By Megan Evans | Advice Editor
It is safe to say that the coronavirus pandemic has made dating extremely difficult. With the rules implemented on social distancing and social ‘bubbles’, it is quite difficult to be able to openly date in a somewhat normal manner, such as going out for dinner, having Netflix cosy afternoon sessions and just spending quality time with a loved one. Even harder still, with the potential of universities having harsher guidelines about overnight guests, problems may arise particularly for those who will be living in university halls. It may be worrying to think about how you will cope with these changes coming into effect is these guidelines go ahead.
As a person who has not only experienced university in a long distance relationship , but also single, I feel like there are ways to really help build that trust and stop that worry overtaking your whole mindset.
Long distance is a difficult part of a relationship, but as soon as you set boundaries and routines, it is easy to then maintain. Like most things, it is something that needs to be right for you and takes a little while to adjust to, but this does not mean that it is impossible. It is important to keep yourself busy with any curricular or extracurricular activities, and set aside time to speak on the phone. If you aren’t allowed to stay over in halls, you can always organise a day trip, or decide a time during the term that isn’t busy to go home and meet somewhere you may feel a bit safer.
In my opinion, I find that constant messaging is too much as it is important to allocate time for yourself as well as your significant other. As long as you keep regular contact but also allow time to for each other to breathe, it will get easier as time goes on. I saw my boyfriend at the time almost every week during my first term at university, and looking back, I found it a little suffocating, which made it harder to settle properly into university life. Despite this, there are so many people going through the same thing, so if you do find yourself struggling to do long distance, ask close friends for advice and keep communicating with your partner. One of the worst thing to do is to not talk about problems so always make sure to address each other directly.
Being single during coronavirus is another story. It is incredibly easy to spark conversation on the likes of Tinder and Bumble, especially under the current circumstances. We have all faced the consequences of lockdown collectively, and the ease of conversation is much easier over the phone. However, not being able to meet properly or go on any physical dates is proving more difficult for some. There are always alternatives to solve these problems, and it is important for both people to adapt to the current situation. You can go on walks and get to know new people as safely as possible, which is big change for the majority of us that tend to meet new people on a night out.
I also encourage any singletons to spark a conversation wherever you may go, whether that be at work, or at the shops or any casual setting as you never know where you might meet someone special. Despite this, enjoy your own company as much as you can and make the most of it!
Intimacy is the main part of relationships which COVID has stripped away from us, and many people have struggled with the restrictions on intimacy and close contact. It is important to really try to stick to the guidelines. The sooner that the pandemic has reached a point that it is safe to have more normality, the sooner you will be able to date how and who you want.
Keep an eye out, and be nice to everyone you speak to. Keep in mind that as much as dating is nice and important for wellbeing, there are other methods in the meantime to help you to enjoy your time and make the most of university life.