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Recently, my relationship has gone from my boyfriend and I to me, my boyfriend, and his roommate. What sounds like a particularly spicy situation is actually far more mundane — he finally moved away for college. COVID-19 has made our relationship anything but traditional: we started dating three weeks before our first date, and we celebrated our six month anniversary before our first trip to the movie theater. One thing was constant though, he was always around in one way or another. I spent every day for a year with him, or every other day when we were practicing being “independent.” 

Thanks to him, my phone’s screen time has gone up to an average of 12 hours a day. Making the transition was tough, but thanks to the wonders of iMessage and FaceTime, we’ve been able to create a communication system that works even better than before. Distance makes the heart fonder, and we’ve seen a huge increase in heart emoji use recently. It took me a while to find ways to feel connected to him through the screen, but watching movies on Zoom and talking on the phone late into the night has left my heart in his hands once again. 

Ironically, this is not the first time we’ve done exclusively online dating. When we first met (over Tinder, no less), the pandemic on O’ahu had been at its worst, where a complete lockdown had been in effect. There were no coffee dates or grabbing lunch between the two of us, yet we grew to love each other through nothing but words on a screen. Sure, it sounds dangerous to start dating someone you’ve never called, let alone met, but the risk paid off for me big time. We didn’t meet until we had been dating for almost a month. I thought this would feel the same, but it doesn’t. I guess you can’t miss what you never had, and those first three weeks feel like a cakewalk compared to this. Adjusting is hard, but I feel myself growing into a more independent and complete version of myself through the forced time alone. He’ll come back to a better me, and that’s the fuel that keeps me going. 

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Maiya Ezawa

Hawaii '22

Hi, my name is Maiya Ezawa and I’m a 21 year old college senior attending UH Manoa! I’m a Japanese major and have plans to continue onward to a career in freelance translation.
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