It’s a pretty weird time for love, let’s be honest. There’s not much chance of Cupid shooting arrows at you when you’re locked in your living room. So how are people coping? By Emma Irving.
A few weeks ago, your biggest love concern was probably that your next Hinge date might be awkward or you might not get that fancy Airbnb for your minibreak. Now you’re staring down the barrel of a few weeks of self-isolation, it’s probably how you’re going to avoid going completely insane.
And that was before Wednesday’s announcement from Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, who told couples who don’t live together to either not meet at all or rapidly move in together. Yikes.
It can be hard enough to find (and keep) your soulmate when the world isn’t going tits up. So how are people finding Love in the Time of Corona?
1. If you live together in non-pandemic times…
Right now, most couples living together are wondering how not to kill each other. You’ve gone from coming back at the end of a long day doing different things to being on top of each other all the time (sometimes literally – sex is on the up). But that doesn’t mean the coronavir-US has to become the coronavir-ME.
David, 57, has worked from home with his wife, who also works from home, for years. “I think the key is to try to carve out time when you make each other feel special,” he said. “It might feel daft but if you can make a bit of an effort with how you look and discuss something other than work or coronavirus – a new book or something – for a bit then you remember you’re still in love. It’s a cliche, but it can make all the difference when you’ve spent all your time in the same room not really talking to one another.”
2. If you don’t live together…
A tricky one. As someone who’s been with her boyfriend for nearly six years but doesn’t live with him, the decision to move in together felt quite straightforward. But we’ve also moved in with his whole family outside of London, which feels pretty intense. How do you avoid stepping on people’s toes when you may be living with them for a few months unexpectedly?
It can be even harder for couples who can’t be together. But calling at a regular time each day can bring a semblance of normality to a chaotic and stressful period.
Make sure to share details – not just that you called your mum today, but that she told you a funny story. Give yourselves something to look forward to when this is all over; time to book that holiday abroad, perhaps.
Watching a lot of Netflix at the moment? Get through a series at the same time, or read the same books.
Skyping or texting intimately (ahem) is also a pretty good idea. Basically Technology is your best friend now.
3. If you’ve just started going out…
Who among us hasn’t moved in with someone after three weeks because they play guitar and have a nice butt, only to realise that they iron their underwear and call their mum six times a day? But in that case you can tap out pretty quickly. In this situation you’re locked in for good (or at least a few weeks).
But Vice has published brilliant stories of people around the country who are rolling with it and for whom it’s worked out well. Read them here.
4. If you’re single…
If you’re single…
Self-isolation doesn’t naturally lend itself to finding a lovebird. But there is hope.
Finlay, 21, says: “I had to move home from abroad and now I’m stuck in Somerset with my family. I’m thinking about Skype dating – where you literally have a drink over video with friends of friends – just to try to kill the boredom, but I’m hopeful it could turn into something I can follow up when we can go to pubs again.”
Alternatively, Armageddon has made it socially acceptable to text your ex.
Amelia, 24, says: “I messaged a guy I used to see one afternoon when I was really bored. But we’ve started chatting loads – it’s one way to pass the time – and we’re getting on like a house on fire. I actually think I prefer him now to when we dated. I reckon I’ll suggest going for a drink when we’re allowed out again.” If you’re looking for a bit of comfort nowadays, the chances are your old flames will be too.
Failing that, sex toy sales are up 13% in the UK, while Canada has seen a 135% increase and Italy a 71% increase. An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.
What are you doing to keep love alive? We want to hear your stories!