21 votes

Love in the time of coronavirus?

Following an off-topic conversation starting here:

https://tildes.net/~health.coronavirus/mq7/advice_from_a_doctor_who_studied_coronaviruses_for_50_years#comment-4qi7

I thought it would be handy to establish that life still continues even in pandemic lockdown. One participant mentions a successful video date, and another wishes for sex.

The questions below may be personal and sensitive - please use your best judgement in answering or refraining to do so. Usual Tildes rules of courtesy apply.

  1. If you're in a relationship, what are you doing to keep it alive and healthy?

  2. If you're not partnered, what are you doing, if anything, to date or otherwise meet your needs while everything is closed down (if this is the case where you are)?

  3. Does your idea of love or sex require physical contact?

  4. If physical contact is required, what, if anything, are you doing to stay safe right now?

36 comments

  1. [4]
    boredop
    Link
    My wedding was planned for early April in New York. We decided on Friday that we needed to postpone it. On Saturday we called our officiant to let her know, and she offered to marry us privately...

    My wedding was planned for early April in New York. We decided on Friday that we needed to postpone it. On Saturday we called our officiant to let her know, and she offered to marry us privately the next day. So yesterday we met her in a park by the Hudson River a few miles north of the city. There was nobody around except my fiancee and I, our officiant, and the officiant's husband and son (who is an old friend of mine) as our witnesses. Our wedding of 200 people got scaled down to five, and we kept our distance from each other as much as possible, but it was still pretty perfect.

    So yeah, yesterday I got married in the time of coronavirus. It even made the news.

    10 votes
    1. whisper
      Link Parent
      That's awesome! Congrats on the nuptials!

      That's awesome! Congrats on the nuptials!

      5 votes
    2. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      Wow, congratulations! I'm sorry it wasn't the event you and your families envisioned, but what a cheering story to share with us, thank you!

      Wow, congratulations! I'm sorry it wasn't the event you and your families envisioned, but what a cheering story to share with us, thank you!

      4 votes
    3. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Congratulations! My husband and I had a private ceremony for our actual wedding and then held our reception almost a full year later, and I really liked splitting the two parts up. Both were...

      Congratulations!

      My husband and I had a private ceremony for our actual wedding and then held our reception almost a full year later, and I really liked splitting the two parts up. Both were memorable in different ways. I hope after things clear up you two get to have the celebration you were planning for, but know that it's not unprecedented (at least in my eyes) to separate those two pieces by a long time.

      1 vote
  2. [4]
    Diet_Coke
    Link
    My girlfriend has type 1 diabetes, which is already a burden. It means she's also more likely to have complications if she catches this bug too. My boss isn't doing work from home (yet, anyway)....

    My girlfriend has type 1 diabetes, which is already a burden. It means she's also more likely to have complications if she catches this bug too. My boss isn't doing work from home (yet, anyway). He says that if you feel sick, don't come in. However by the time someone feels sick, they've already been passing this around for five or more days. If someone in our office gets it, we all will.

    It means I have to be extra careful too. If I catch covid, then from what I've read there's a chance I'd still be contagious after getting better. It could be actual months until it's safe to see her, depending on how things go.

    We're trying to keep up through texting, but it isn't the same. It just really sucks, I don't know what the solution is other than wait it out.

    10 votes
    1. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Try phone calls. Hearing the other person's voice provides a better sense of connection than just reading their words on a screen. If you have the ability to make video calls, that's even better.

      We're trying to keep up through texting, but it isn't the same.

      Try phone calls. Hearing the other person's voice provides a better sense of connection than just reading their words on a screen. If you have the ability to make video calls, that's even better.

      11 votes
    2. patience_limited
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Man, that's hard - type 1 diabetes is just a huge package of difficulties, including everything from mood swings to sexual dysfunction to life-threatening crises. I understand why you feel...

      Man, that's hard - type 1 diabetes is just a huge package of difficulties, including everything from mood swings to sexual dysfunction to life-threatening crises. I understand why you feel burdened, especially when you're under threat too, and can't get your needs met safely.

