Getting over someone during a pandemic is an incredibly weird experience. One week, you’re discussing summer plans with your crush, the next week they have permanently moved countries to escape travel lockdowns and you don’t even know when you will see them next. Logically, it is time to get over them because it’s not going to happen. Perhaps it was never going to happen even if the pandemic didn’t happen. But the sad thing about how we humans process time is that you only ever really get one shot at a particular moment in time. So now, WE WILL NEVER KNOW. The pandemic and the associated lockdowns are a particular kind of sensory deprivation where you’re mostly exposed to your house and Zoom. Those last few days when you could still see them every day are imprinted even deeper into your brain, probably because that was the last time you felt anything other than a monotonous existential dread. So, how do you even find that feeling again when the world is going to shit? Like a normal person, I decided to try out some dating apps. BOY these are just not for me and I have to say that I envy anyone who manages to actually use them for a significant length of time. People who can meet strangers without that nauseating feeling of dread. The one and only date I went to somehow ended in me giving the guy career advice. A bird also pooped on my skirt whilst we were sheltering from rain under a tree. The rain made the ground wet and I was in sandals which eventually resulted in blisters. It all felt like an allegory for dating online. How much time did I have to waste until it all clicked in my brain again? For someone who is fairly career-oriented, it didn’t seem worth it. So many people had only just created their profiles and there was a sea of people to swipe left on. ‘Just joined because of the lockdown’, many of the profiles said. Those were the ones that admitted it, who knows how many others there were who did not… Participating in that entire ecosystem felt like being a part of some sort of global attempt at mindless escapism. There were just so many other and better things to do to deal with boredom than getting Carpal Tunnel syndrome from swiping left and right (but mostly left). Who even knows where I am going with this? I guess the beauty of this website’s concept is that it doesn’t really matter. I still talk to the person from the first paragraph sometimes. It’s almost like a ‘Minimum Viable Friendship’. The worst thing is though, we’d call maybe every 2 months and it would be the most interesting conversation I would have that week. I don’t think I am in love with them anymore, but there is that gnawing feeling that I haven’t really experienced anything more emotionally intense since. It is a computer file that you can’t somehow override. It doesn’t impair your daily life in any way, but it’s still there in the back of your head. I was often told things like “Oh, they are not worth it”, and sure, I see that, but is anyone else really?
For now, I am really happy in my current job, with my current friends and somehow my fingers no longer itch to open Bumble or Hinge. That file I can’t quite delete is still around somewhere and it is less emotionally taxing to just leave it there.