Dating During Lockdown

Dating in your 20’s is already full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and sometimes even the occasional ghosting. So the last thing any of us need for our love lives is a national lockdown mixed with a global pandemic, but hey we’ll take it in our stride!

When the world started shutting down step by step, of course a few of the singletons among us started to panic a little more than the rest. While others were taking the time to nestle up in their new build houses with their long term partners, those of us on the other end of the scale were wondering if we’d forget how to communicate to the opposite sex while renting our small flats, with our also single flatmates.

Well all I have to say, is thank god for technology!

While I haven’t had my first virtual date yet, a lot of my friends are raving about them. Whatever dating apps you normally use, Tinder, Bumble, Hinge – the dating game is still alive and kicking! We’re just taking it virtual!

And honestly, I can see nothing but positives from this:

  • You can still wear your PJ bottoms and no heels are required!

  • You can get the lighting just right – set up that selfie ring, perfect your background and your virtual date will be sure to think you’re a Vogue model.

  • You don’t have to spend any money (dating is an expensive game…)

  • If it’s not going well you can shut the conversation down early by blaming it on your bad internet connection. Instead of the last train or friend drama, if I’ve learnt anything through dating it’s always have an excuse to leave prepared and ready to go.

My friends are loving the virtual dating game and honestly this might be a feature of dating that stays around a while, so sort out your Zoom or Skype logins, grab that bottle of wine and get ready for dating during lockdown!

For those of us that might have made it past the first few dates though, lockdown posed another dilemma, that your new and exciting relationship was about to come crashing down. While some took that in their stride, others decided to do the complete opposite, me being one of those that made the rather ballsy (maybe stupid) decision...

Instead of getting quarantined in my city centre flat with my flatmate and her boyfriend, I decided to quarantine with someone I’d only been seeing a couple of weeks.

There were reasons behind it, that I tell myself makes it sound a lot more normal than it actually is:

  1. He invited me! I didn’t just turn up at his doorstep with my bags shouting ‘Hey Qaurantine Buddy!’

  2. We’d practically spent every moment before this lockdown with each other, with him staying at my flat or mine at his – so another couple of weeks of it just staying in one place, didn’t seem like a huge thing to either of us at the time

  3. He has a flat to himself – so why should 3 people have to squeeze into a tiny city centre flat when I could enjoy the luxuries of having an entire apartment to myself. Perhaps a slightly selfish reason – but If you saw the apartment, you’d make the same decision too!

  4. And we honestly thought it would only be for a couple of weeks…

Well, now we are here. Two months into lockdown and I’m still here, sharing his flat, living like we’re an old married couple.

We’ve skipped the normal proceedings of the ‘honeymoon stage’ where you go for romantic dates, dinners, weekends away. Instead he’s practically only seen me in my gym gear and pj’s (and the gym gear is not for any form of exercise...). I can’t remember the last time I wore make-up or straightened my hair. And although this whole notion might sound like some people’s nightmare, it’s actually been lovely!

We’ve swapped the expensive dates at fancy restaurants to gorgeous dinners he’s prepared from scratch, while I’m pouring the second bottle of wine and dancing round the kitchen to a new song we’ve stumbled across and decided it’s our new favourite. We hardly watch TV, we’re baking, going for long country walks, laughing at how we’re useless at jigsaws and how I’ve never once won a game of chess against him. And while all these activities might sound like something you do when you’re old and retired. I actually think it’s nice to know that we’re good at ‘normal life’ together. You see a lot of new relationships through rose coloured glasses, when you’re only seeing each other for the good times. The days out, the nice meals, all dressed up, looking pretty. Then when reality hits and you get into the stresses of everyday life, a stressful day at work, an argument with a friend, that day when you’re crying for no reason what so ever (which happens a lot during lockdown!), that’s when the cracks start to show, when you realise perhaps you’re not compatible for each other after all.

These simple day to day things matter, as these are the things that are most important in a relationship, of course everyone’s happy during those romantic weekends away but if you haven’t managed to kill each other during lockdown yet, when you can’t see your friends and family, work and money is stressful and you’re constantly on edge about the world around you. Then I think you’ve found yourself a keeper!

It’s like being on a series of Love Island, minus the sun, bikinis and swimming pool…

Everyone says a month in Love Island is like a year in the real world, because you spend every waking moment together, so you learn a lot about each other. I think the same can be applied to lock down too. I know a lot of people that are living with their partners that they had only started dating recently and honestly I think it might be the way forward! Why waste all that time with a person then when you move in together realise, it’s not going to work. Lockdown lets you experience everyday life together and then once this is lifted, we can go back to nice dates and weekends away, while knowing we’re actually ready for whatever may come next.

So whether you’re jumping on the virtual date hype or jumping straight into quarantining together – then you’re not alone! And honestly, this might be the way forward for dating and I’m all for it!

2020 isn’t stopping our love lives, no matter how hard it’s trying too!


Blog post author: Hattie Campbell

Hattie is a twenty-something Influencer Marketing Executive from Manchester. who is passionate about providing people, especially girls, a secure place to ask questions, that they might have previously thought were silly.

Hattie is proud to be a Talk Twenties Ambassador - "I love being part of a community that helps everyone to succeed and come away feeling more empowered".

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