"Yet, whilst being away from my boyfriend has been hard, I suppose COVID-19 has also brought some new things into our relationship..."Marie Medenis

It feels weird that we’ve been in lockdown for sixty-nine days now. When I hugged my boyfriend goodbye at the end of Lent, there was no way I could have predicted that we wouldn’t be spending the sunny days of his very last term at university together, or even at Cambridge. Instead, as I sit here writing this article, we are both quarantined in our respective homes, and I’m missing him an embarrassing amount. He’s graduating this year, and I’m still yet to come to terms with the fact that so many of our ‘lasts’ together at uni happened without us even realising. The lockdown started so quickly and so unexpectedly that I didn’t have time to process it, and even now when I am less frustrated and mostly resigned to the situation, it still feels dislocating at times.

When lockdown began, my boyfriend and I didn’t have a conversation about whether we should isolate together, as it was just taken as a given that we should be with our families in these stressful times. About one month in though, as the time before we could see each other again began to seem insurmountable, I cracked and started hinting that I wished we were together, incessantly rattling off lists of all the other couples that I knew were quarantining together and half-seriously suggesting that I bike the 100 miles that separate us. However, just as my hints became more obvious, so too has the fact that we won’t be seeing each other until lockdown ends. Breaking the rules because ‘I miss him’ does seem a bit weak on further interrogation after all. And, at this point, if I’ve made it through two months, I’m sure I can make it through a couple more, even if I am still occasionally overcome with waves of helplessness at how out of my control everything is, and how much I miss him.

But, if I see another story or hear about any other couples who have not let lockdown keep them apart, I might just snap. Last Thursday while out on my doorstep clapping for the NHS, I saw that my neighbour’s girlfriend had clearly moved in with him and I felt an overwhelming, if irrational, pang of jealousy. I’m also envious of my friend who has been living in a campervan with his girlfriend on her parents’ driveway, and I’m even more envious of my friends who have moved back to their uni accommodation. I wish that I could also go back to a uni house with my friends and boyfriend, like so many of my home friends have done, but my college-owned accommodation means that’s just not an option.

Yet, whilst being away from my boyfriend has been hard, I suppose COVID-19 has also brought some new things into our relationship. Admittedly having spent almost every day by his side at Cambridge meant that a break from seeing him and a change of pace was welcome, as it has allowed me more time to think about how much he means to me. Indeed, he talks about how he fell in love with me whilst alone and missing me on a dissertation data collection holiday. This is surely proof of the age-old adage that ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’, with his declaration of love *definitely* linked to his self-quarantine induced boredom.

“Through the comforting detachment of my phone, and away from the fast pace of Cambridge, I think I have been able to become, even though not physically, certainly closer to him emotionally.”

Away from the pressures of a face to face conversation, my boyfriend and I have probably opened up to each other more over text than ever before. I often find it easier to write things down than talk about them, and sometimes when we’ve tried to broach sensitive topics in person, I’ve just clammed up. Long, deep text conversations have given us the opportunity to talk about some of the things I might have been afraid to ask in person or was too shy to say I wanted. Through the comforting detachment of my phone, and away from the fast pace of Cambridge, I think I have been able to become, even though not physically, certainly closer to him emotionally.


READ MORE

Mountain View

No one said loving was easy

Despite all this I am missing the dinner dates and being able to lie next to him while we watch TV instead of clumsily facetiming while we Netflix party, forced to put up with terrible WiFi and out of time audio. Skyping while we work and occasionally sharing screens is just not as fun, or productive, as sitting opposite him in a real library. It’s true that even if we were together we would still be confined to our homes, and there is a certain intensity to our facetime calls that the long, easy days of being actually together lacked. But to be honest, I’m really just waiting for the moment he can finally pull me in for a real-life hug.

Sponsored links

Partner links