In these current times, dating (and interaction in general) is shifting rapidly. Love (in all of its forms) may even look slightly different during quarantine, even though some places are beginning to open up. I have noticed these changes in my own personal life since this pandemic has begun. Communication with loved ones is different. Checking up on people looks different. Dates have become unfamiliar. Love itself is changing. Physical touch has been taken out of the equation for most relationships which makes a substantial impact.
I have never missed hugging people more than I do now. However, there are still a lot of wonderful and unique ways people are expressing their love for people in their life during quarantine. Love during quarantine in my life looks like Netflix parties, hand written notes, care packages sent in the mail, walks with friends six feet apart, crying and laughing together over the phone, long FaceTimes even when no one has anything to report, zoom happy hours, air hugs, sharing memes, virtual graduations and proms, and much more. We may not be able to express love right now physically. But, we can still convey the sentiment. Checking in, giving little gifts, performing kind acts, and being open and intimate emotionally with the people in your life are all good ways to do so.
My dating life in particular has changed significantly. I am used to being able to visit my boyfriend frequently each week. But now due to coronavirus, since he lives about a 45 minute metro ride away (a 20 minute Uber) I am unable to visit him at all without putting myself at risk. As a result, our relationship went from in person to long distance basically overnight. This change has not been without some growing pains. I am very affectionate and definitely miss getting to hug and kiss him. Coronavirus has made physical contact near impossible, however we still have plenty of FaceTimes, Netflix Parties and happy hour dates. I have also been hyper mindful of checking in with him often and telling him how much I appreciate him often.
Despite all the shifts during this pandemic, I am trying to put a positive spin on the situation. I am taking this as an opportunity to reconnect with friends and show my love for people in creative ways. I see it as a positive for my romantic relationship as well. No, I can use this time to emotionally connect with my boyfriend on a deeper level. Since our own form of communication now is over the phone and FaceTime, our conversations and the way we communicate with one another is of utmost importance.
More than ever, being there for one another for emotional support is imperative. The pandemic can take a real toll on mental health and people’s general quality of life. In order to combat that, we must exercise compassion and empathy and help one another however we can during this time.
Love may look a little different nowadays and the role of love may be changing, but the love in our lives still remains. It even has the potential to be stronger and more poignant than ever before.