Back to Basics
The pandemic has irrevocably advanced the digital age: Zoom parties have become a staple fixture in our weekend plans. However, when it comes to dating, there is something very archaic about how we are having to navigate our love lives.
After just one brief in-person date in early March, I began a seven-month-long involvement with another woman — five months of which were long distance. The situation was so uncertain; I didn’t know when I would see her again, or if she was even a good kisser. And yet I became very invested, as if we had been meeting up every weekend.
‘Previously, I’d joked about the excessive amount of lesbian period dramas, and yet somehow, amidst all this tech communication, I had entered into a Victorian style of courtship myself.’
With the physical element of dating removed entirely, I realised how important it is to me, but also how much even an innocent touch can fast-track a relationship. In lieu of this, I suddenly found myself getting more creative. We made a shared Spotify playlist, sent 7 minute voice notes and made each other video diaries. We invested more time in getting to know each other. By the time she was back in the country with lockdown restrictions eased, I already felt committed. Previously, I’d joked about the excessive amount of lesbian period dramas, and yet somehow, amidst all this tech communication, I had entered into a Victorian style of courtship myself.
Unfortunately, her circumstances changed, and COVID made it too difficult to sustain a long distance relationship indefinitely. But I certainly learned something. I experienced a flash of that romance that I’d often wished for in my cinema-induced nostalgia. It makes me think that perhaps we all need to stop and smell the roses more when dating, instead of hurrying to swipe and meet up with our next ‘match’.
A Tinder Success Story
I like to think I’m a bit of a Tinder expert. Whenever I decide to start dating again, I find someone I click with within my first few swipes. This May was no different – apart from the fact that we were in a pandemic.
Usually, I’m not one for waiting. One conversation to make sure they’re not a complete weirdo and then I’ll suggest we meet for a drink. Within 5 minutes of meeting them, I usually know if I’m game. But this time round, both stuck quarantining in our parents’ houses, we were unable to meet for a month. And during those four weeks of yearning I grew concerned it would be weird when we finally did meet – that there would be no chemistry, or that his sharp wit required the thinking time that texting allows.
You can get away with a lot more when you’re hiding behind the screen. Without the distractions of external activities, we dove deep into our psyches, asking questions that required pure emotional vulnerability. I found myself confessing to this stranger my hopes and fears, my insecurities and flaws, the things that make me who I am. We were having some of the most emotionally intense conversations I’d ever had and I was learning so much about him and even about myself, and yet we still hadn’t met.
Luckily, when we did finally meet there was no awkwardness that might have been expected. It’s been strange getting to know someone completely isolated from the outside world. But, months later, I’m happy to say I’m still entirely entertained and enamoured by this man in his purest form. No distractions needed.
Photo caption: Romance behind a screen (Credit: Markus Winkler, Unsplash).