Love in the Time of the Coronavirus

Have you been feeling connected to the ones that you love during the pandemic?

I asked different people to share their experiences of love during this scary, unprecedented time and was deeply moved by what they shared and the obvious power of love. While this is certainly a dangerous, frightening time in human history it is undeniable that Love in the Time of the Coronavirus is more romantic, powerful and everlasting than ever.

Jamie* is 25 and is in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend. They have spent the pandemic begrudgingly separated by an ocean. When asked if she felt connected to him during the pandemic Jamie said that they are now connected on an even deeper level. They realized how important their relationship is and prioritized it by working on themselves while they were separate to make the best of the situation and to allow for them to be as happy and successful as possible when they could finally be together again. Jamie believes that you shouldn’t set expectations for your relationship because it can create issues. She says that you need to remain positive, flexible, that you have to “get up and go” and make the best of every situation. In addition to that, Jamie’s partner deserves a round applause from the ladies - he sent her sex toys in the mail. A true team player.

Mary* is 82 years old. In her opinion, the pandemic has been “a bugger”. When asked if she felt connected to her loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic her first question was “alive or dead?” Mary’s husband passed away two years ago. He was her soulmate. She says that the pandemic has made her feel connected to him in a sad way. She knows that if he were alive, he would act as a caregiver for her and would be worrying about the family. Her predominant emotion has been sadness. She has been isolated from her friends and from her family and she feels that technology (Facetime, texting, calling) is only 10% as effective as spending quality time with the ones that you love. When asked if the pandemic has affected the way she thinks of the future Mary reported that if she were 45 it may worry her more. She believes that because she’s 80 and has lived so much life, she doesn’t worry about herself. Despite these challenging emotions, there are sunny skies ahead for Mary, filled with quality face-to-face time with her children and grandchildren, and lots (and I mean lots) of fudge.

M and L* got engaged during the pandemic! “We are each other’s rock” they said when I asked if they felt connected to each other over the last 7 months. They bond through rituals – coffee and kisses in the morning, salmon and kale salad (and watching Love Island) at night and working out together. They found that their connection strengthened during the last several months as the element of survival was introduced. They rely on each other. Their sex life has stayed the same (impressive) but now they’re thinking about the future, about kids, about next steps. Don’t waste your time with the wrong person, they said. As obvious as that may seem, they said that this climate of life and death has offered them perspective into how truly perfect they are for each other, how perfect they are together. They both agreed that they are lucky to be soulmates.

Perspective is important. In asking others to share their love stories with me, I felt very close to them despite staying six-feet-apart. This has been a starkly lonely time for many, and a profoundly bonding time for others. In investigating Love in the Time of the Coronavirus I was left feeling amazed, inspired, and humbled by the power of love.

 

*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participants.