Maintaining relationships during COVID–19
Pandemic dating. Photo Credit: vperemencom.
By James Gilbert, Editor-and-Chief
Not even a pandemic can stop the quest for companionship. Loneliness has been manifesting across the globe as quarantine is leaving many without fulfilling social interactions. However, this has not hindered people in their pursuit for deeper connections. In fact, quarantine has strengthened the cause and forced the demand for creative solutions to this global problem. While some choose to abide by the rules of quarantine, other ignore the possible consequences of the pandemic as a whole.
Many individuals have to push their boundaries and to be creative in their approach to making their significant other feel special. A man from New York, Jeremy Cohen, went with the technological approach by using a drone to ask out the woman of his affection. After seeing his neighbor dancing on a rooftop. They had their first interaction waving to each other. Cohen decided to make his move and taped his phone number to his drone so he could fly it over to her.
To simulate a typical date they used FaceTime and matching microwaveable dinners to. However, Cohen wanted to be with her in person so he got in an inflatable bubble and met his date with flowers and hand sanitizer so they could be together while following the social distancing guidelines.
Since the beginning of social distancing, dating and video chatting apps have seen an increase in downloads and length of conversations. Personally, I have been using FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Zoom almost every day since the Reinhardt campus shut down, communicating daily with friends I have made on campus as well as the friends I made 22 years ago. I have not made the jump to online dating but the people I know that have, have had good experiences.
Nini Hutcherson, a rising Junior of Reinhardt University, mainly uses the dating applications Tinder and Bumble as well as social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to find and communicate with potential friends as well as partners. Hutcherson started using these apps more often to connect with others and see how they were adapting to this new quarantine living. “It’s really fun being able to connect with a wider range despite being physically distant. Even if you’re physically distant, you can be closer with people who are farther away.”
However, being able to communicate only through technology can test a relationship. Some people are struggling because they want to have physical contact with each other to keep the spark in their relationship alive. Being confined to FaceTime and texting has proven to be hard, since they believe they can only truly get to know someone’s character by being with them in person
On the other side of the spectrum, however, are those who are willing to risk their lives for their relationships. Depression and apathy are the main reasons as to why a friend of mine, who wishes to stay anonymous, physically meets up with their new partner as if a global pandemic did not exist.
Around the last week of March, 25% all United States citizens were asked to remain indoors. Consequently, “Bumble, had a significant increase in messages sent in cities under shelter-in-place orders. A 21% increase in sent messages in Seattle, a 23% increase in New York City and a 26% increase in San Francisco between March 12- 22. In addition, the dating app Hinge has had a 30 percent increase in messages sent in March. Regarding Tinder, people can now look at matches in other countries through their Passport feature. This feature is usually only for subscribers of the platform but now it is free until April 30. Conversations have increased 30 percent.
Regardless of circumstances, people will never give up on relationships. Humans are social beings that thrive and survive on social contact. Fortunately, we have technology to help us stay sane during this pandemic, but it does not replace the feeling of being with friends, family and significant others.
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