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My baby sister texts me that she is happy about the way my friend’s partner is caring for her children while she goes to work every day in the midst of a pandemic. Twitter is crowded with couples unsure how they’re going to get through this with their partners around 24/7. For many in long-distance relationships, the quickly rolling changes to life as we know it has made the distance feel even longer. A set of friends announce the wedding is off because what’s a wedding without the ones you love? The entire state is falling into deep, enduring love with our governor. And me, well, I’m trying to keep it sexy from a minimum of six feet away.
I turned to social media (because that’s basically the only place we’re all hanging out these days) and asked Louisvillians and beyond about their relationships (or lack there of) under the reign of the coronavirus.
“My incipient not-yet-my-boyfriend person was with me when the self-quarantine mandates came down in NY… So, we quarantined together. We made CANDLES. We hadn’t had the Exclusivity Chat before, but haha now we literally can’t see anybody else.”
“Welp. After eight months of a long-distance relationship my boo has temporarily moved in because we don’t want to be apart in this time. We are now four people in a 950-square-feet home. I am basically home schooling two kids — they are helping. And they are trying to complete their thesis while I work full time [remote online… basically slammed right now]. How do we keep it sexy now that we are basically all in each other’s faces every moment?”
“How is this — pandemic imposed self-quarantine — the first moment in my life that I have given myself permission to selfishly and unapologetically center my own needs? Without the filter of work, a partner, family, etc as a distraction, I instead get to check in on me — Do I need food? How much? What do I want to eat? Is it time for a boost of sunshine? I need a laugh…maybe I’ll do a silly workout video. I need to vent…maybe I’ll get some friends online for a call. I’m 3 years out from my last serious relationship and while the world is scary and uncertain and completely upside down it feels so good to know I’ve got my own back.”
“My partner lives about 40-minutes away from me, and he is the primary driver (since I don’t own a vehicle). Due to me working from home, I can stay with him longer because I don’t have to worry about going into work on Monday. I think it’s made it easier for him too because he can take a break from the frequent back-and-forth driving. Other than that, I don’t think it’s impacted our relationship that much – we’re both introverts and homebodies.”
“I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for just over a year — bf lives in Oregon, me here. I’m a single mom, and my parents have been my childcare, and they had to go into isolation because of this. So, my boyfriend, without hesitation, without question, flew in a few days ago to help me indefinitely. I have felt lucky he was in my life since the day I met him, but now? It’s hard for me to explain how much it means to me.”
“I don’t know if this is interesting enough but here it is. No names, please. (not that I’m saying anything offensive!)
OK, so I had a first date about a week before COVID-19 assumed its place at the top of our timelines and then our lives. It was a fine date — it was fun. We had mutual friends so things flowed, it might have led to one more but also maybe not. People are busy, dating is chill.
But then the world started to turn upside down, and my friends started to lose their jobs, and businesses started to close, and events were canceled. And, obviously, this person and I had plenty to talk about. And the more we talked, and the scarier things became, the more real those conversations became. Real, but also silly?! Laughing about dumb TV became just as important and intimate as talking about hopes and dreams and fears.
(Ugh, I’m grossing myself out.) Because it’s not like we’re madly in love! This isn’t a ride-or-die, move-in and hunker down in a love nest while the dog side-eyes us situation. (Yet.) It feels kind of silly to be thinking about a crush! When we should have our first sleepover? And, wow, when was the last time I was this emotionally honest with someone?!’
Every day, my strong, single side (who proudly spent Thanksgiving alone) disapproves of looking forward to seeing this person. That mean voice (who is really just scared) is all, ‘Is this just some emotional crutch?! You really need that? Is there even anything there?’
But I’m old enough to know when there is a special connection. And I’m self-aware enough to know when I’m just standing in my own way.
Wait. What Was The Question, Minda?! Oh, right. ‘What’s going in your love life?’
The still-early days of this global crisis have shown me that some things matter a lot more than I thought, and other things (old hangups, my inbox, a job title) just don’t. Shuffle those priorities around and what rises to the top may surprise you.”
“We recently made the decision to postpone our Louisville-based wedding (we moved to Austin last year) because we knew that a wedding isn’t really a wedding if you can’t hug, kiss, or dance with anyone that attends the event. My fiancée and I have been together for 8 years now, we’re in our late 30s, and we’re not traditional or religious, so all of the reasons that many other people are in a rush to get married don’t really affect us. Ultimately, the wedding is just a big party for our friends and family, many of whom live out of town and we don’t get to see very often. If those people can’t travel, if our older and more precious relatives are at greater risk, and if we can’t even spend quality time together, then what’s the point?
While postponing a wedding is inconvenient, for us, it’s only that. We chose to work with vendors like Story Louisville, Biscuit Belly, and Gretchen Bell Photography because we know and love the people there, and naturally all of them have been more than accommodating of our need to postpone. I’m much more concerned for the effects that the virus will have on my employees and other people in the service and healthcare sectors than I am about throwing a big party.
While having a wedding can be a symbolic gesture of your love and commitment to another person, postponing your wedding together is a weirdly practical reminder that you chose the right person to begin with and that you can handle the curveballs that life will throw your way.”
And from Instagram:
“Giving me too much time to e-converse and realize I just wanna be friends with 95% [of them].”
“I was talking to this married dude while in NOLA. And we were going to hookup, but then I remembered the social distancing thing and I saved a marriage that night lol.”
“Allllll the sexting.”
“We have years together of not leaving the house ☺ Weekend breakfast is DoorDash now, tho.”
“Forces me to flirt from a distance. Sober.”
“Being a lonely, horny teen in the ‘00s prepared me perfectly for this time of isolation. A/S/L, babyyyyyy!”
“Lol. I’m thirst trapping on Tinder tryna get ppl to take seclusion seriously.”
“Nothing that 2020 wasn’t already doing.”