Chloe and I walk down the street, the smell of sidewalk gyros in the air. She tells me she’s had boyfriends since she was 12 years old. This year, she’s not dating anyone. She says it’s nice and that she needs a break from dating for a while.
I finally talked to her again a few days ago over video chat. It had been almost six months since we’d last seen each other face to face. Turns out, she’s dating someone new. He looks just like one of her ex-boyfriends. When I last saw her, she also said she would never date someone who looks like her ex.
I guess some people don’t change.
2020’s cuffing season has been suspended until further notice by the surgeon general. The stock market is plummeting and businesses of all sizes are shutting down. Students paying all different price tags for college are being forced onto the great equalizer that is Zoom. As I scroll through the torrent of emails from BU Today, President Robert Brown and BU Housing, I see that despite our best efforts the world is changing.
It feels like everything that could go wrong did. So many future plans have been put on an indefinite hold and so many relationships are being put to the test of distance and internet bandwidth.
As for casual relationships, never in my life did I think anything could defeat hookup culture. But, the coronavirus has truly proved me false.
Despite all this chaos, we are being forced to finally slow down and focus on all the things that are actually important to us. Sometimes what we need is a cosmic, or federal, sign to make us drop everything, sit down and focus on ourselves. Whether you see it as a good thing or a bad thing, we are now afforded the time for all the things we’ve been putting off.
That includes all of the other things we forgot we loved to do before we began our on-again, off-again relationship with dating apps. Instead of pining over missed opportunities with someone not within your isolation bubble, we’re being allowed the opportunity to finally materialize that project we’ve been waiting for a spare chance to do.
This pandemic is the antithesis to cuffing season. If cuffing season only existed to keep you from your lonesome, COVID-19 is the tough shove to make yourself look in the mirror and figure out all the other things you love besides love.
Love can be great, but there are so many other things to appreciate about life. Now is the time to call up your grandparents, or that friend you haven’t spoken to since last semester. Focus on the relationships you already have. Binge-watch “The Great British Bakeoff” and then binge-bake different kinds of cakes and pies. Finally read that book you never finished in 10th grade. Start that 30-day running challenge you keep telling yourself you’ll start next month. Of course, if all the rest fails, just start studying for finals already.
This pandemic, whether you’re taking it as seriously as you should be or not, is not going to get any easier as the weeks go on. The news is not going to get any more cheerful. Hospitals are not going to be any less empty. We’re still just at the beginning of a global trend.
People are going to be in a tough position whether it be health-wise or financially, and it will probably be people you know. Now is the time to figure out what makes you happy, what keeps your mental health reasonably stable, so that you can reach out to people who aren’t doing as well.
Just by not going out, and not indulging Chad from Tinder who says, “It’s fine, you can come over because it’s not that serious,” you’re already showing love to the people who may need it most.