Lockdown has changed everything. As coronavirus spreads across the globe and countries do their best to limit the pressure on hospitals, isolation has become the norm – meaning no dating, if you’re single.
Well, you can date. Just not IRL. We’re as horny and lonely as ever, but instead of sex and drinking in small bars, we’re swiping like mad and starting up long distance romances with people who live one suburb away.
Like all long distance relationships, these “isolationships” as I’m coining them are 0-100 intensity. I’m talking texting 24-7, video chatting before bed and hour long phone calls.
For example, in my current isolationship, it came up randomly that the guy I’ve been “seeing” (can you see someone if you don’t SEE them? If a tree falls in the woods etc.) has also been isolationshipping with OTHER WOMEN.
Cue my intense jealousy. We’ve only been dating-or-whatever-this-is for a couple of weeks. In normal life, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a guy I’ve casually hung out with a few times also casually hanging out with other girls. But in an isolationship? That is some LEVEL TEN CHEATING BULLSHIT.
A few facts about an isolationship, so you can determine if you’re in one.
1. There’s A Lot Of Angst
It’s all very Romeo and Juliet in an isolationship – star-crossed lovers separated by the State laws, which demand you remain isolated for the foreseeable future. How romantic is THAT?
So romantic in fact, that you fall into an angst pit where you’re the stars of a heart-wrenching teen drama series and your parents don’t want you dating you other half. No? Just me?
Jokes aside, an isolationship is riddled with angsty energy. Think deep sighs of longing and texts like “I wish I could touch you”. Good lord.
2. Everything Is Accelerated
So normally when you’re dating, there’s a window of time – around a month, sometimes longer – where everything is just fun and low-key. You’re aware the other person may be seeing/sleeping with other people, but it doesn’t bother you. You text intermittently. Things just aren’t super serious yet.
With an isolationship, you’re behaving like you’re a couple after like, DAY ONE. I’m talking daily video chats. Sending each other cat memes. Going deep on your childhood traumatic experiences that led to your crippling anxiety problems that plague you especially in isolation (again, just me?).
It’s like you shot WAY past dating and into that intense honeymoon period, except without the sex.
3. Which Means Fights
Yep, if you’re in an isolationship you’re probably already fighting with your s.o. To be fair, the circumstances encourage it – sexual frustration? Tick. Boredom? Tick. General existentialism leading to mood swings? TTTTTTTICK.
You wouldn’t normally fight so early on in an IRL relationship, but the factors make it, well, hard not to.
4. So, Is An Isolationship Legit?
In short – yes. But there’s a bit more to it. It’s important, I reckon, to remember that your relationship is a product of its context. You’re lonely. They’re lonely. Everyone is looking for connection, so there’s a big chance you or the person you’re currently obsessed with are just enjoying a connection, not necessarily each other.
It’s also a novelty. Video chatting was something I NEVER did before lockdown. Now, all my human connection besides my immediate family is through a screen. Wild stuff. Long distance is also, for many of us, a novelty. If you’re used to IRL dating, chatting to someone you won’t get to see for months can be super fun (until it’s not).
But then again, I’m sure some fucking amazing relationships will be borne from this lockdown period. There’s plenty of time to get to know each other before bonetown, for example. You’re also going deep since there’s literally nothing to talk about but feelings and personal stories! All good things.
Essentially, only you can determine if your isolationship is the real deal or bullshit. Trust your gut, baby!