Yesterday while browsing through Instagram and swiping right from one story to another, one particular story caught my attention. Melanie Murphy, an Ireland-based writer and YouTuber used her platform to speak about dating online and the ups and downs of dating life and how that particular aspect of life has now been affected by the on-going pandemic.
She was, of course, speaking from her friend’s perspective as she herself is happily married and has a child on the way. Her own story is also unique as Coronavirus interrupted her wedding function – she ended up marrying at the marriage registration office with very limited number of people in attendance.
She shared her friend’s experience and said that she had just begun to actively search for a partner before the pandemic began. She added that it’s been rather challenging for her to find a partner online as she doesn’t find online dating to be effective like many others.
Now this is a story that a lot of people can relate to. It’s not simply about meeting physical needs – which again have been interrupted by the uninvited Coronavirus. Melanie even joked about how people would now first be concerned about the results of Coronavirus test instead of the STD test before going forward in their relationships.
Due to the pandemic, pubs and parties have been put on hold. Nobody feels safe and comfortable in socializing physically, and this has gravely impacted the chances of meeting new people. We no longer get to hang out with friends at the bar or just generally go about our businesses without thinking about the consequences. Of course, this has lowered the chances of finding love.
Melanie gave her own example and wondered what would’ve happened if she had not met her partner Thomas at a party that one time. She was seemed fearful even thinking about the possibility.
By sharing this experience, she led us to think about some serious needs. Nobody wants to be alone as it’s not a good feeling. It’s important to feel every bit of your emotions and validate them. Loneliness can impact your physical and mental health significantly. In normal circumstance, dealing with loneliness is hard, so one can only imagine the severity when you feel this way during a pandemic – when you’re stuck at home, craving emotional and physical intimacy.
Basically, she encouraged her followers to think about their feelings and possibly talk about them to their friends and family. You can feel much lighter by sharing your frustrations and disappointments. However, by ignoring your emotions you put yourself at risk of developing a serious mental health problem. Repressing your feelings never did good to anyone.
Of course, there will be people, who’d make fun of basic needs and desires. The truth is that they’re not in touch with their own emotions either. Finding love and affection is one of the most significant needs of human. There are people who’re living all by themselves during this pandemic and they’re simply craving basic human connection. Talking on dating apps and social media websites is fun for people in the beginning but even that has its own set of restrictions.
Dating is hard and relationships are messy – but you know what is even more challenging during this pandemic? Being stuck with an abusive partner!
No one can even imagine what these victims would be going through. Research has shown that cases of addiction and domestic violence have elevated significantly during this lockdown. Victims are completely helpless during this awful situation and to say that things are complicated, would be the most understated statement of the decade.
However, it wouldn’t be fair to compare these two situations. You can’t say that people who’re feeling lonely are desperate or whinny. You don’t know what one is going through, so saying nothing is better if you don’t have any words of support. Both situations are awful!
With that being aside, there are some people who’re actually embracing this period. They’re working on themselves and growing as humans. We must not forget that singlehood is also the most fun time for many of us! You meet people online, there’s some innocent flirting, there are no attachments, and you’re simply exploring and discovering yourself.
There are so many people who’ve mastered the art of singledom! Of course, it’s even more fun without the pandemic because no one can deny the rush of adrenaline when you hook up with random strangers at the pub and never see them again.
It’s actually quite a crazy time to be in because some people are enjoying and rediscovering themselves but for others it is an actual hell. For now, all we can do is hope that a vaccine comes out soon!
Meanwhile, don't forget that sometimes you fall in love with the most unexpected person and at the most unexpected time!
Till then, let’s be more empathetic and less judgmental because we truly don’t know what the future holds. Also do read Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 by Jennifer Haupt as no matter where you stand in your relationship or life right now, you can easily relate to it and find comfort!