Romance…? in a Pandemic?

More power to those successfully dating in a pandemic and flourishing, because a certain community on twitter persists in suggesting that lockdown has ruined dating. They say that getting to know someone new “Post-rona” is too long a wait. I guess these concerns makes sense in a world where ones love languages are a need of ‘attention’, ‘quality time’ and ‘sense of touch’. Hands up if you’ve (been personally victimised by Boris Johnson) been damaged beyond repair as a consequence of lockdown? It’s all fun and games until we slowly end up slamming the door in the face of romance… and ion like that.

Mean Girls // 2004

The UK dating culture is quite unique as you’re most likely either in “a 3 year talking stage” filled with uncertainty. On the other hand if you’re a member of the Fiat 500 community you may have “just caught my boyfriend of 1 month cheating with my best friend” and wishing them a nice life together. Our culture doesn’t give much hope for dating, but we are unlearning toxic traits. However whether temporary or lasting, romance should be embraced more — we all need love and affection *plays Rihanna feat. Future Loveeeeee Song*.

You cannot fumble the bag if you know you’re clear on your objective of dating. For example the act of getting to know someone, to pick and choose what you like/ dislike or like enough to tolerate. It seems to me you cannot base a relationship of small talk and temporary loneliness especially “in a pandemic?”. Long distance is one thing but the pandemic has made dating much more complicated with the travel bans, lockdown and zone restrictions. Making it impossible for people to shut up about the closure of hotels. So how do we keep romance alive in a pandemic?

We’ve all had my fair share of dating experiences, but have you ever been romanced like in an 2000’s R&B music video? Has someone ever pulled up on you with roses in the middle of a shopping centre, like Nelly done in ‘My Place’? The genre lost its buzz up until recently. I had been convinced that these niggas knew anything about romance anymore, thus I’ve been ‘me myself and I’ing’. I guess the only right way to be a true romantic when dating is doing what ever feels the most comfortable in that moment in time, where you can be trustest to yourself and others as possible.

There are many ways to keep romance alive. I did a little survey on how my friends do it too if you were feeling uninspired:

24 year old copywriter, who’s in a 5 year relationship keeps romance alive by “planning dates in detail” and both deciding who’s wearing what? Being enthusiastic about seeing each other and trying to impress one another romantically is how it’s kept alive.

23 year old coder, who’s in new relationship keeps romance alive by spicing it up with lingerie. There’s nothing more romantic than “spicing up a session with Mr right now”, as in relationships — you get bored and won’t even put effort when it’s time to get down.

24 year MUA is a gift receiver — her advice to us is know how your partner is? That’s the easiest way to the heart. Do they love chocolate? Pair it with a Gucci bag. Are they not a flower person but would appreciate a decent plant? “I’m a simple babe”. Getting gifts right can make or break V-day, in case you weren’t already dreading it enough.

For the singletons in the back, do not exclude yourself from the concept of romance as it is achievable by your lonesome. Ever heard of self-care, its not just on Valentines you can know romance when Sunday’s exist. You know what to do. Run a bath. Change your bed sheets. Order take away, indulge in the mystery of how fine the delivery man could be… a movie marathon of rom-com chick flicks with the gals for emotional support ain’t hurt nobody. BYOB (be your own boyfriend).

@glossy_zodiac

On days when I’m not being my own boyfriend, my way of keeping romance alive is by creating a mood and dedication playlist to keep me ’n’ my boo in the spirit of romance. Personally selecting old R&B songs that really capture the essence of true love, as for a me an emotional connection makes romancing easier because it’s from the heart. That and showing physical appreciation to family members, especially as I’m anti PDA.

Regardless of your relationship status, the consistent practices of self-care will never allow you to feel neglected. You’ll be setting the standard for how others should treat you. Even if you end up becoming a hopeless romantic, at least nobody can tell you, you never show love.

UAL BA Journalism Grad: carlaaureliem@gmail.com

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