I Got Into A Relationship, Maintained It and Got Engaged At The Height Of A Pandemic

I met my fiancé at the end of the world or something like it. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage country after country, wreaking havoc on lives, world policies, and typical human interaction – I’m planning a wedding.

It feels weird to say. Almost selfish. Many have lost their lives, and many more lives are to be lost. It’s anyone’s guess how this story goes, but there is no denying that in a world where death calls – I’m betting off starting a new life.

The social ramifications of Covid19 measures are apparent. I have read, and even written articles on the strain lockdown procedures have had on couples. However, even as I consumed this media, I realized that my experience was entirely different. 

An Expert In Singlehood

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In my circle, I was the one who never dated. In high school, I was too busy getting over the awkwardness of being around boys after years spent in a strict Catholic school. So, I made friends, became an emo scene kid, and joined a rock band.

But high school is high school. The kids around me were dating. Back then, it felt like everyone was dating. I even started making a list in my head, and it was not long until I started thinking something was wrong with me. Which was stupid, but what’s teenhood without a bit of drama.

Solo And The City

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Romance is everywhere, so you can imagine the weird crisis it puts single people in. I’m one of those people that landed an after-college job before I landed a date. However, the older I got, the less attached I became to the idea of dating.

Yet, it remained a nagging feeling. So when I bumped into an old high school acquaintance I’d met back when I was an emo teen, I was just as surprised as anyone when we were official almost three weeks after meeting.

My First Relationship

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Three months later, the first lockdown came around. The pandemic had waged war on social interactions everywhere, so we couldn’t meet as much. To make matters worse, I, like many others, lost my job. My fiance still kept his job, but his own business closed shop.

We took a road trip to a little island about two hours away from the city, where I said yes. The water level on that island has now risen and has taken the island with it.

Then the existential dread set in. My wallet got tighter, and my job search was a series of ‘we regret to inform you’s.’ Moreover, my fiance began to explore the possibility that his business had failed. As a result, what started as a light-as-air relationship turned into something akin to a sad movie about a twenty-year marriage with three kids and a mortgage.

Dating In A Pandemic

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I’m not sure what to call this trauma response, but for the days we were left worried, we cackled at our fate just as much. We also met online and watched films or binged series, sharing our opinions on what sucked and what didn’t.

We shared our fears on parking lot dates, went for many walks, or met up at each other’s familial homes where we lived. It was a pretty fun way to know each other’s families in the middle of a nightmare. 

A Happy Ending Of My Design

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When restrictions eased almost a year in, we took a road trip to a little island about two hours away from the city, where I said yes. The water level on that island has now risen and has taken the island with it. Lockdown is still a thing, and the virus is mutating. Happy endings are complicated things.

So here I am, sorting through a small wedding guest list and picking out flowers. Despite the chaotic beginnings of my relationship, there is one thing the pandemic has taught me. If I can get through this with a happy ending of my design, I can get through anything.

Written By:
Annette Shadeya

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