The Locked down LOVE 

If you thought it’s all ‘Love’ in the air – think twice – because , now , along with love – you might get the infectious Corona Virus too. The path of love was never easy – ask the people in love and now during the lockdown- it has become even more plagued… well, quite literally!  As a result of the pandemic, people are not allowed to leave home and maintain social distancing. While the world went crazy over the ever increasing infected numbers and stock piling, little would anyone think about love? So what is it really like, to feel ‘Love in the time of Corona’?

The coronavirus crisis has put all our relationships to test – from the singles without a partner feeling even more singular than before to couples stuck in different cities to what seems like an indefinite long distance relationship to home-working couples juggling long office calls to in-house childcare to every other person stuck or unstuck with the right or wrong person – whether you have called-off that ‘no strings attached’ relationship because the thought of getting locked down together was giving you sleepless nights or the couples who are sure to hire a divorce lawyer after the lockdown is over or the ones whose ‘almost-dead’ relationships are rekindled once again – COVID-19 has definitely remolded ‘love’ for everyone.

For all the singletons around the globe, technology has come as a rescue. The feeling of date nights, meeting a new person for the first time, getting butterflies in the stomach – might not be a thing now.  Who knows when that time would come again, when holding hands would send sensuous signals without the brain raising the urge of sanitizing? Until then ‘Virtual Date’ is probably the way to go. So, get your Tinder accounts ready and choose that catchy pickup line to woo that ‘someone’.

If Love was supposed to be blind, during this pandemic make sure it is ‘2 meter’ distant too. However, romance is unstoppable, it still finds its way to flourish through the digitalised screens and applications. FaceTime, Wastapp and Zoom are making sure lovers are staying connected, can speak and see each other regularly and are engaging in shared online activities which may, in turn, foster a strong emotional bond between couples. Virtual dating has paved the way for knowing each other more, spending more time in talking as compared to casual coffee dates and hook ups and has brought to life the old traditional courtship period.

The lockdown can be a ‘blessing in disguise’ for unmarried couples, giving them another chance to look before the final leap. As it goes by the age old believe – it’s through difficult times that couples come together and find a new shared meaning. Now a lot depends on how and under what condition couples are quarantined – for some love is new, it’s all rosy and viewed through tinted glass while some might have ‘not-so-rosy’ experiences while accidentally stuck during a weekend visit made to the in-laws when the lockdown was announced.

On the other hand, there are instances where things have gone spectacularly wrong. For example, I was speaking to a friend who is locked down with his ex, who recently dumped him for another guy. But the misdeeds of fate that before she could move out, the lockdown was announced.

For some “Love is unstoppable” – like the famous lyrics – “No sin, no shame, no past, no pain can separate me from Your love”. Teens under strict supervision of parents managing with ‘once-a-day’ texts and removing any traces of its existence thereafter or people having a secret affair outside marriage – this lockdown has been cruel to them. The uncertainty they are living through is – will our secret love affair survive the lockdown? Frequent visits have now been reduced to quick phone calls without ringing any domestic alarms. At times, they risk all sorts of penalties in order to see each other – thankfully once-a-day exercise and essential shopping were allowed, granting some leeway to the lovers in non-existent relationships.

For couples living together through marriage or social partnership, there’s more space for quality time, more time to spend with each other and getting to know the good and ‘not-so-good’ sides. Now this is not about which side weighs more, as long as couples find a way to complement each other.  Partners are spending unprecedented amount of time together confined in their homes and isolated from other people. Marriage has definitely been on the mend for most however the endless rows about the TV remote, doing dishes and preparing dinner continues in most household. For few, the strain of Coronavirus has brought the worst side of their marriage resulting in family fracture.

Social distancing, isolation, lockdown – different ways resulting in dearth of meeting other people can have a huge impact on one’s mental well-being. In these strange and extraordinary times, everything about love might seem delicate and frail. There are times when love is questioned through the quarantine. But the irony is that we need love now more than ever before. Love might be locked down now but is never knocked down.

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