We all remember what being cooped up during mid-pandemic felt like, but we also all had our own unique perspective. Some of us shared the experience with a significant other (virtually and non virtually). You might’ve been away from your partner for a period of time, but eventually got to reunite and engage in the human nature that is physical intimacy. I know I did and I remember what a relief it was to be able to see another human, let alone be intimate again. It might sound dramatic, but it was a dramatic time! If you went through lockdown solo, you might have a different outlook.
To be honest, I have so many questions for those who were single during the heat of the virus. Did being single through the pandemic eventually boost your confidence? You made it through the tough times alone, you can make it through anything now! Right? Or did it make you more hungry for a relationship as the pandemic winds down? You’ve waited a long time, surely it’s time to get back out there as things start to open up! Of course, there’s no real right answer, but my curiosity got the best of me and I want to explore these scenarios and hopefully understand what people are feeling as things go back to normal. Will it be easier to be single?
Let’s Talk About Loneliness
If you felt lonely during the pandemic, the irony is you probably weren’t alone in feeling it. Everyone had to pivot their communication with people they were used to seeing in person. Even those who kept their relationships during the lockdown likely had to isolate themselves from their partner at one point or another. I remember starting to believe my girlfriend at the time was just a figment of my virtual imagination. We’d facetime every night, but I spent two whole months away from someone I usually saw every day. Phone calls felt more like a tease than anything else and it honestly felt pretty lonely from time to time. That being said, I still knew she was there waiting for me, even though I couldn’t physically be with her.
For those who were navigating things solo, my thoughts were with you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to single-shame anyone, and for some, it might have been great during the lockdown, but it’s okay to get real and say the pandemic was a scary time for us all. Things were tough, the world was really unstable and we were watching people lose their lives from an easily spread virus. That’s enough stress to not want to go through alone. If there was a point where you wished you had a partner to lean on, that’s totally natural. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If you were single and struggling to navigate the time alone, I’m sure the future you will remember how you coped. Even throughout my virtual relationship at the time, I was feeling a large social void. I was utilizing everything from Netflix Party to drive-by visits. We all had to deal in whatever ways we could.
Single and Frustrated
The single life can be an indication of freedom to some. A chance to explore, let loose and do your own thing. But what about when you’re confined to your living room? Did singles start to resent their single-ness? Were they just plain frustrated? Not to sound depressing, but a lot of the single appeal was sort of stripped away, and it could have left a lot of people longing for a companion more than they anticipated, and left them straight-up more sexually frustrated. I mean who wouldn’t be?
All the things that make up a relationship came in handy while being locked in your house, but for some, daydreaming was the only option (or a pivot to room-mate-ing, because desperate times). A lot of singles might have been hyper-focused on being able to date once the world returned to normal. The lack of physical and emotional interaction can make you appreciate how a relationship fills gaps in your life.
Some may have also seen other relationships survive through the rough and tough circumstances and wanted to be able to test that strength with someone. It’s possible a lot of singles felt like all of a sudden, they had something to prove, but no one to prove it too. I certainly didn’t envy those who were single during quarantine, (no offense) but I did question whether the gratitude I had to my COVID relationship was really just fear about how miserable I would’ve been without it.
So, Is it Easier to Be Single Now?
The question becomes less about how easy (or challenging) it is to be single now vs. peak pandemic and more about how the time alone during lockdown shaped your outlook on your relationship status. The answer really dives deeper into who you are as a person. Are you super motivated? Do you thrive on independence and patience? If you trust the process enough, being briefly single during a temporary pandemic probably wasn’t as much of a struggle for you. Taking the approach that being single for this period of time was an extra opportunity to tie up loose ends is helpful too. Maybe there were things going on in your life that you were too busy to handle. The pandemic allowed for patience and more time to figure things out on your own.
But, if you felt the need to get back out there as soon as the virus died down, it doesn’t necessarily mean you lack patience. It can also mean that you were given enough downtime to work on yourself, and you’re ready to share your life!
Dating apps (like Plenty of Fish) have made dipping your toes into the dating pond easier by allowing people to use their platforms even during the pandemic and appreciate emotional intimacy over physical. For some, a combination of being single, isolated, and available on dating apps might have whipped up the perfect storm for figuring out exactly what you’re looking for in a relationship. While the answer to the question varies, your outlook is what determines how easy it is to be single after the pandemic.