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Love in the time of corona

| Tuesday, April 7, 2020

“Wondering what you’re doing / what you’re listening to / which corner of the Moon you’re viewing from your bedroom / … I’m thinking of you too.” — Courtney Bartnett

“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) / i am never without it” — E. E. Cummings

“You know that I miss you / … So baby kiss me thru the phone” — Soulja Boy 

Even in the best of situations, long-distance dating sucks. When you factor in canceled semesters and global pandemics, the frustration inherent to dating across state lines and time zones increases tenfold. There’s a few ways to keep your sanity. 

First off: make sure your wifi connection can handle FaceTime. Forget Zoom classes; the most aggravating part of this quarantine is going to be trying to have a conversation with somebody while their face buffers into a Dali painting. If you’re stuck using other forms of communication, whatever you do, don’t subject your partner to letters. They want to hear about what’s going on now, not in a week. (Besides, just because the plague is making a comeback doesn’t mean we need to revert to ink and paper to send memes to each other.) 

On the note of current events: find out if your partner is an all news, all the time kind of person, and respond accordingly. I am most decidedly not, but my girlfriend is. We balance each other out well; I calm her down if she’s being a responsible citizen and worrying about the latest development, and she tells me about all the press conferences I’ve missed while catching up on “The Bachelor.”  

Make each other’s transition to being back home easier, whether that’s sending dog pictures (always a valid option, with bonus points if it‘s your own dog), collaborating on Spotify playlists or making and sending care packages. Download Netflix Party if you haven’t already, and trade off movie selection duties so that that process doesn’t last longer than the film itself. Just don’t make the mistake of watching “Contagion.”

The last piece of advice I have to offer isn’t just for romantic partners; it’s for anyone you love and can’t see right now. Check in with them. Social distance doesn’t mean emotional distance. We may be alone for the time being, but we’re not going through this by ourselves. Call the people you’re missing, even if it’s just for a minute or two. It’ll make their day — and Lord knows they’re not doing anything else anyway. 

A closing note for the people I can’t see: 

Liz, hopefully you’ve found something better than puzzles to do in quarantine.

Ryan, Jon, Lukie, Tony, Sawyer and the 2W hooligans — I didn’t think I would ever miss coming home to you guys. I was wrong.

Juan, Vinny, Felix and all the RAs I’ve loved before: I’m crushed I didn’t get to say goodbye. Get ready for the Revue next year, cause I’m gonna give you the biggest hug anyone’s ever gotten. 

My colleagues at The Observer: you are all an ongoing inspiration. Thanks for keeping this paper running, and my apologies to whoever had to edit this (but you’re welcome for the Soulja Boy link).

And for the girl that inspired this piece: Meg, you’re probably already tired of hearing me complain about self-isolation every five minutes. You’re a hero for sticking with it. Give Prada and Sully a belly rub for me, and keep being the absolute icon you are. I don’t know when this will all be back to normal — I’m just happy that normal means you right next to me. Love ya.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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