The very notion of ‘love’, the need for ‘physical intimacy’ of any sort, the need to socialize, be a part of a community, or just be ‘near’ people is primordial, innate and hardwired in human beings. This global tragedy that we are all living through right now has opened up our eyes to a number of things we took for granted. At the core, the inability to interact, meet and cultivate new relationships along with maintaining the ones we have is what stings the most.
So, how do people survive through this pandemic while still being optimistic about relationships, be it romantic, platonic or professional? How will we as a people, come out on the other side of this pandemic? What have we learnt about ourselves, about our need for attachment, and how will we change our approach towards the things we ignored or were indifferent towards?
Taking care of ourselves:
If you aren’t in a happy space, there is no way you can lend a positive atmosphere to the ones around you. Self-care is crucial when it comes to leading a healthy life. This time alone, with restricted lockdown rules and limited social interaction, is maybe the best time to introspect and figure out what you are expecting of people and why.
Being more considerate towards the ones we love:
We’ve slowed down, which we should be doing at regular intervals anyway. We lose track of the things and gestures many of our loved ones do for us in this race of life, moments where we might do better if we just ‘stop and stare’, in the words of Wordsworth. Being thankful to the people who love us should become the new normal once this is all over. Whatever happened to getting someone flowers? Go ahead, post a thank you note on your bathroom mirror and make your partner’s day. It’s never too late to say ‘thank you’ to the ones you love.
Viewing new relationships through a lens of empathy:
Everyone says today’s generation is the ‘NSA’ generation. No Strings Attached. Well, this pandemic has shown us how fickle and fragile those strings are to begin with. The genuine need for human interaction, the need to connect, has been exposed by this pandemic taking it all away. While we have social media to ‘stay in touch’, god knows it’s not even close to a replacement for actual intimacy. Thankfully, there is Bumble, the social networking app providing an authentic chance at making connections (be it romantic, platonic or professional). So, maybe the one thing we learn from not being able to forge new relationships right now, is cherish them when we make them.
Joy in little things
Freedom to do things–to meet at coffee bars, hang out with friends at pubs, and have a chat with colleagues after work. Go on road trips. Hug someone tight. Have a first kiss with someone you fancied for a long time. Have an all-nighter at a friend’s place. Feel the butterflies on a first virtual date through Bumble Video Call or play the Bumble Question Game as an ice-breaker. All of these ‘regular’ everyday experiences are going to mean so much more once the world goes back to normal. What we can do is not let them seem normal anymore. Once we can do those things, we are going to respect their value so much more.
Go easy on yourself:
It’s a strange new reality we’re all dealing with, so we need to remember to cut ourselves a break. If you’re on a Bumble virtual date, for example, don’t over-analyze yourself. If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is that life is transient. Things can just happen out of the blue. You could be making an important business appointment, setting plans for your wedding, meeting someone in real life that you matched with, and bam! All your plans could unravel. We could learn to let things go, and stop being so hard on ourselves for it.
Start living life the way you want when you have the chance to. Regrets will be a thing of the past. The words ‘YOLO’ will take on a whole new meaning in the new normal. We will be open to new experiences. We will be open to giving people a chance, and then some. Be it with your family members, your office colleagues, your next Bumble date or the Bumble BFF you missed so dearly all these months; people will become so much more important now that we know how life could be without being in touch with them.
We are social animals. We are not alone, instead, we are in this, together. Let that be the one thing we learn when we come out on the other side because love will find a way.
This is a partnered post.