Written by Izzy Slipper, 25.
Walking through central London during lockdown, the quiet streets echoed ghosts of the times gone by. By times I mean lovers. And I’m not even sure you could call them lovers. As a single twentysomething living in London I had become so good at dating. If only one could be endorsed on LinkedIn for knowing the perfect spot for a quick drink, a romantic meal or somewhere to dance.
A few times I would take some time offline. 'Hinge fatigue' is real, and that’s okay
I was so good that I found someone at the start of the year, hallelujah somebody to live through the apocalypse with. It’s a fairytale right? You’re still technically in the honeymoon phase, then, on week 1 of lockdown you’re left with the prospect of either not seeing each other for months or only ever seeing each other - in a kind of Groundhog Day scenario that you’re definitely on the same page about, definitely. Week 2 we were broken up.
Living alone, work not being busy and having little else in the way of entertainment, Hinge was back on my phone quicker than I’d like to admit. Only this time there was a slight snag. The matches were there, we were all as lonely as each other, desperate for conversation, to feel something…. And there’s the snag, no actual feeling allowed. Although many tried even before the restrictions were loosened. I don’t know if it was impressive or shocking the amount of guys who used lines like "I think I probably had it back in January, so I’m still down for meeting", or, "YOLO, we’re not at risk, so might as well". Although my morals were occasionally put to the test I was able to yield and not give in.
I can’t help but feel it’s a positive that when the world is on fire and people are suffering we still search for love
With no ability to meet up physically where could the conversation go? How could we kick things up a notch? The answer, Zoom. Saviour of lockdown, king of quizzes, calls with your boss and, now, first dates. At first it was fun, we were at the frontier of the ‘new normal’ and embracing societies change. Alas, like everything during lockdown, the novelty of drinking in your own home while on camera to a stranger wore off pretty quickly. I had a varying number of calls with six different guys during the 10 week stint. All, eventually, faded out.
I can't deny my mental health took a bit of a toll. When many of your interactions are with people you potentially want something more with and you have all the time in the world, a lack of reply can occupy a whole lot of space in your mind. A few times I would take some time offline. 'Hinge fatigue' is real, and that’s okay.
Many times I have questioned whether continuing to swipe during lockdown was healthy or right. Collectively we all looked for new ways to continue as normally as possible. For me and many others that included dating. I can’t help but feel it’s a positive that when the world is on fire and people are suffering we still search for love. And who knows, maybe one of the matches I’ve made since will be the one.