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Being Single In A Covid-19 World

Remember how torturous being grounded was? On one occasion I think I cried through both sides of my pillow because my awkward, bratty teenage self was that distraught over not being able to leave my bedroom…

 

My crush was having a house party and my mum, the strong, couldn’t-give-two-shits woman that she is, had banned me from going. Naturally, I hated her for stealing me of such a premium-level flirting opportunity with him. Having no control over the situation and, in my eyes, being so cruelly kept away from my crush only made me put him on an even higher pedestal – it had probably surpassed Everest at that point. I spent the rest of the night dreaming about what could’ve been. The bashful eye contact across his dad’s living room, him giving me some of his Frosty Jacks, possibly even a bit of one-on-one conversation about our shared love of The Libertines. But no, I was trapped and my silly, adolescent heart couldn’t hack it.

Fast forward twelve years and I find myself in a similar situation, bar the unflattering Ugg boots and jet black eyeliner. This time, however, it’s that virus, the new C-word, that has not just grounded me but the entire world. The globe has come to a standstill because of a tiny protein and we’re collectively sat on our sofas in a state of bewilderment. This ball of earth, air, wind and fire we live on is shuddering and we’re being forced to truly understand its fragility. If we f*ck with it too much, it has no qualms in kicking us off sharpish. This crisis will, hopefully, be a game-changer. It’ll make us think inwardly; we’ll re-examine our lives, goals, hopes, and dreams. But first, we’ve all got to be united in our courage to battle through the tough part.

“This ball of earth, air, wind and fire we live on is shuddering and we’re being forced to truly understand its fragility.”

 

We all know that love is probably the largest contributing factor in helping to tackle hardship; the love of your family and friends, the love you have for yourself and the love you may share with a significant other. When you don’t have the latter, however, moments that test your strength can make that emptiness feel even darker and more hollow. The single life epitomises freedom. The ability to do what you want, when you want with whomever you want. With that freedom currently taken away, the hole that, as we all know as Singletons, is always there feels more apparent. In the past few weeks, I have craved distraction from the brutality of this present world and, quite simply, there is no better distraction than falling for someone or being in love. It’s a form of escapism unlike any other. That moment when you have or you think you’ve found someone that can simply take over all other thoughts at the forefront of your brain in one fell swoop. The type of infatuation where, if you weren’t thinking too realistically, you wouldn’t be as bothered if the world ended tomorrow as long as he was by your side. Where all you care about is the next time his name pops up on your screen – everything else seems unimportant.

Living without that person right now is something Singletons are left to contemplate as we follow Boris’ strict isolation policy. That person isn’t there to say ‘everything will be okay’ as they hand you a cup of tea and a hobnob. In turn, there’s no one to look after and to care for to take your mind off the ever-growing Covid-19 discourse that now surrounds us online. It’s suffocating – and there’s no one to sit and watch David Attenborough documentaries with, to make fish finger sandwiches for, to lay awake with every night talking about strange sh*t. These little moments between someone you are so connected to that just keep your spirit somewhat afloat are missing when you’re riding solo. With so much space and time to be in your head, you realise how much you’re actually really craving those small interactions with someone.

“That person isn’t there to say ‘everything will be okay’ as they hand you a cup of tea and a hobnob.”

 

During the depths of World War II, the longing for these precise moments to return lasted years for soldiers and their loved ones. The wait for the war to be over, to be with each other again, played a large role in their love stories. It was, in its own distorted way, incredibly romantic. For the squaddies’ sweethearts, keeping a tight grasp on the thought of seeing their men again was likely the only thing keeping them going amidst the havoc of war. The dream that one day he’d come back and they’d live happily ever after in post-war utopia. Their yearning for each other must have somewhat softened the brutality of their reality. A way to script their own fairytales as they battled their way through years of bloodshed and conflict. Even though these couples were oceans apart and could only communicate through letters, they kept each other sane and their hope for a brighter future alive.

When I see how important family is now more than ever, it makes me desire even more so to start my own little clan one day. Mothers may be currently tearing their hair out looking after their children 24/7 but it’s something that so many Singletons hope for someday despite how chaotic and stressful it appears from the outside. Again, we’re left thinking, is there actually someone out there willing to sacrifice their bachelordom for the messiness of starting a family with me? You only have to go on Hinge for five minutes to realise that this may not be the most optimum time to seek out your Prince Charming. Cue grotesque message my friend received recently on said dating app: ‘If the Coronavirus doesn’t take you out, can I?’. It’s a time of colossal uncertainty but things need to break before they can grow again. Once this crisis is over and Singletons carry on with their search, maybe we’ll have a clearer view of what we’re truly looking for. It should at the very least divert us away from a few f*ckbois, anyway.

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