Dating in quarantine: female perspective

Just+before+the+N.H.+stay-at-home+order+was+announced%2C+juniors+Elliot+Gray+and+Kat+Hallee+were+able+to+spend+a+bit+of+quality+time+together.+This+was+one+of+the+last+times+the+two+saw+one+another+before+being+separated+by+the+quarantine.

Photo by Kat Hallee

Just before the N.H. stay-at-home order was announced, juniors Elliot Gray and Kat Hallee were able to spend a bit of quality time together. This was one of the last times the two saw one another before being separated by the quarantine.

Quarantine has not done me any particular favors. I’ve been cooped up inside my house for the last month in one room and I’m going absolutely stir-crazy. Of course I have a car that can take me anywhere, but there’s nowhere to go. There’s nowhere that I can enter and not be treated like a walking infection.

I hate quarantine.

With all of the places and people I want to see, there is only one that I cannot do without. One singular place that I want to go to and is the one place I can’t.

Just let me go to my boyfriend’s house.

Believe me, I know the importance of being safe and doing your best to not spread the virus, but let’s be real. What are we expecting to happen once the quarantine is lifted? That the issue will be eradicated? No! This virus isn’t going anywhere no matter when they declare us free.

Being separated from my boyfriend has been the only thing so far that I’m finding I can’t handle. I am not okay. He and I had already been best friends for a couple of years before we started dating and the relationship has already brought us closer together. It didn’t take us long to realize that this relationship was unlike anything either of us had previously experienced.

I finally found the person that couldn’t have made a better match, then, only a couple of months into our relationship, we were completely cut off. We instantly went from being together almost every day to spending weeks apart relying only on our wifi and internet connection to keep contact.

I learned so many things about myself I had never known until I started dating my boyfriend that absolutely changed the way I looked at myself for the better. And now he’s not there to hold my hand and tell me that everything is going to be okay in the time I need it most. Sure, our facetime calls and messages and Google Meets let us reach out our support to each other, but it isn’t the same.

Nothing about what is going on in any of our lives is the same and we have to accept that. I’m preaching to the choir here because I definitely haven’t come to terms with this isolation myself (the two mental breakdowns a week surely remind me of that). This has all spiraled down so quickly; it’s okay to be not okay. Us teenagers can’t be blamed for that. So we have to make due…somehow.

I have tried my best to come up with a couple of strategies to keep my mental health in check trying to do just that.

Every week I set a date in my head as the next time I’ll get to see him in person. 

These never actually come to fruition, but it’s easier to say one week than two months. I trick my brain into thinking I’ll get to see him and give myself something to look forward to. Yes, I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but I’d rather be disappointed than a mess on the floor.

Sometimes I’ll find comfort in scrolling through my phone and recounting all of the photos and videos I have of us from the past three years. 

I’ll think as hard as I can about each and every memory so that, on some rare occasions, I can escape back to that time and it feels like he’s not so far away.

As for things he and I have done to stay in contact; a lot of texting and video chatting. 

For perspective, there are so many texts that if you try to scroll back to something either of us said before quarantine, it’s a lost cause.

One of my favorites was an impromptu moment from just over a week ago. We found a secluded place to park our cars one behind the other on a night when the moon was uncharacteristically bright. I sat with a blanket on the trunk of my car and he leaned on the hood of his. We talked there for about an hour; it was the last time everything felt at least a little more normal. 

At this point, I think we are all in need of a little more normal.

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to tell you that this time away is going to get easier. I can’t tell you that it’ll stop hurting so much. I can tell you that this is a terrible situation the world is in. It’s a horrible time to be a teenager in high school; we all have the right to be getting fed up. I’m here to tell you that I feel your pain.

I’ve had enough heartbreaks for a lifetime, and just when I found someone I know would never leave me to fend for myself, the world said no. And as a spoiled only child, I don’t like being told no (an over-exaggerated joke, I promise, though my friends would politely disagree). There isn’t much we can hold onto when everything is crumbling around us so we’ll have to accept that things will get worse before they can get better.

So we let these months run their course and make do with what we’ve got. It may not seem like much, but as long as you can have at least one thing to hold onto in the middle of this global disaster, you’ve already gotten past step one. Step two: hold onto it for dear life. 

This time away is testing every ounce of motivation I have left. The loneliness in its wake is overwhelming, honestly, almost all of the time. But I found someone to hold onto, that I trust will be dancing at my doorstep once this quarantine is all said and done. Hopefully it’ll be soon, but no matter how and no matter when, he’ll get to hold my hands again and tell me everything was just fine.