      I'm not a therapist, but it sounds like something you need to have an honest talk with her about, maybe via video call if it's not safe to meet face-to-face. Getting through something like this together can make for more enduring bonds.

      When I had to travel all the time, there were more than a few steamy video conferences with the spouse to get through periods of separation. I might have been getting home exhausted, but we still had the sense of intimacy to re-establish closeness when things were more settled.

      I don't know if you're in a country or locale that's sending all but critical emergency workers home. Even if there's no work-from-home policy, maybe you can set up the pieces of remote access to show your boss how it can be done, and how you can remain accountable for your duties. That way, you get protection and establish yourself as someone who presents solutions instead of (in your boss' mind) making demands.

      4 votes
    3. sandaltree
      Link Parent
      I think the official number at the moment is 24h before symptoms, so not as bad.

      However by the time someone feels sick, they've already been passing this around for five or more days. If someone in our office gets it, we all will.

      I think the official number at the moment is 24h before symptoms, so not as bad.

  3. [9]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    In a massive coincidence, I caught a cold three weeks ago. I know it was a cold, because it started with a runny nose, which is not one of the symptoms of this new coronavirus. It also happened...

    In a massive coincidence, I caught a cold three weeks ago. I know it was a cold, because it started with a runny nose, which is not one of the symptoms of this new coronavirus. It also happened before the coronavirus was spreading freely within the Australian community, and I was nowhere near any international travellers. So, I caught a cold. (It ran its course within a week. I'm fine now, thanks for asking.)

    How did I catch this cold? Through sex. I went out, randomly met up with an old acquaintance, and we ended up doing the deed. A couple of hours later, I started sniffling.

    I've learned my lesson. I'm living the life of a monk for the foreseeable future, and making good use of my porn collection when necessary.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      If celibacy seems unbearable, Zen monks in Japan are allowed to marry. Just saying hahaha

      I'm living the life of a monk for the foreseeable future

      If celibacy seems unbearable, Zen monks in Japan are allowed to marry. Just saying hahaha

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Marriage?! What did I ever do to you to deserve that sort of punishment?

        Marriage?! What did I ever do to you to deserve that sort of punishment?

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          I don't know dude, I'm just presenting an alternative hahaha

          I don't know dude, I'm just presenting an alternative hahaha

          1 vote
    2. [5]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Oh god! Are you okay now?

      In a massive coincidence, I caught a cold three weeks ago.

      Oh god! Are you okay now?

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Keep reading:

        Keep reading:

        (It ran its course within a week. I'm fine now, thanks for asking.)

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          I know, I know. I was making a joke in hopes of making you feel better.

          I know, I know. I was making a joke in hopes of making you feel better.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Oh. I wondered if you might have been trying to make a joke, but you've never struck me as the joking type, and your comment read as a bit too straight to be a joke.

            Oh. I wondered if you might have been trying to make a joke, but you've never struck me as the joking type, and your comment read as a bit too straight to be a joke.

            1 vote
            1. ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              Yeees, shared context can be a mess sometimes. I may seem self-serious and uptight, but I'm not beyond cracking a good joke every once in while. Some of my best memories are making people laugh.

              Yeees, shared context can be a mess sometimes.

              you've never struck me as the joking type

              I may seem self-serious and uptight, but I'm not beyond cracking a good joke every once in while. Some of my best memories are making people laugh.

              4 votes
  4. [10]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    My wife and I already work from home, so it's less arduous than for those who can't safely see their sweeties right now. The thing that's being hard is actually how much time we do have; she's...

    My wife and I already work from home, so it's less arduous than for those who can't safely see their sweeties right now. The thing that's being hard is actually how much time we do have; she's normally out networking half of the time, so right now it's more about how to have time "apart" while we're both at home all the time. She also needs way more social interaction than I can stomach, so that's its own challenge.

