It was just the beginning and we – by we I mean my boyfriend and I – had actually planned our first weekend getaway. Of course, we did not know it was going to be our last moment before lockdown.
It was beginning of March 2020 we spent those 2 nights in a wonderful hotel in Lille. We had amazing food and a very good time together. The second evening, on a Saturday, night the government said that starting the next day all restaurants and public places were closing down and lockdown rumors started to grow.
It wasn’t until Monday evening that the government announced lockdown starting Tuesday. We had no right to go out except for grocery shopping in our area.
So I did what I do best. I freaked out and stopped thinking. How was I suppose to start a relationship without seeing each other? Foreseeing confinement together was also out of my plans. I cried over the phone with him and my brain was overthinking the situation. He reassured me we would be able to see each other but I was really not convinced on that.
Actually, he was right. I managed to sneak out to his place during the weekends. The first time I did it I had the feeling that I was leaving my place against the law to see my lover. Part of me felt in a War World II movie while walking to his place for an hour in an empty Paris. The few people outside were those doing their grocery shopping and homeless. Walking for an hour with that image of this city made me sad, a bit scary and sometimes I even cried afterwards. It really was love in the time of corona.
The first weekend together went great! We played Monopoly, watched La Casa de Papel on Netflix, cooked, had drinks, did yoga and run. The next time we saw each other again, well… It was less fun.
It was actually pretty good for the first 2-3 days so I decided to stay a bit longer, almost a week to be exactly. Then, it was too much. We were both working from home, me at the living room and him at his room. We would “meet” for lunch and dinner. I felt that at a point we had nothing to say to each other because nothing has happened and we were both living the same things under the same roof.
I started noticing things that were really bothering me. For instance, the fact that he is a smoker. I started wondering if that is something I could stand with later on. It was weird. We both got weird. The whole situation was weird.
Let’s also add that I felt so sensitive that I was crying at least once a week for so many reasons. Reasons like I missed my family, I was sad about the homeless, I was scared about the situation and mainly about our relationship.
There was nothing for me to be scared about our couple. But the emotions of confinement along with my insecurities filled me with fear and became too much for me. It truly was a rollercoaster of emotions for weeks. I literally cried every weekend. I felt I was not me anymore. I hated that I was starting a relationship feeling like this. Honestly, I have not felt as lost since I was a teenager.
During the weekdays, when I was not seeing him, I would work from home. I appreciated work more than ever since this is what allowed me to keep my mind busy five days a week.
I felt frustrated because just before COVID-19 I had found the best balance. I worked at a job that I love, I had great colleagues, I was taking Italian lessons, running, volunteering and doing yoga. But all of a sudden, COVID took it away from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad about complaining because I knew I was lucky. I was aware that I was fortunate to have a job, a comfy appartement, a TV and Internet to watch Netflix and plenty of new books to read. But as much as I knew it some days I was happy and other days I was so sad and down.
Going back to my relationship. You should know that ever since I started dating him I was seeing my therapist. She reassured me that lockdown is not normal and that the mental consequences of staying home are huge for most people. At the same time, I talked to my girlfriends and their experiences of dating or being with someone during COVID were similar for some. They also reassured me that it was for sure not easy and not a normal thing to live. We all had different experiences and points of views but the common thing was that love in times of corona was quite something.
I had imagined starting this relationship with fun cool activities like restaurant dates, walks, etc. Instead, we were getting to know each other by sharing the same walls and roof every single weekend.
I had the need to write about my love in the time of corona (aka COVID) because it was challenging and nobody had prepared me for that. Besides, let’s be honest, relationships are not the perfect pictures we see on Instagram or the funny videos on TikTok. It is much more, it means compromise, comprehension, respect, communication, patience and so much more. Otherwise you are better off alone.
The first lockdown is over in France, I have recovered most of my previous lifestyle and I feel again like myself (mentally and emotionally). Even though it was no piece of cake, I am grateful that I lived what I lived for the first part of 2020.
This article was written beginning of this summer but published just now. I had the need to write about my love experience in times of corona and share it with you.
As many other couples, my ex boyfriend and I did not survive post lockdown. We broke up during the summer after 9 months of relationship and 4 unforgettable trips together. I will never know if it COVID was the main reason for our breakup. Today, if there is something I am certain about is that him and I were not meant to be together.
This article is for all those women whom like me experienced with difficulty love in the time of corona (aka COVID). But most specially it is dedicated to all women who had to faced their emotions and felt the anxiousness of this very challenging year. I am proud of you all.