Tag Archives: Pandemic

Love In The Time Of COVID

Pandemic or not, dating isn’t easy. 

Movies and shows have made single-and-ready-to-mingle seem like an endless bout of fun, happy times, and funny stories to share over drinks with friends. The reality is it can be really disappointing, draining, and feel like mini breakups at times. 

You have to put yourself out there, give time to people who may or may not be worth it, guess what their intentions are, all the while you do the usual “dance” with each other. You’ve also got a whole host of dating behaviors (as well as the ever growing terminology to describe them): ghosting, zombie-ing, breadcrumbing, benching, haunting, catfishing, gaslighting, roaching, orbiting. It’s dizzying, really.

After a while, it can feel like a drag reciting your spiel over and over. It makes me think of those who work in theater and have to put on the same show every night. Even though they’re probably sick of regurgitating the same lines, they strive to put on a good show because they know it’s a different audience every time. A new set of eyes. A clean slate. 

That’s what we have to remember in dating – the audience is different each time and is unaware of your last performance. Fortunately, in dating, the lines don’t have to remain exactly the same either. We can come up with new ways of sharing things about ourselves, refine our story-telling ability, and play around with the energy we give off. Call it your own little experiment of human dynamics.

The pandemic has added a lot more nuance to this whole dating experience, though.

On top of the usual nerves, now you’ve got people who are recovering from loss, coming out of relationships, or who are in a transition phase in their life. With more jobs being shifted to a remote lifestyle, you can bet people are going to be more nomadic or in the middle of moving. 

During these unruly times, dating apps have been the most viable option of meeting people, which adds an extra layer of complication. This whole fast food dating culture already has our attention spans trending toward being minimal. Now, with pandemic fatigue at play, this translates into an even narrower window of time to spark one’s interest, otherwise BAM, it’s onto the next person. 

Maybe our intuition within the first few exchanges is correct and helps us find the right person more quickly to some extent. While having access to a wider pool of people is certainly convenient, I fear this whole what’s next? mentality is bringing us to a place of not giving enough attention to the few good catches that pop up. With all the “noise” you get on these apps, every time there’s a “hit”, you’ll constantly think someone better is still out there, and never really dive as deeply into said hit. Hence, the knee-jerk reaction people have to endlessly swipe. This endless abundance of options and the paradox of choice is a general issue with modern times, but that’s a topic of discussion for another day.

One silver lining with dating during the pandemic is that it has forced us to be more creative with date ideas. As we repeatedly see surges in cases, certain options and venues become less safe, which forces us to think outside of the box and expand our definitions of what a date can be. You can go stargazing, have a picnic on a cliff that overlooks the ocean, go to the zoo, go to outdoor Classical music concerts, go on a hike, do an online Escape Room, or visit spots that are meaningful to you. Even a walk through a scenic park can suffice for a first date and is probably less awkward than staring at each other across a dinner table for 2 hours anyway.

Life has been rough the last year and a half and I think a lot of us are still healing or processing all of this change. Let’s be kinder to one another. Let’s minimize the games and be upfront with what we want. Let’s be more mindful of each other’s time and feelings.

Sometimes, Life Is Like A Movie

Ever wake up and feel like you’re in a bad movie?

Over the last few years, that feeling has only grown for me.

It all started when Trump became president.

The morning after was one of the worst days ever. I had never felt such a sense of defeat and hopelessness as I had on that ominous day. It was like being in the part of a movie where the bad guys win, only this bad guy wasn’t going anywhere for at least 4 years…

That’s the thing with movies. They usually only last up to 2 hours, and by the end, the “bad guys” have been subdued and the “good guys” are back in business. At most, you leave the movie with a sense of catharsis. 

That’s what makes it scary when life feels like a movie — you don’t have the pleasure of knowing when things will get back to normal, or even if they will. You miss out on that immediate relief you feel when the movie wraps the ending up in a Tiffany box with a pretty bow on top, otherwise known as the denouement.

Once the shock of Trump’s win dwindled, my next dose of doomsday came from our climate crisis. 

There were days I literally just stopped and thought: What are we all doing? How is that girl just casually posting so many instagram stories? Why are people traveling? Why should I bother buying anything I like when I may not be around long enough to use it? Why are we planning our future? Why bother having kids? Why don’t others seem as concerned? What’s. The. Point. 

And just when you think you’re beginning to get a grip on one piece of bad news, another, more immediately-threatening one is added to the pile.

Enter COVID-19.

If our world were a Jenga structure, the coronavirus is merely someone moving one of the blocks by a smidge; one slight action and the whole thing collapses.

In a matter of a week, our world turned upside down and we entered uncharted territory. We went from having the freedom to shop, dine out, travel, go to work, go to school, see friends or family, attend events, and go to the gym to being complete homebodies. 

You’d think certain generations would thrive under these circumstances, namely the Millennials and Gen Z-ers, who grew up with technology as their main source of entertainment, but from the looks of it, I’d say it’s the opposite. 

Take away our option to go out, and suddenly, that’s all we wish to do.

I’m not going to lie, once I started seeing fewer people on the streets, the increasing number of cases, the anxiety-ridden anchors on CNN, and people panic-buying at grocery stores like it was the apocalypse, scenes from I Am Legend started flashing before my eyes, which didn’t help me feel like less of an actress in a movie. 

Movie analogies aside, it’s clear that the virus has had a toll on practically every aspect of life, but in some ways, it might be exactly what we needed. 

Although in an unfortunate way, this pandemic has served as a barometer for how we’re doing as a society and species. It has exposed what desperately needs to be changed — our healthcare system, our politics, our perception of which jobs are valuable, our treatment of others, and our evermore divided population. 

Let this experience humble us and remind us of what is important at the end of the day: family, friends, food, water, and shelter. 

May we never take these things for granted again.