BY ISHITA ROY
Love, as simple as this word may sound, is really a complex emotion. With the on-going pandemic, we brought in many changes in our lifestyle. Willingly or not. And Love has become dynamic.
We changed the way we interacted. The way we dressed, studied and hang out. And of course, the way we love. Relationships turned into long distance relationships. Long distance relationships turned into stranded commitments in times of uncertainty.
Now, we always hear that communication is the key. But how can one really communicate without knowing their partners in person?
How do you communicate with your partner when there are no heartbeats to feel? When there are no hands to hold? When there are no cute or shy moments between you two? No sexual tension in the aura? When there is no vulnerability?
How are you really supposed to feel about Love?
While talking to people who did use dating apps in the pandemic, a common ground could be reached upon. Dating apps are used to find anything, but love. The real goal is not really about finding love. We may get there, eventually.
However, the truth is that very rarely do we use a dating app for dating. In most cases, we just need a rebound.
But are dating apps always a bad idea?
No. While in continuation of the conversation, it was found that relationships do spur out of dating apps. However, it is a tedious process. Not as simple as knowing someone from your college, work or society.
What may seem like a simple conversation, might feel like a lot when on dating apps. And again, the reason being- lack of physical contact and interaction. The biggest challenge that we face while using dating apps is lack of intimacy, which technology cannot make up for.
In pre-pandemic times, you could have a direct conversation in person. Do fun activities together. Find out likes and dislikes through conversation, not necessarily directed in any particular way. And meet again the next day. Give time to build rapport. And finally exchange numbers. And follow up from where you left, on texts.
However, dating in a pandemic is limited to virtual space. Which often do not allow us to build a rapport and limits interactions. We make up for the physical time lost through chatting online. And we also follow up the same way- chatting online. And this becomes overwhelming and tiring.Apart from the virtual restrictions.
Love in a pandemic is also affected by lack of privacy and leisure time. In most of the Indian households, especially when it comes to us- the women, there are a lot of restrictions on us. We are also often burdened with unwanted chores and duties. The frustration, which is a result of this very clear gender divide, is then reflected in relationships. So, it really is not about the comfort of our home. Because this comfort does not really exist for brown women.
Love, then, seems like a test. An emotional baggage. Compromises. It no longer stays unconditional. Rather it depends on sacrifices at one’s end to make up for the other.
It is not about long-distance relationships. Yes, they are difficult. But not impossible. It is about uncertainty.
Because no one knows for how long?
For how long do we need to date long distance? For how long will one of us compromise for the lost time? For how long will all of us go through a constant trauma of a global health emergency and act normal? Like it is all okay?
And these are not the questions one should ask about Love.
Definition of Love has thus changed over these testing times. So many couples we know, and thought were inseparable, are going through breakups. Not because they have fallen out of love. But because of the exhaustion and baggage that this new definition of Love in the time of Pandemic has brought in to.