“Let’s talk about (phone) sex, baby”
BY GEORGIA BUTLER
This is… new, isn’t it? A pandemic? I can’t be the only one who feels as though we have been swept into the middle ages, walking around with black buboes under our arms and in places they never should have been. Seriously, buboes in the groin? Yikes.
A pandemic? One thing is for sure, it is even more of a panic, than it is a pandemic. People are fuelling their fear on toilet paper and spaghetti hoops, London is empty, and we are all self-isolating. To say that it is weird, would be a wild understatement.
It is eerie and uncomfortable, and it is exceedingly lonely.
I have been single for a few months now and, honestly, making the most of it. Dating is fun. I like getting to know new people and going to new places. I love the flirtation, the exciting tingles and lip-bite inducing tension. The first kisses… and more. But while social distancing has done wonders for my “special alone time”, it has ruined dating.
A prerequisite for dating is usually spending time together. But, along with the recommended two-metre gap between people at all times (to be take seriously), as well as the unfortunate fact that I am currently living with my parent, so Netflix n’ chill has a whole other awkward level to it, I am having to think outside of the box. But – as my Mum always says – I am not a quitter. I am a fighter, a soldier.
If there has ever been an “age” during which a pandemic is convenient, it is now. I know this might seem counter-intuitive, but we live in a time where many of us have the luxury of working from home, where our income can stem from our laptops and a normally-concerning-but-now-ideal amount of our social interaction happens on the internet.
So. Let’s talk a little about Skype dates and possibly even phone sex. Is it the same? No, obviously not. But get a little creative. You could maybe even role-play a zombie apocalypse-type back story (if that isn’t currently a little triggering for you). One thing that is a proven fact, is animosity and anxiety brings people together. Perhaps every failed relationship up until now just needed a sprinkle of adrenaline? No? Okay, maybe not…
It’s not ideal. I won’t deny that. But what the pandemic has done in my relationships has been very interesting. My friendships have been reaffirmed, I have finally called my grandparents, and people in general have become more sympathetic and emotionally aware.
A boy who I was seeing pre-outbreak, and who previously hadn’t demonstrated a hint of emotional vulnerability, texted me asking how I was coping. For the record, emotional unavailability is not cute, but he is. (So, sue me).
I think dating during a pandemic is more about mentally and emotionally surviving the pandemic. We are all overwhelmed, we are all frightened to be trapped in a room without any company but our own thoughts. But like anything else, this is just a season.
Like every period of suffering you have experienced, it will pass. If you can find a way to laugh, to still have that flirtatious spark and to meet new people (be it online for the forseeable), then you have fought valiantly. We are lucky to have soldiers like you on our side.
Keep calm, carry on. Oh, and get on Hinge. It’s way better than Tinder.
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