    7 votes
    1. patience_limited
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm in a similar situation. My husband used to be the one who needed lots of social contact when we were in Florida, and now he hasn't established a local social network yet. Since he's home all...

      I'm in a similar situation. My husband used to be the one who needed lots of social contact when we were in Florida, and now he hasn't established a local social network yet. Since he's home all day, I've been his main source of face-to-face social interaction, and that can definitely be heavy lifting sometimes.

      My work and social community used to overlap pretty heavily, and I didn't need much more than that. I'm now out in the community for various kinds of rehab, research, and volunteer work, making friends along the way. I could bring back stories of interest and (mis)adventure to keep him entertained, and function as a local guide. Now, it's going to be just us for awhile, and I'm not sure how to cope.

      Also, we've gotten more physically distant due to various disabilities on both our parts - it takes some planning, choreography, and experimentation. I really dread the day when we can't do anything with each other painlessly. In a way, I miss the video sex days because we knew in advance that we couldn't touch. Well, now we've got focused time to work on that - I could try to be more enthusiastic.

      3 votes
    2. [8]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      My worst fear right there. I require lots of alone time (like multiple times more than a "normal" person), and that is one of the main reasons I never contemplated marriage.

      so right now it's more about how to have time "apart" while we're both at home all the time

      My worst fear right there. I require lots of alone time (like multiple times more than a "normal" person), and that is one of the main reasons I never contemplated marriage.

      2 votes
      1. [7]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        It's really about setting boundaries; if you don't want to live with someone, you don't have to. You can still have a long term committed relationship including marriage without living together....

        It's really about setting boundaries; if you don't want to live with someone, you don't have to. You can still have a long term committed relationship including marriage without living together. One of the marriages I aspire to emulate is an older couple I know who live in adjoining apartments. They cook together sometimes, and sleep together when they want to, but have their own apartments for their own time.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'm all for long-term relationships. But if I'm not living together with someone, I don't see the need to call that "marriage". The word "marriage" might create unintended expectations and end up...

          You can still have a long term committed relationship including marriage without living together

          I'm all for long-term relationships. But if I'm not living together with someone, I don't see the need to call that "marriage".

          The word "marriage" might create unintended expectations and end up doing more harm than good, to be honest.

          1 vote
          1. patience_limited
            Link Parent
            Yeah, the word "marriage" definitely conjures some emotional demons. In the U.S. at least, marriage comes with a host of explicit or implicit legal, financial, and social advantages over unmarried...

            Yeah, the word "marriage" definitely conjures some emotional demons.

            In the U.S. at least, marriage comes with a host of explicit or implicit legal, financial, and social advantages over unmarried status (e.g. health insurance, child custody, citizenship, taxes, power of attorney if incapacitated, inheritance, etc.). It's part of why same-sex marriage was so important, not just social recognition.

            Spouse and I lived together before deciding to make it official, but since marrying, we've spent substantial time periods separated while we each had our road warrior years. We're still working on little boundary resets, like verbally asking for attention instead of just starting to chatter at each other.

            4 votes
          2. [3]
            MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            That's an interesting boundary line regarding marriage. At least in the US, marriage has a number of meanings and nuances, but cohabitation has never been a requirement. Consummation, yes....

            That's an interesting boundary line regarding marriage. At least in the US, marriage has a number of meanings and nuances, but cohabitation has never been a requirement. Consummation, yes. Cohabitation, no. Perhaps it's different elsewhere?

            3 votes
            1. Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              If you ask almost anyone here in Australia about marriage, they will tell you that married people live together. There are exceptions, such as when one spouse has to travel for work, or if the...

              If you ask almost anyone here in Australia about marriage, they will tell you that married people live together. There are exceptions, such as when one spouse has to travel for work, or if the couple are separating prior to divorce, but the default situation for married couples is that they live together. In fact, living together is often seen as a valuable step to determine the viability of a relationship prior to getting married, precisely because cohabitation is seen as a requirement of being married.

