Love In Pandemic Times
Islam News – The New York Times asked its readers few months ago to tell them about their pandemic silver linings — the positive things that may have come out of an incredibly dark time. During the last 15 months, people found extra time with loved ones, changed careers, or picked up new hobbies. Some of them — the very lucky ones — even found love.
It turns out that isolating pandemic circumstances — lockdowns, social distancing, and quarantine — can also bring people together.
“I met the love of my life in March of 2020 on the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean,” wrote Kimberly Goff from Atlanta. “We were one of a dozen or so ships ‘trapped at sea’ — no island or nation would allow us to dock for 17 days.”
“Tom and I were friendly on the ship, but we began to talk each day of our quarantine, and then every day for four months until we finally had our first date,” she added. “He retired this month and is moving to Atlanta to be with me next week. We plan to have a ‘do-over’ cruise with the same route in December.”
As people reconfigured their lives during lockdown, many found themselves in places, and with people, they normally wouldn’t be. Emily Johnson’s new beau moved to her town of Savannah on a whim after the virus halted his job in television production. The pandemic brought Alex Patterson’s wife to Rhode Island, where he lived, and they began dating. And after the outbreak, Lauren Kopchik moved home to Wappingers Falls, N.Y., where she reconnected with someone she had first met in the second grade. She told us that the complicated social rules brought on by the virus actually made dating easier.
“As an anxious dater, the pandemic offered me an opportunity to try apps in a less stressful way: I could talk to people but had a built-in and guilt-free reason to turn down in-person dates if I ended up wanting to bail,” she wrote. “It turns out that the slower pace you need to get to really know someone is perfect for dating during a pandemic, and my relationship started with a lot of phone conversations and outdoor, socially distant walks.”
Lockdown, while stressful for many, also had a surprising upside for some: It allowed them to focus.
“My sweetheart and I met at mutual friend’s Thanksgiving dinner in 2019,” Norene Scott Peters wrote from the Seattle area. “My husband of 50 years had died 14 months earlier and I wasn’t ready for a new man. He was 70, I was 79. He asked me to marry him that night. Wait! I was very busy. Then, Covid. All busyness stopped. He moved in with me and we spent long, languid hours learning each other. No need for nor desire to see anyone else. Time slowed. We believe that we will live forever in this delicious vacuum with each other.”
Misha Safyan from Berkeley, Calif., told us that he always wanted a long-term partnership and to start a family, but found it difficult with a packed social calendar, frequent international travel, and “a string of false-start relationships” that took “a toll on my morale.” And yet, he wrote, “during lockdown, all of that went away and I had way more space to give dating the attention it needed.” He met a “wonderful woman,” and after “an awkward initial few weeks of ‘social-distance’ dating,” they found their rhythm. They recently moved in together and she is now three months pregnant.
Not everyone who found love during the pandemic needed to meet someone new.
“I went so many days wearing comfortable clothes with no makeup, I learned to love my own face, my own body in any stage,” wrote Bridget Bishop from Rockford, Ill. “Now, a (vaccinated) night out doesn’t always involve makeup and styled hair. It involves my favorite outfits that make me feel my newfound confidence. The pandemic taught me to love myself, flaws and all.”
Source: The New York Times