Social Distance Dating
“I think people have this yearning for love that they didn't have before.”
The days run away like wild horses over the hills. Bukowski wrote that, not me. The books sit on my shelf and I sit on my bed. That's how it's been lately. Bukowski wrote that a long time ago, but these words live on like he would have never believed. They’re being interpreted in forms he would’ve never imagined, in times none of us saw coming. The days feel endless now. Bleeding into each other, taking up space and making your room feel heavy. Making your room feel excruciatingly the same.
Despite your situation, and your view on the Covid-19 Pandemic, you’ve been feeling a lot of new things lately. This unfamiliar way of life has been a test for everyone; a test for the alone, the together, the lost, the confused, the lovers. If you’re here, you are either alone or you’re not. You might be missing someone. You might be missing yourself.
I talked to some other lovers- the alone lovers. The ones who are facing this quarantine alone or separate from their partner. I talked to these people with the intention of letting everyone know that it's okay to feel how you are feeling. You are allowed to feel alone, even if you live with three roommates. You are allowed to feel trapped even if you go on a walk every day. You are allowed to feel homesick for your old life. This is new to everyone, and your situation is yours.
This is Jason, he’s 24 and he lives in Huntington Beach, California. He’s single and not isolating with anyone during this quarantine.
Think about your life before quarantine, describe it in three words.
Painful, busy, and tired.
I was busy with school and battling pain from my recent knee surgery. I was so stressed with school and the injury- so I wasn't sleeping at all.
Think about your life now during quarantine, describe it in three words.
Changed, positive, and (still) busy.
Well my knee has been healing, so I have a lot of time now. I also jumped on board with a lot of personal projects I’ve been wanting to work on so that’s great.
What’s been the hardest part about quarantine for you so far?
Probably seeing a lot of people I care about are very stressed and anxious lately. I don't really deal with anxiety, but a lot of people close to me do. People are losing their minds and it's really hard to watch.
Do you wish you had someone right now? Or do you like this idea of other single people using this time to reach out to each other, knowing you may not meet for a long time?
“I’ve taken all the time I have now to focus on myself. If I did have a girlfriend and was quarantined with her, depending on our schedules, it might be very taxing on our relationship. Quarantine is either going to make a couple so strong and so in love, or you’ll want to rip each others heads off- I feel like there's no in between haha.
I’ve only been using dating apps when I'm done with my work- it’s fun to throw out stupid remarks with girls and get a conversation going. It's really entertaining because we are all home bored and in the same boat.
If you’re single during this time, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. And it's nice to do that and really dig deep.”
Have you learned a lot about yourself then?
“Well when you’re with people all the time it's hard to analyze yourself. When I used to always be around people I was constantly distracted and never noticed all these things about myself that I’m actively working on now.”
What are you looking forward to most when this is all over?
“Going on a trip to see all my friends- I haven’t seen them in so long. I’m excited to have human interaction back, go on family vacations, and build my businesses. Quarantine has actually been a really good thing for me.”
This is Annie, she’s 22 and she lives in San Francisco, California. She is not quarantining with her boyfriend.
Think about what your relationship was like before Quarantine. Describe it in three words.
“Supportive, scheduled, comforting.”
“We’ve always had our own lives. We are both very independent, and we’ve always had that as a pillar in our relationship.”
Think about your relationship now, during quarantine. Describe it in three words.
“Supportive, plateaued, lonely. “
“We don’t always see each other...It’s hard to think that what’s going on is bigger than us seeing each other. It’s shitty.”
How long have you two been together? Do you have virtual quarantine dates?
“Almost four years. Yea, we facetime and talk every night, but the thing you want most in the world right now is to be held. I’m not sad, it just sucks. This isn’t going to last forever, and if it does, we will just figure it out.”
What are you looking forward to most when this is all over?
“Honestly just going out or going to dinner with him. There is going to be more of an appreciation for just being together. It won't be normal, it’ll be special.”
Do you think people are going to love differently because of all this?
“People are already showing love in different ways I think. I was at the store looking everywhere for flour but couldn’t find any. I saw this guy with two big bags and I asked him where he found it. He told me they were all out, but then he was like, “wait you can just have one of these, I don't need both of them.” And it’s so simple, and such a small thing to do, but I just haven't forgotten it, it was so nice. This sounds so corny but I have a feeling when this is all over, people won't say stuff like, love like there’s no tomorrow, they’ll say, love like- you know- it’s the Corona Virus again, or something like that, I don't know haha. I think people have this yearning for love that they didn't have before.”
These were very different perspectives on quarantine, and that's okay.
Whichever way your quarantine experience has gone, I am encouraging you to embrace the change even if it hurts. Embrace the challenge to face the day even if you don’t see any reason to get out of bed. I know there is bad but I want you to notice the good. Now is the time to start those projects, take that online class, write poetry, cook your favorite meal, reconnect that friendship that ended weird. People show love in different ways, and now is the time to express your affection and vulnerability in any form that you can, because we really don’t know when we will see each other again.
Written by, Madison Crouch