              Married people might sleep in separate bedrooms (like my grandparents did), but they sleep under the same roof.

              2 votes
            2. mrbig
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              In Brazil, marriage ("casamento") is living together, usually with the expectation of having children. You can marry and not have children, but people will pester you to no end about it. It...

              In Brazil, marriage ("casamento") is living together, usually with the expectation of having children. You can marry and not have children, but people will pester you to no end about it.

              It carries a bunch of obligations.

              It's a loaded word, for sure.

              1 vote
        2. ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          That's... huh. That's a new thought to me. Thanks for stating it. Gets me thinking.

          That's... huh. That's a new thought to me. Thanks for stating it. Gets me thinking.

  5. Bullmaestro
    Link
    My partner and I live about 50 miles apart from each other. She's in a small town with less than 50,000 people, I'm in a big city with over 1 million population. It's already kinda difficult for...

    My partner and I live about 50 miles apart from each other. She's in a small town with less than 50,000 people, I'm in a big city with over 1 million population.

    It's already kinda difficult for us because we both have busy lives, we can't really see each other during the week due to work commitments, neither of us are keen on moving closer to each other because she doesn't want to be away from family and I don't want to quit my job and move somewhere with a potential lack of work opportunities.

    We planned to go on vacation together next week and I booked a week off specifically for it. Coronavirus has kinda shelved those plans.

    5 votes
  6. [3]
    Adys
    Link
    Going about as usual. My country is on lockdown; at times like these, it's good to be there for each other… heavens if we're going to stop kissing/having sex because of this. Sure, if one of us...

    If you're in a relationship, what are you doing to keep it alive and healthy?

    Going about as usual. My country is on lockdown; at times like these, it's good to be there for each other… heavens if we're going to stop kissing/having sex because of this.

    Sure, if one of us starts having symptoms, we'll take a short break. There's no point trying to infect the other person. But… this is here to stay. It won't go away in two weeks. It probably won't go away in two months. The fuck are we to do; break up just in case?

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      To add to that: One of my best friends is a respiratory nurse. She's at very high risk to catch the damn thing. Should I stop seeing her, to minimize my personal risk? Fuck no; she's incredibly...

      To add to that: One of my best friends is a respiratory nurse. She's at very high risk to catch the damn thing. Should I stop seeing her, to minimize my personal risk?

      Fuck no; she's incredibly overworked right now and she has an open invitation to sleep at my place whenever she needs to (I live an hour closer to the hospital than her).

      Social distancing doesn't mean "become a social pariah". We should be there for each other in times of need, now more than ever, and especially those in a low-risk group.

      3 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        I've seen it claimed that the Chinese quarantine was a success because infected people were isolated from their families. The assumption was that if they quarantined at home, they'd just infect...

        I've seen it claimed that the Chinese quarantine was a success because infected people were isolated from their families. The assumption was that if they quarantined at home, they'd just infect the whole household.

        Well, it now seems that the households were already infected by the time the sick people started to show symptoms. There's no point in cutting off contact with your closest intimates; just don't keep casual community contacts.

        6 votes
  7. vivaria
    Link
    Oddly enough, now's the time that I meet a HUGE CUTIE to flirt with. I've been on a self-imposed hiatus from dates after a consistent inability to balance a relationship + schoolwork. But, I...

    Oddly enough, now's the time that I meet a HUGE CUTIE to flirt with. I've been on a self-imposed hiatus from dates after a consistent inability to balance a relationship + schoolwork. But, I started using OKC again now that I'm near graduation, and woof! Big connection right away.

    We're both introvert-ish people who grew up on the internet, so we're doing alright keeping things to text for now. I've gotten good at covering my 'dealbreaker' bases pretty quickly, so all signs point to a promising friendship (or more????) I also do have to round out the term though, so I'm a bit frazzled balancing Big Affection Feelings with the stress of Job Hunting and Graduation and COVID-19. Maybe I opened the gates a little too early, but things will ease up very soon for me, so I'm not too worried.

