How to date in quarantine, when there is absolutely nothing to do

Dating, or worrying about dating, is a staple of being a teenage girl in high school … and then throw in a pandemic on top of it! Three friends — Anna Hamilton ’22, Emma Beardsley ’22, and Emma Gershberg ’22 — are all dating right now and got together to talk about their experiences and share some advice. Anna has been dating her boyfriend since January, Emma B. since last October, and Emma G. since this August.

All three agreed that not being able to see their significant other is the hardest part. Anna recalled, “I got to see him once outside in March before we had to part completely until late May. It was really hard, especially early on in the relationship, and I was constantly pretty sad about it. … In a way, I am grateful for the bond we made through words during the lockdown, but I never ever want to do that again. Missing someone in that way was horrible, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.” 

Emma G. started dating in the summer, as opposed to last winter before the pandemic hit. She said, “My parents are very strict, so for a while, we weren’t allowed inside anywhere, which made it hard when the weather was bad. It’s also hard to meet each other’s friends or be allowed to see my other friends since I was seeing him in my case with my parents.”

One way to address this distance is, of course, Facetime, which is a great tool to keep in touch with friends and loved ones. Emma G. said that Facetiming is her go-to, which leads them to talk for hours. But what else is there to do other than talk through a phone?

Anna explained how she and her boyfriend could not go inside of each other’s houses for a long time, so they hung out outside a lot instead. They would go swimming, have picnics, go for late-night drives, and even play mini-golf. She said that recently, they brought their dogs on a walk through the snow as well. Emma B. talked about how they would watch movies “together” over Zoom, and Emma G. followed up by talking about what they do when the weather is nice. She said that they take walks to get food, and during the summer, they would go to the beach. Since the weather has gotten colder, she says that they have been staying inside more, watching lots of movies. 

All of this time together over quarantine made me wonder if they have gotten closer as a result or if it has made it harder for them to connect with each other. Emma B said, “It definitely made us closer. We both actively made more effort to communicate with each other, stay close, and make the relationship work. As a result of that, we became a lot closer and appreciated each other’s company even more.” Anna and Emma G. agreed, with Anna saying, “We’re close in a way that I have to credit COVID-19 for,” talking about all of the quality time they have been able to spend with each other.

The three of them have plenty of advice for other couples in similar situations. Emma G. recommends technology-free hikes as “a really good way to get closer and enjoy each other’s company.” Anna and Emma both recommend watching movies either through Netflix party or Zoom.

The three also had some great advice on keeping things interesting, when there are so many limited options of activities right now. Anna said, “Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves. If it’s meant to be, it becomes easy to keep it interesting.” Emma advised, “At this point, there are so many different ideas out there on the internet, so don’t feel weird looking something like that up for inspiration.” Lastly, Emma G. recommends making the best of it when you’re together.

Overall, the three juniors remind everyone to just take every day as it comes and make every memory as if it were the last.

Image source: Dreamstime.

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