When I started writing this I was quarantining in the apartment of someone who lay bedridden with flu symptoms in the next room. Both me and this someone had recently been abroad and we may or may not have been extremely intimate with each other prior to this illness striking. The whole pandemic thingo obviously made this whole situation feel a bit how-ya-goin’.
He has since tested negative for the ‘rona and we have recommenced our intimacy with more hand sanny used in foreplay than usual.
I must admit that when the results came back negative we were, how do I say, uh, disappointed? He felt less invincible and I felt I had a less interesting story for this blog post. He still thinks the test was faulty and I still think he’s been kissing bats behind my back. But then again, maybe I’ve just got early-relationship insecurities.
Relationship? Say what?! Weren’t you destined to be single for the rest of your life, Jess?
Hey, funny story, I’m in a relationship now. Thanks to all this coronavirus hoo-har, I went from ten to a hundred with this guy from a dating app in just a few flu-infested days.
I casually came over to watch a movie one Saturday afternoon, and three weeks later I’m still here and we’re making long-term lock-down plans for our future together. You can’t make this shit up. I’ve moved out of my apartment in Balmain and all my stuff is now jam-packed into my boyfriend’s dwelling until further notice. We’re here eating toast for breakfast, flossing our teeth and listening to sleep meditations before drifting off into our quarantined slumbers. Our relationship is moving faster than COVID-19. Real-world dating rules no longer apply. We went and set-up a shared GoGet account before he’d even met any of my friends.
In fact, I just realised that it’s my turn to clean the bathroom at the same time I realised we aren’t even Facebook friends yet. IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE?
Part of the reason I’m staying close to my new boo (you know, besides his strong arm muscles and his funny Colombian use of the English language) is because we’re now in a “trust” or “health” bubble together. We’ve both grasped the important concept of only hanging around people who interpret the seriousness of the situation at the same level as we do. I trust him not to kiss bats and he trusts me to use protection if I go to the shops. ‘Exclusive’ has a whole new meaning for us as a new couple. If we both came down with coronavirus now, we’d know that one of us has been unfaithful to our bubble. We’d have to sit down and work out what went wrong in the relationship. We’d have to ask ourselves what happened to cause one of us to party at Bondi Beach, shake someone else’s hand or lick a handrail.
And this is what working on a relationship is in 2020. Gone are the days of syphilis giving away your infidelity. Now pneumonia will catch out the cunning.
It’s important for all of us to form alliances with family and friends who we know are taking this shit seriously. People who understand the definition of social distancing. People who respect the concept of self-isolation. People who aren’t selfish twats going out unnecessarily and putting themselves and others at risk because they refuse to properly research and acknowledge the ever increasing threat.
And hey, if your safe space turns out to be with a guy you’ve only known for a few weeks because neither of you like the idea of quarantining alone, then go for it. It feels naughty to break the dating rules and move faster than societal norms. It’s, like, a little bit uncomfortable.
When people ask me what I was doing when the coronavirus kicked off in 2020, I’ll say I was having great sex and showing all my cards to a lovely Latino man. I’ll say I was feeling pretty smug.
I’d loooooove to know how many other relationships have been pelted into full swing because of this pandemic. Who else was forced to share house chores with their new partner before they shared their wildest dreams? Who else started making jokes about marriage before they met each other’s mothers? Who else is making themselves totally and utterly vulnerable by agreeing to learn salsa?
Probably LOTS of people. These are extraordinary times which call for extraordinary relationship builds.