really good conversation.
I’d like to think that people are changing, and becoming more present of another’s thoughts and feelings, perhaps more than during a date where you spend more time looking at your phone than the eyes of the person across you. Besides, we are all sharing something in common right now. This collective trauma we’re all experiencing can get the dread out of sending that first message.
Tactile contact is irreplaceable. Millions of evolutionary years have taught us that. This pandemic is testing us in a way that may even be pioneering, and you know what? We are thankfully creative. From virtual dates and hours-long conversations to food delivery as a love language, we find ways to connect. Always. What’s better is we are now seeking moments that are more worthwhile.
The bright side seems blurry. Many of us will still be picking up the pieces even when we start feeling a small sense of normalcy again. The majority are and will suffer from depression and anxiety. However, there is a lesson to be learned: Priorities need to change. Maybe we need to spend a little more time getting to know each other. Perhaps being more expressive can ease the loneliness. Maybe someone who blatantly breaks lockdown rules isn’t really partner material.
I am rooting for you. When this is all over, I can’t wait for you to live the kind of romance that endured a time like COVID.
Mona Mansfield is one of the main contributors of raw and unfiltered thoughts here at Filter No Filter. She also specializes in SEO and social media marketing.