    They're poly with an existing partner of 5 years! I've dated non-monogamously in the past, so it's something I'm still open to. But, I haven't had to navigate a metamour situation like this before (especially because they're a cishet male with monogamous preferences -- not someone I'd typically be attracted to). So, it'll be interesting navigating the dynamics there. Lots and lots of feelings jams and communication in my future that I'm looking forward to. :>


    As for the questions...

    If you're not partnered, what are you doing, if anything, to date or otherwise meet your needs while everything is closed down (if this is the case where you are)?

    Online dating is such a boon for text-heavy communicators already, so I'd already be using it, COVID-19 or not. Historically, it's common for me to chat with someone for weeks or even a month before meeting up for a first date. So, I'm not all too phased by social distancing here!

    I mean, I wooooould love to jump into cuddles and smooches, don't get me wrong. But I've got a year or two without and have been able to cope okay, so I'm in no rush. Slow and steady for now. :>

    Does your idea of love or sex require physical contact?

    Yep! Touch is real important to me. I've done LDRs before, and I know from experience that the distance was the most fatal bit. Thankfully, them and I are veeeeeeeeery much on the same page here. If you've seen me ramble about sex education and exploration on here before, you'll know this is a pretty important thing to me.

    If physical contact is required, what, if anything, are you doing to stay safe right now?

    Goodness, I hadn't even considered safety in this regard. I mean, I was planning on holing myself up in my place for the next month straight to finish up my work. (Everything's been cancelled here, and I have no reason to go anywhere besides purchasing essentials.) But, with Flirty Chats I now have a new reason... hrmm. I'll have to give this a think when planning future hangouts.

    4 votes
  8. [4]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I was supposed to confirm a date for tomorrow, but I'm not feeling well. I had the flu, it was supposed to be gone, but I got too tired yesterday and now I got a running nose. I get the flu all...

    If you're not partnered, what are you doing, if anything, to date or otherwise meet your needs while everything is closed down (if this is the case where you are)?

    I was supposed to confirm a date for tomorrow, but I'm not feeling well. I had the flu, it was supposed to be gone, but I got too tired yesterday and now I got a running nose. I get the flu all the time so I'm not paranoid or anything, but it might be covid-19. I also went to a crowded place today, so I'm starting to get wary about it. Maybe I have been careless.

    Not only that, I saw another girl two times last week, we're talking via WhatsApp all the time and I think I got a super crush on her now. It feels kinda weird to have a new date when I'm having these kinds of feelings (I'm trying to be more emotionally organized now if that makes sense. Dial down the crazy). I was tempted to go anyway, but covid-19 settled my decision.

    Does your idea of love or sex require physical contact?

    Yep.

    If physical contact is required, what, if anything, are you doing to stay safe right now?

    I gotta lay low for a while.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Diet_Coke
      Link Parent
      If it makes you feel any better, runny nose is not a symptom of covid. I think you're making the right call cancelling the date, it's hard to see where a promising budding relationship is going...

      If it makes you feel any better, runny nose is not a symptom of covid. I think you're making the right call cancelling the date, it's hard to see where a promising budding relationship is going when you are seeing other people. It's a hard line to walk though. Ah, modern dating.

      8 votes
      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Well, I think I can feel the virus running in my veins. I’m a very perceptive person. Don’t judge.

        Well, I think I can feel the virus running in my veins. I’m a very perceptive person. Don’t judge.

        2 votes
      2. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I believe that, for many people, dating was always like that. Dating apps opened this up for introverts like myself, and I did not have procedures in place to deal with the increase in options (I...

        Ah, modern dating.

        I believe that, for many people, dating was always like that. Dating apps opened this up for introverts like myself, and I did not have procedures in place to deal with the increase in options (I was in a relationship until relatively recently). So I'm creating these procedures now.

        In the future, people will have access to these options at a much younger age and will learn to deal with them much sooner.

        1 vote