Love during confinement: How is it linked in a world with COVID?

Dating, like so many other things we used to take for granted, has changed considerably during the pandemic.

Gone are the days of shaking hands at the movies or sharing the same spoon while enjoying a good ice cream in a restaurant – okay, that’s a too romanticized view of what a date really is – and instead , now we have gotten used to walks with social distance and sending messages online.

The pandemic has rewritten the rules of how to date and, while there are those who have found love and even married in the midst of the virus, there are also those who have to deal with their sentimental situation, to the point of identifying themselves as “Incels of confinement “(from English, involuntary celibates, that is, “involuntary celibates”).

Since tours dating in Hungary into their quarantine as a couple shortly after meeting – then the Euronews audience’s love affairs during lockdown.

We were quarantined together three weeks after we met – Natalia, France

Clarification: Natalia is a journalist at Euronews. His story blew us away, not just me, but the whole team, so I asked him to let me share it with you. Here it goes:

Natalia met her partner on Tinder a couple of weeks before the first general lockdown was announced in Europe, France included. He was suddenly left without a flat, because the friend with whom he was going to share accommodation was trapped in Morocco due to sanitary restrictions. One of Natalia’s two companions had to go live with her parents and left Natalia and her sister with enough space for one more person on the floor, so she offered the room to the Tinder boy.

“He gave me the feeling that he was a very nice guy and had nothing to lose,” he explains. “I know it was a very crazy decision. When I asked him to come to my apartment he was thinking: ‘By God, what am I doing?’

Natalia saw the opportunity as a way to check the degree of compatibility between the two, but she also had in mind that she did not know how long the confinement would last.

It worked? “Living together was super easy and, to tell the truth, I don’t know how the confinement would have passed if I hadn’t been with him, because it was very difficult to be isolated and away from my family in Bolivia. Having him has made things much easier. for me”.

Now, the two are looking for a place to live together without roommates, after almost a year in the previous apartment.

People pull dating apps looking for ‘quarantine & chill’

With bars and clubs closed and singles confined to their homes, dating apps have played a central role in connecting people.

Tinder was the app most downloaded by Europeans in 2020, according to what the digital monitoring platform Sensor Tower has made known to Euronews.

In the application, expressions related to the pandemic are the order of the day: “quarantine & chill” took off in March, as well as other increasingly popular phrases such as “wash your hands so I can give you mine.”

I broke up with my stable partner and turned to apps … It wasn’t bad at all – Fred, France

A boy living in France in his 30s, under the pseudonym Fred, told Euronews how as a result of the separation with his partner, he was forced to find new ways to connect during the pandemic.

“Obviously the biggest challenge when you meet someone is how to find yourself if there is lockdown or curfew,” says Fred. “It is relevant because the first time I met someone I had met through dating apps it was a bit like that. Typical places like restaurants, bars or cinemas are no longer an option.”

But it is already explained by the saying: “make a virtue of necessity”, and COVID problems, COVID solutions: appointments have arrived based on walks.

“The very idea gave me a little respect at first, but the experience helped me to meet my other dates. Physical limitations when going out for walks is a plus, because it avoids having to make up uncomfortable excuses if you love yourself go, “he explains.

The Don Juan of confinements assures that the strangest thing of all is not being able to see your date’s face, but adds that it doesn’t really matter that much because you can assess whether you are physically attracted to the other person in an application before meeting them.

“When I first met the girl I am currently dating, I knew I was attracted to her, but the question was whether or not we were compatible. After three dates on walks, the answer was very clear: we had themes about the We had to talk, similar interests and we laughed a lot together, “says Fred.

“If we kept ourselves entertained during four-hour walks, spending an afternoon, a night or even a weekend together was not going to be a problem,” he explains.

“When we first met in an enclosed space we were very comfortable with each other. It was like having a first date after three practice appointments with the same person,” says Fred.

How did Fred’s search for love go in the middle of a pandemic? “Dating during COVID has been tough, but I’ve ended up getting along well. I’m sure everyone can do it.”

And Fred wasn’t the only one. Happn – another of the most downloaded dating apps in Europe in the last year – interviewed its users in France and 51% said that 2020 had been a good opportunity to meet more people online.

Europe as a whole has increased the use of messaging applications to communicate by 18% during 2020 compared to the previous year.

Happn has explained to Euronews that its users have focused on fewer people during the pandemic, because first dates are difficult at a time of social distancing and public spaces closed to citizens.

New ways to flirt

In addition to meeting for walks, Tinder says it has seen a growing trend of young people meeting to video call and watch movies or series together. In the UK, one in five British 18-25 year olds have virtually met to watch series together as a first date.

Happn explains that its video calling feature is especially popular with those who meet virtually to cook, have a drink or just talk.

Finding the good vibes – Sabiha and Hüseyin, Turkey

We met in mid-February last year and got married three months ago, “Hüseyin says of his current wife Sabiha.

They first got in touch on Twitter when Hüseyin saw a performance by Sabiha, where she was reading a poem with music, and he told her that the music was not suitable. “

“I replied but then I thought my comment was smartass, so I apologized via direct message and suggested other music. He was not offended and liked my choice. We started texting each other and eventually we met in person when they got up. confinement restrictions, “he says.

About his first date in person, Hüseyin says: “When you meet someone online it gives you the feeling that you have fallen in love with someone imaginary and you want to meet the other person desperately to verify that the imaginary woman you have in mind is the same as the woman in flesh and blood “.

“We met in a coffee shop and she was sitting at the table waiting for me. I didn’t even say hello, I just sat down and looked her in the eye. We couldn’t talk, we lost track of time and space.”

But after their appointment, lockdown was imposed. Sabiha explains that it was very hard for them because they could not meet again and they had to send messages online again. The two have young children from a previous relationship. In the end, in summer, the restrictions were relaxed and they were finally able to meet again.

“The proposal was not very romantic” Hüseyin said, “it is the second marriage of the two”.

When Hüseyin saw that his son was getting along with Sabiha, he decided. “We were sitting by the pool one day and I said, ‘We should get married.’ It just came out of my mouth quite naturally and she smiled and said yes.”

Their wedding was a low-key celebration, the number of guests was limited and everyone was wearing a mask. It was not possible to dance due to COVID restrictions, according to the couple.

Despite this no longer being able to go on a honeymoon, the pandemic has not extinguished his love. “I fell in love with the man who smiled back at me,” says Sabiha.

Have you fallen in love or out of love during the pandemic and want to share it with us? Use the hashtag #loveduringlockdown on social media and tag us.