The way that we experience love and relationships has changed forever. Around the world, couples are having to grapple with the reality that they might not see each other in person for quite an extended time.
For couples that have been together for a while, the experience of what is essentially extreme long-distance (even if they live within close proximity) may be a little more manageable. This isn’t always the case.
While the international lockdowns have changed every aspect of how we live, the romantic in me cries for all the loves that will break under pressure and the blossoming romances that will struggle to get off the ground.
People are still trying to find ways to love and connect with one another
Hope can be seen in the realm of social media. Tweets flood my timeline about innovative ways of dating, with people who have met on dating apps and are navigating the emerging field of virtual dating. A girl writes about how her date told her to buy a bottle of wine and then they had a date night over Skype. Is this what we can expect dating to be like from now on?
For me, it feels like a glimmer of hope. It is so powerful that even though the world has stopped, people are still trying to find ways to love and connect with one another. I love the idea that blossoming romances are coming together because people have found creative ways to interact that are outside the norm.
After one couple sadly had to cancel their wedding, friends threw a virtual wedding for them on the game Animal Crossing. A friend tells me that to tell each other every detail of their day, she and her boyfriend are wearing headsets and communicating like Jim and Pam from The Office. These little stories of hope made me smile.
It means we have to be vulnerable in ways that we are just not used to
Love conquers all, and in the times we are living in right now – there have never been truer words spoken.
Couples across balconies, couples proposing on Facetime, new romances blooming because of the chat feature on Snapchat. We all read about how much of a negative impact social media has but it’s the only thing keeping us all together at the moment.
Getting ready for a virtual date doesn’t require as much effort as one in the real world but it means we have to be vulnerable in ways that we are just not used to. It involves an intimacy that just isn’t felt through a quick drink in the Dirty Duck. Virtual dating takes effort and commitment but people seem to be willing to accept this challenge in the uncertain times that we are experiencing.
So, while these times are hard for everyone and, for many couples that have been separated by distance, these times will be even more testing, by reading and experiencing these beautiful stories of love under lockdown, we’ll get through it.
When this is all over, we’ll remember the times that love got us through
As a generation, I am proud of us. I am proud of us for not giving up, for finding innovative ways to connect with one another and for not letting distance stop us from forming and maintaining meaningful connections with those that we love.
For everyone loving across distance, keep trying virtually. Make each other a playlist, write a love letter (even if you don’t send it), send virtual flowers, wake up to a good morning message that makes you smile and get butterflies as you wait for them to answer your Facetime call.
Social media and the internet are your friends and when this is all over, we’ll remember the times that love got us through one of the most difficult challenges in living memory.