There's no rulebook for dating during a worldwide pandemic. There's also no way that anyone can prepare you for a breakup during a pandemic. I've sat down and tried to write this post several times before. But, it's hard to pour your heart out to thousands of people in hopes that they may relate or respond to what you're saying.
Let's be real. Dating was hard enough as it was before COVID hit. But, throw in the masks, the social distancing, the closed bars and coffee shops and things just get worse.
I like to learn through things and grow through what I go through. So, I'm here to spill the tea on what I learned by going through a break up in the beginning of COVID and dating during one of the toughest years of singe girl life.
Breaking up during COVID
Breakups are hard. They hit you out of nowhere (sometimes) and, even if you're prepared for yours, like I was for mine, they still sting. My breakup last May was everything but easy. I spent countless nights blasting sad music (yup, don't judge) and only remembering the good memories, not the bad. I think that's one thing that's tough about breakups. You romanticize the idea of what you wish the relationship would have been like rather than focusing on what it actually was.
When I went through my break up following my 1+ year relationship, I struggled. Not only was I alone and lost my best friend, but I also couldn't go out, couldn't meet up with friends, couldn't just sit at a coffee shop and people watch and distract myself from what I had just lost.
I learned to distract myself with work and I soon became so engulfed in Aria Rose that I forgot that sometimes it's okay to just be happy alone. Following my break up, I went through a lot of pain, anger, frustration and hurt. I felt as if a huge part of my life, and what I thought would be my future, had suddenly changed and dissipated. I spent hours watching videos and relaying moments in my head that were... unnecessary. And the pandemic didn't make it easier. I couldn't grab a drink with my best friends, I couldn't go to the gym and I couldn't meet new people.
But, the silver lining? There was one day where I was just sitting there and I sat with my ex on the phone for a bit. And, in that moment, I got closure. I don't know what it was, I don't know how, but I'm so grateful it happened. It may have happened months after the break up, but at least it happened. After that, I decided to open my heart up again to dating. And, well... was that’s another story.
Dating during COVID
Dating during COVID is a whole other ballgame. Goodness, if I never had to date during a pandemic again, it would be too soon. While I opened my heart, doors were still closed at bars and restaurants.
Dating apps have become flooded with people on "travel mode" in Miami, who don't even live here. Or, they're just traveling here and going back to their hometown. Masks have become a way of hiding what people really look like, you never know where someone's been or if they could have been exposed, you don't know. In my words "I. Just. Don't. Know." You also become so accustomed to staying at home that it's an effort to get yourself out for a date (been there, experienced that). And, while the world starts to resume to normality, or our new normal as we call it, things are so different.
Funny (not so funny) story. I recently was talking to someone who lived in NYC. And, while I love NYC, we all know I can't live there again due to my ties to Miami and Aria Rose. This guy had every single thing I wanted in someone. He was funny, smart, family-oriented, good looking, career-driven and someone I could see myself with long term. But, in comes COVID. If long distance wasn't hard enough, throw a pandemic into the mix and it just gets that much worse. In a normal world, I could travel to NYC back and forth and visit frequently and he could come to Miami, stay with me and be here. But we all know that's not the reality of the new normal we are living in. While it sucks and will always be a huge what if in my life, there was nothing I could do and it ending seemed inevitable on his end.
All in all, we have to give ourselves grace these days. We have to take a step back and take this time to work on ourselves and love ourselves so that the day it does work out with someone, we're 100% ready. I'll never know if things will be back to the way they were before we got struck with a huge life-changing event, but I'm hopeful that eventually the masks will come off and our true selves will be able to shine. So, hats off to you single ladies... I know it's not easy.
How has your experience been dating during COVID?