If there’s one thing these lockdowns have reminded us it’s that people are pretty fucking lonely right now. We crave human intimacy, whether platonic, romantic, or purely sexual.

In response, the NSW government has allowed people who live alone to nominate someone as their single bubble buddy and said that people are able to visit their intimate partners. Fortunately, a spokesperson for NSW Health told us that your intimate partner can be from outside a 5km radius of your home but we still don’t know the difference between that and a nominated guest for a single lonely pal.

So, PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Sydney criminal justice lawyer and TikTok Live star Jahan Kalantar to find out.

What’s the difference between an intimate partner and a single bubble buddy?

“A single bubble buddy is for people who live alone,” he explained.

“The government has granted individuals with these circumstances to nominate a person to be their single buddy home visitor.  The nominated visitor can be one person you would like to socialise with and there cannot be any other adults that live in the same home (person must be living on their own).

“Whereas Health officials have clarified that residents of Greater Sydney can visit an intimate partner if they live at another residence.”

Kalantar says that the definition of an intimate partner is still incredibly ambiguous but ultimately seems to have many of the same characteristics as a marriage or de facto relationship. Namely, it needs to fit some of (and potentially all of) the following criteria:

  • Relationship to the exclusion of all others.
  • A degree of commitment towards a shared life.
  • The way the partners would present to the world at large.

“To that end, I would say that if you could stand in front of a judicial officer and explain your relationship to your intimate partner in such a way as to convince them that you had such a relationship, that might be the best way forward.”

Basically, no, your random hookup named Dave from your apartment block doesn’t count as an intimate partner unless you’re having a regular root.