Finding Love in a Pandemic

As if there weren't enough hoops to jump through with dating in the age of swipe culture and ghosting, the universe blessed us with yet another obstacle of dating in a pandemic. Just a few weeks ago, we gave you a taste of the realities of finding love in 2021, that include normal anxieties and then some. But, while the cons are very real and disheartening, the pros exist.

We know, it may sound crazy, but sometimes you find love in the craziest, and least expected places. Some of the folks we will talk about today, found love when socializing, gathering (let alone cuddling), feeling safe, and making new experiences, were all limited. If you’re single and need some hope, or want to hear of the wonders of love, keep reading.

Stuck in Love - Caitlyn & Dylan

This couple found love by the cutest of chances. Caitlyn, 24, had casually downloaded Bumble, not actually expecting to find love. After the pandemic hit in March, she found herself alone in a one-bedroom apartment she had just moved into. Feeling lonely and bored, she decided to just get to know people without actually meeting them.

About a week later, she matched with her now 28-year-old boyfriend, Dylan. Super paranoid about not catching COVID-19, Caitlyn dodged any chances of them meeting in person. “I just kept telling him that I wanted to meet after the pandemic was over”, she said. Little did she know, the pandemic would not be over anytime soon. However, after a girls night, a ton of wine, and some bumble-ing, she decided to take the chance and meet him.

Funny enough they had both had lots to drink that night and hit it off when they met. It was so much fun that they met for coffee the next day and just kept hanging out. Not only was Dylan fun to be around, but she admired how caring and attentive he was to what she had to say.

“Since it was a pandemic and everything fun to do in DFW was closed, this kind of forced us to spend time together at each other’s apartments.”

They spent time eating, watching movies, and truly bonding. Caitlyn explained how they were “forced to have those difficult conversations”, which led to them working as a couple. It was when she got to see Dylan with his friends, in his element, that she really started to fall in love with him. The little things, in such a weird time, made her stay. They suggest in this now socially distanced world to take it day by day and take a chance! They still have their challenges but now when something is bothering them, they " about it and fall more in love every day.”

Hinged - Stacy & Patrick

For any "done with love"people out there, this story is for you. Stacy, 28, and Patrick, 34, like many others dating during this time, found their bond in an unusual circumstance. It was when Stacy was in a therapy appointment that her therapist suggested that she get back onto dating sites to make meaningful connections. After having a hard time finding a committed partner, she was hesitant.

Taking her therapists advice, she got onto the new dating app Hinge, and later met her now boyfriend, Patrick. Because there was no pressure to meet in person due to COVID-19, she got the chance to really connect with him and get to know him on a deeper level. To add to their unusual meeting, Patrick lived across the nation in another state. Although it was scary to get to know a stranger really well during this time, their bond became even stronger.

They talked on the phone, used FaceTime, and text as much as they could and soon enough, they took the plunge and met in person. Stacy recalls them meeting as “just as great as it was over the phone, if not better”.

As for how they didn’t let the pandemic AND long-distance get in their way? They suggest quality time and healthy amounts of space. The first thing is to “get super creative with your dates”, because you almost have to. Patrick would take time to visit Stacy, and vice versa. For them, they researched online activities they could safely do with each other like indoor arts and crafts and spa parties. They both love movies, crime shows, and Thai food, so that quickly became their “thing”. Next is to communicate.

”Communicate a LOT. Make sure you can tell your significant other almost anything and neither of you feel left out.”

Lastly, they created a healthy space between themselves so they didn’t feel too suffocated. So the pros of long distance and COVID? You definitely have time to yourself and also the comforting option of spending time with someone.

Love Sick - Eme & Josh

When the world was so uncertain, these to love birds found certainty in each other. Eme, 27, and Josh, 28, ironically found love in sickness and in health. After meeting on a dating app, they started talking and FaceTiming, and soon after, they got into a casual relationship. When the texts and FaceTimes weren't enough, they would see each other on the weekend.

It was until June, when they both got sick, that they were cooped up in the house together. This was when they both knew that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They were able to cut off distraction from the world and get to know each other on a personal level.

"The isolation of being quarantined makes you really depend on each other and truly get to know the real person you're with", said Josh.

They advise that couples keep things as spontaneous as possible. Like Stacy and Patrick, they found random and creative dates to go on with each other, while keeping themselves safe. For example, they made a picnic near the lake instead of dining in at a restaurant. To use lockdown to their advantage, they made it a point to seek out date ideas or destinations they never had time to pursue when the world was so busy.

So in other words, ditch the fancy restaurants, and put on your thinking hats!

We are overwhelmed with the amount of love that was created in such a devastating and distanced time. This shows that anything is possible if you have an open heart and believe it enough.

While not every dater's experience was a whirlwind romance, stories from these couples serve as a pillar for what could be to come for anyone looking for love in our COVID-stained world. What story was your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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