There have been many things that have changed about the way we live our lives this past year and dating is no exception. Rules and restrictions placed around our abilities to interact and the threat of COVID-19 has meant we need to adjust the way we normally do things.
Some UBCO students shared their experiences with The Phoenix News about how they are adjusting to dating during COVID-19.
“I guess I’m trying to date but it’s complicated,” said one UBCO student talking about the new ways they were trying to meet people.
“I noticed that dating apps were trying to encourage people to have like, a Skype chat or rather than actually meeting, which I understand but I find that super weird and never did that.”
The student explained that on most dates they would meet on blankets in the park due to restaurants and bars being closed. There was a sense of hesitation to get too close, the student observed. They also admitted that maybe they should have been more cautious given the circumstances.
A student named Gleb, who is currently in Vancouver, said COVID-19 has greatly impacted their relationship with their girlfriend. Dealing with long distance since their girlfriend had to go back to El Salvador has been incredibly hard on the two because of travel restrictions and the uncertainty of the situation.
“Genuinely, f*** COVID. It’s costing me way too much and I don’t want my relationship to be one of those things I lost during COVID,” Gleb exclaimed.
However, for another UBCO student, the restrictions of COVID-19 have been beneficial to her relationship. Normally studying in Victoria, her partner moved back to Kelowna when classes for his institution went online.
“It's been great actually. It’s the best of both worlds because he can do school online… and be at home with his friends and family,” she explained.
She said how they spend their time together has changed since many of their favourite places have closed, but she does not see it as a negative, “We still spend time together which is the main thing. Truthfully, not going out hasn’t bothered me too much.”
Another UBCO student, living in Melbourne, Australia, has had to readjust their expectations for their relationship. Discussing how they started seeing someone just before Melbourne went back into a strict lockdown, they stated that they were having difficulty not being able to do much with the person they started seeing for the time being.
“This is supposed to be the really fun part of the relationship,” they explained, “But due to restrictions right now, all we do is get take-away and watch a movie.”
“I find myself getting frustrated, but then realise that I have to take a step back and look at the situation and try to figure out if I’m frustrated about something in the relationship or just frustrated with lock down.”
They say that they are waiting until restrictions begin to ease and they and their new partner are able to do things before making any real decisions about their relationship.
“I want to give things a fair shot,” they said, “And in the middle of a pandemic lockdown when everyone is stressed about everything isn’t the right time.”
This begs the question, when will dating return to “normal” for students, or will dating during COVID-19 be another aspect of life that students have to adapt to for the long-haul?