What to do When Your Lockdown Love is on the Virtual Rocks

How to beat the dating slump amid a pandemic.

What to do when your lockdown love is on the virtual rocks

There’s no doubt in my mind that dating (and thus the screening process that ensues) is a lot harder these days. What was once a thrilling activity that benefited from technology is now a desperate child clutching its ankles, hoping that an Instagram DM can replicate the butterflies once accompanied by evenings of fumbling words, brief eye contact, and many glasses of pinot noir.

Yet despite going backwards into the Austen era, where a subtle brush of the hand could leave one speechless (and reaching for the sanitizer), the only love letters received are those sent in the early hours of the morning, summarised by two syllables: “U up?”

And, in those instances where an adequate partner does make it into your contacts list (note: remember to change name from Jack – Hinge to just Jack), it’s only a matter of time before technology fails once again. After all, only so many serious discussions can be had over text. Eventually, one of you will say the wrong thing, and it’s all downhill from there.

There are many Jacks in the sea, but there is only one you. Those hours you dedicated to cramming a multi-dimensional being into a summary of quotes and photographs can now be used to date yourself, in the comfort of your own home.

Read that novel you never got around to finishing. Cook that dish that takes two hours to prepare. Stay on the phone with your friend until the sun comes up, talking nonsense. Go to your local café and try that new menu item that looks gross. Throw it out when you realise you were right.

In times like these, it’s natural to reach towards love. It’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s a welcome distraction. It’s also commonly confused with infatuation, a hormonal surge that ends just as quickly as it begins.

I encourage my friends, and whoever else happens to be reading this, to not give up on love. Rejoice in the knowledge that your time is coming. Understand that it’s okay not to have it all figured out, especially right now. Pride and Prejudice might still be collecting dust on your bookshelf, but do familiarise yourself with the Austen rule: there is always a Wickham before a Darcy.