That maybe is the last title I ever thought I would write, but here we are in 2020 the year that the great mother earth told us to go fuck ourselves. Pardon my language, but honestly, I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a bit of a reckoning.
In January, COVID-19, that unwelcome tourist landed on all of our shores and really took advantage of our hospitality. To try to combat it, we have all been hunkering down in our homes unless we are front-line workers, which most of us are not.
There have been jokes about “COVID babies” for those couples who passed the time making love and less funny jokes about “COVID divorces” for those couples for whom so much time alone together revealed cracks in their foundations.
I fell into neither of these categories. I was in a short, but intense relationship right before COVID struck, and we broke up only for me to realize that I was actually quite in love with him. I don’t regret that we broke up because I think it was needed, but it made the first part of this social isolation period particularly sad.
I found myself alone in my apartment and was both stressing out about the world and feeling sorry for myself.
He had left the country about six weeks before the country shut down, and at times, I wished he had gotten stuck here, but we have both been using this time productively to work on ourselves. It turned out that I was very good at being alone and have been loving having all of this time to exercise, practice more yoga, meditate, write in this blog, start a new IG account (@bahappyhuman) and cook! lol
I was being very rigid, as was everyone where I live, with regards to social distancing for the first 10 weeks or so. Our office has been essentially closed, and I have only gone into work a few times. I wear a mask in public and clean all my items from the grocery store, which I try to only go to every couple of weeks. Crucially, there has been little to no socializing in-person.
When I met the guy, I was very ready for a relationship. I mean, I think we are all works in progress, and I still have some lingering triggers from my past, but I had addressed them and was using this time to really work to continue to grow. I feel like I have a lot of love to give and would very much like to meet someone who wants to receive it, but it is hard enough dating and being single in normal times when you can at least meet for a potentially awkward first date over a drink (side note: first date with the aforementioned guy was epic and not awkward at all). Now, we don’t have that option. We could meet in public, but masks are required by law, so we would have to sit on a park bench six feet apart and talk through masks. Talk about awkward! Is this what the future holds in our new normal?
There have been loads of articles written about alternative dating ideas, all involving zoom or some other e-format, and somehow, that just seems forced.
And of course the actual act of “meeting” is impossible if we are barely leaving our homes. There is no one dateable in my apartment nor in my building, so that is something of a hurdle.
If this is the new normal? What does it mean for those of us single? Do we need to request to see a potential date’s Corona virus test before we can agree to meet? I had taken myself off the dating app while I was seeing the last guy and was not feeling emotionally ready to dive back in and then when this happened, it was like, “What’s the point?”
However, I decided to join again. There were a couple of factors in my decision. First of all, I really do feel like I am in a great place these days. I am loving my daily practices and routines and feeling so calm and relaxed and comfortable spending endless hours with myself. While I still miss the guy, and I still look forward to seeing him and seeing if there is something there, as I believe there to be, I am working on focusing less on future “maybe’s” and more on the here and now. And right now, he is not here and he is living his life and probably dating, so why am I sitting here at home wishing I had someone to Netflix and Chill with? Finally, the reality is, forced virtual dates of museum tours is unappealing, but we do have the ability to video chat and this won’t last forever. I figured that I could get back on the dating app and meet some guys and then when we feel it is safe and it is legal, we could meet. In the meantime, I have what’s app video calls with my friends over wine, so why not a guy? And if we want to meet later, we can, or if he’s a nutter, I can block him if need be.
When thinking about meeting in-person, the reality is that if one of us is infected, we would pass it, but at the same time, if we are not, and we meet out away from crowds, the risks are low. This of course adds an element of safety that all women have to contend with for dating. It is not a good idea to meet a stranger some place that is NOT public. The catch-22’s are seemingly endless!
At any rate, I am not one to sit around despondent or to give up hope or to not find a solution, so I began talking to some guys living locally. I had decided that while at this moment, geography does not matter much, there is no point in starting something international because where could that go? Some countries’ borders will remain closed for awhile, and international travel may or may not be advisable for months. No, I think limiting myself to this particular geographic area is smart.
My approach seems to be working. I have met two guys in-person and we broke social distancing rules, but I decided that since I am still limiting my exposure to others, my risk of being infected and passing it to them it is low; equally, if either of them passed it to me, I am not seeing very many people, so my ability to spread it is low. I realize that I am rationalizing a bit here, but any of you that have been alone during this time may be able to understand more.
For those of you who live with others or who have a ‘quarantine family,’ imagine 10 weeks of not being kissed, hugged, having your hand shaked or being touched in any way by anyone? Humans are social creatures, and we need physical contact. As happy as I have been, I think my inner-child was sitting hugging herself and rocking! I miss hugging my friends. I miss the allure of a first kiss. I miss flirting. I miss just being around humans, so I decided that I would be responsible, but I needed to allow myself something.
I have not found love, but that’s okay. That may or may not be the point or the goal. Part of all of the work I have been doing has been focusing on being less attached to the outcomes; living in the present moment; loving myself and being enough for myself; being open to opportunities, but not manufacturing them. I think I can take all of this and healthily be open to meeting new people. Who knows where it will go? Maybe nowhere, and that’s okay. Or maybe one day we will be telling the funny story of how we met during the 2020 pandemic!
In the meantime, swiping left and right and chatting to new people is something else to pass the time! And it is always fun to hear the ting of my phone telling me someone has sent me a whats app message; right now I’ll take whatever contact I can get!
Sending all the love I have in my heart out to you and the universe. Please ask the universe to send some my way! 😉
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