The New Relationships That Fizzled Out in Quarantine – The Atlantic

The New Relationships That Fizzled Out in Quarantine – The Atlantic

When stay-at-home measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 went into effect earlier this spring, something weird happened to our sense of geography. For many people who were confined to their homes, physical location suddenly flattened into a binary of “here” and “not here.” Any person who didn’t live in your home was essentially accessible only via phone or videochat, whether 5,000 miles were between you or just a few city blocks.

This had particularly brutal consequences for people who had been enjoying the giddy, touchy-feely early stages of a romance. In the beginning of March, Christine O’Donovan-Zavada, 26, had gone on two great dates with a guy she met on Tinder; they’d cooked dinner together at her home on the second, and she was planning to meet up with him again for a third. Luis Barcelo, 25, had spent a full week hanging out every day with a woman he’d recently met on Bumble. Jessica Magallanez, 23, had just gone on a surprisingly great frozen-yogurt date with a friend of a friend; afterward, he’d ended up accompanying her to the restaurant where she works as a waitress and getting a table in her section so he could talk to her more.

But over the following weeks, as social-distancing protocols set in, the texting communication between Barcelo and his Bumble friend went from a steady stream of check-ins to a slow trickle of memes and occasional jokes. (“We just send each other things that the other might find funny,”
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