This year has been a strange old time for us all. Maybe I should not use the word ‘old’ because ‘old’ has connotations of tradition and past times, and this year has definitely not been like anything ever before! Industries have had to change the way they work, be health-conscious and the digital world has had to pick up speed. Hence making this year an extremely difficult one, from not being able to work, to our uncertain dating lives. The past few months have been challenging for everyone but we are coming out of it a lot stronger and more prepared.

Millions of people worldwide have seen an impact on their relationships whether it is breaking up or getting together and we are calling this ‘lockdown love’. Settling into this new dating scene can take some adjusting. But do not fear, we have you covered.

Illustration by Isabel Seden-Fowler

Discovering solitude in lockdown has changed many people’s actions and questioned what they truly value in life. Sometimes finding joy in doing less and going nowhere.

Donatella Versace recently said ‘I like the idea of a slow pace in terms of seasonality, this is, for sure, a chance to rethink a lot of things’.

This way of thinking can be applied to our dating lives, taking time out to reflect on past or current relationships ultimately building stronger bonds. More than half (59%) of new couples feel more committed to their partner in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

For many lockdown has been a welcome moment of change. Gone are the days of intimate couplings between strangers in clubs and bars, we now have strict rules of no more than six people in social gatherings. Many people have applied the less is more philosophy to their social networks, subsequently creating smaller friendships groups. Unfortunately, this can impact on meeting fewer mutual friends and possibly missing your ‘lockdown love’. But if you are sitting back and thinking, ‘I am just going to wait for this to pass and everything will go back to normal’ DO NOT, as the longer this goes on, the more opportunities you miss and the less likely it will go back to the way it was.

Illustration by Isabel Seden-Fowler

Finding ‘lockdown love’ is not impossible. Virtual dating can be a good place to start but it can be very daunting. Not to mention, the huge number of dating apps and online platforms out there. Dating apps have confirmed they have seen increased traffic since the pandemic. There is no need to worry about social contact or awkward silences online. You can be as picky as you like and you can search for potential partners that meet your criteria. No leg work is needed, it is all at your fingertips. I think we will all be grateful for not having to worry about making up an excuse to escape the date or run to the toilet for a quick getaway. All you have to do is switch off your phone or unfriend/ unmatch them.

Illustration by Isabel Seden-Fowler

You may be one of the lucky few who has managed to gain some kind of normality and have got into a routine. According to Relate, isolation has made (29%) of people battling loneliness realise they are happier on their own. I applaud you if you are one of these; to reposition yourself in the mindset of not having to seek social contact and rely on yourself. It can be a difficult thing finding comfort in your own company.

Dating has changed as have most other things, but it still exists and is prevalent in our society. Whether you turn to virtual dating or decide to spend more time with yourself and practise self-love. Either way, you look at it, to love is an essential human need found in everyone, which needs to be expressed.

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