• brynnoconnor

Dating Amidst a Pandemic

Let’s get personal: For the past 19 years, I’ve been single. I’ve been on dates, been through the notorious “talking stages;” yet alas- nothing lasted. It’s a bit ironic that the time something does work out, the world is undergoing an indefinite pandemic! Thank you, universe!

by Nadezhda Ryan

Like every modern couple these days, we began *talking* prior to all of this chaos; around the beginning of March. I was in Boston, under the intention that I would be staying there until May. He was back home at his University with the same intentions. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into per se; nobody really does. Little did I know that I was blindly walking into what would become a socially distanced relationship!

My campus gave all the students the boot at the end of March. The two of us were back home; roughly a 5 minute drive apart. So close… yet so far! I suppose we both benefited from forced abandonment of our exterior responsibilities. We talked everyday in quarantine; and honestly those conversations were the only thing keeping me sane. Evidently that wasn’t the worst way to get to know somebody- over the phone, that is.

Quite plainly I faced a conflict regarding my personal, totally sensible humane wanting of a relationship, versus my moral obligations intensified by those around me. Do I really like this boy? Yes. Is the situation ideal considering I decided to pursue a relationship amid a pandemic? Not really. While I was pretty confident that neither of us were carriers of the virus, it would be far too selfish to take that risk; regardless of certainty. My father is compromised, his father is too. My mother is an essential worker, and my family prays everyday that the social distancing at her place of work is effective enough to keep her safe. There were too many factors that created hesitation in the furthering of any relationship. And so we waited.

Undergoing this complicated endeavor during this time has forced me to think about dating while quarantining. While my situation was less than ideal, I’d be ignorant to say we were suffering worrying presses. I think of my cousin, who has been in a relationship for years, yet hasn’t seen her boyfriend in months as he is an emergency medical technician. Part of my mother’s job is to coordinate events, and my heart broke watching her cancel dozens of weddings from home. Inevitably, there are couples out there who faced extreme hardship in regards to the pandemic, and therefore millions of relationships were forced to come to a bitter end. Having somebody to connect with on a level that exceeds family and friendship is a blessing during these troubling times, and I can’t force myself to ignore those who have been deprived of that connection.

Trying times are a test to the strength of a relationship. That’s what I’ve been telling myself, at least. The world is on pause, and so a fear of missing out on opportunities doesn’t exist in my mind. Any establishment couples could go to for dates are closed, and officers patrol open areas to ensure that people social distance and wear protective material. Due to our own personal concerns regarding compromised family members, neither of us feel safe entering one another’s houses, and certainly wouldn’t risk contact with each other’s families. Establishing a relationship at this moment would just prove difficult and unfortunately unsuccessful.

It’s not easy overlooking what we want in order to make the most responsible and selfless decision… in other words: being a grown up. I see those out there selfishly surrounding themselves with companions; negligent of their privilege in terms of health and security. I don’t want to build a relationship on ignorant and self centered foundations. For now, the dreaded stage of “talking” will be extended just a bit further, until the two of us feel assured in the decline of this pandemic. Everyone had to give up something throughout this outbreak; and I certainly never thought I’d have to turn down something like this. Loyalty to quarantine shows altruism, discipline, and compassion- and in times like these, self control and care for one another is all we can cling on to.

read more about Brynn here

read more about Nadezhda here

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