It’s a wonderful feeling. The thundering in your chest. The red that rises in your cheeks. The slightly unsavoury dampness in your hands. It is a sensation like no other. Then, the world turns upside down and you refrain from shouting out the Love Island catchphrase- “I’ve got a text!”
Your new infatuation has tested positive for coronavirus.
Although it is maybe making light of the pandemic to compare the systems of the virus for falling for someone new, both can be nerve-wracking and when the two are combined, it is almost impossible not to feel left on love creek without a thermometer to hand.
Arguably there are worse things to test positive for having embarked on a new romantic venture, but nonetheless the pandemic has changed the way we date, possibly for good. I now find myself in a precarious position. Having dated someone slowly for the past few months, going from FaceTime dates to a staycation following government guidance, we have now been told to isolate after he has tested positive for Covid-19.
All this has made me consider the impact of the pandemic on romance. Humans are social creatures. It is difficult to be told to keep away from those we care about, especially those who we are attracted to.
Dating is now very much an online thing, with the hated ‘talking-stage’ now lasting insufferably longer than usual. Dates now must be meticulously planned, with routes and bookings cemented weeks in advance. Anything that falls in the ‘heavy petting’ category is also widely discouraged. For creatures that crave human comfort, this new approach to romance hasn’t came without its complications.
Yet there are advantages that could be greatly beneficial in the long run. Prospective couples are now using the time to get to know each other as fully as possible and master the art of romantic conversation. It’s an old-fashioned approach, but it certainly worked for our grandparents in decades gone by. The removal of stress over more physical aspects has paved the way for us to actually get to know our romantic partners and see what they’re really like inside and out before making any big decisions.
There are also multiple ways we can do this. Firstly, through FaceTime and other video calling service. There is no pressure of choosing an activity or a place you both like; no worries over if you have to make a quick getaway (Ah I’m really sorry my WiFi is quite bad, can we do this another time?) and you can go at your own pace. People can easily be virtually slotted into your life.
Moreover, FaceTime can be made quite exciting. You can cook your dinner together, mix some new cocktails or even have a Netflix watch party to emulate all those cosy cinema vibes.
After that, there’s an abundance of socially distanced days out to be had in the fresh and semi-safe air. There’s shopping, hiking, going to the beach and the zoo, all places joyous conversation can be created in this new era of dating.
Personally, I think this revamped approach to dating is wonderful. Taking the time to get to know someone properly is intrinsic in building the emotional intimacy that makes relationships last. It might not be for everyone and some may still date like there is no pandemic, but a word of caution; he who laughs last doesn’t need to isolate.