SINGLE women across the UK have endured a tough few months, being forced into a sexless lockdown while hearing couples brag about lunchtime quickies and romantic dates at home.
And with a second wave of coronavirus this week deemed ‘inevitable’, many are fearing they could soon be shut inside again without a partner to keep them company.
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Sun Online has caught up with four women on a mission to find a man – and quickly.
It hasn’t always gone well, with one still living at home with her ex, and another stood up by a rude date at the park.
Nonetheless, from wearing sexy outfits to the supermarket to doing their make-up before park workouts and having virtual dates every week, these ladies are determined to find a future hubby during the pandemic.
Here, we find out what lengths they’re willing to go to in order to avoid another dry spell.
‘I drove 30 mins for a socially distanced date – and he stood me up’
Zaira Sheikh, 30, lives in Basingstoke with her mum. She’s been mending her broken heart in lockdown, having ended a long-term relationship a year ago.
She says: “This year has really dragged. I’ve spent most of it trying to get over the heartbreak of my first proper love.
I do want to meet someone and I’ve been trying really hard for the past three or four weeks, looking on Bumble and Plenty of Fish, but nothing has happened yet.
I had two socially distanced walking dates and for one I had to drive for 30mins – and he stood me up. I waited for an hour and a half, and got a text later that night saying he had a problem with his phone – I didn’t believe that.
I never walk out of my house without make-up, even if it’s to the shop around the corner, because my mum has always said ‘you never know when you’ll meet your soulmate’. I could be getting petrol and he’d be there.
It’s been a year since I had sex, so that’s why I’m more inclined to start the process, because I’m a relationship person.
My mum and dad had an arranged marriage, though they split years ago, but you know what, if it gets to anywhere near 40 and I’m still single, I might consider it myself.
I even went on Come Dine With Me and thought maybe there would be a hot guy there, but one was married and the other was engaged.
I sometimes wonder if I’ll be single forever.”
‘I’ve been secretly dating while stuck in lockdown with my ex’
Louise Sam, 37, from London, split from her ex in 2019 but was forced into lockdown with him. Determined to keep on dating, she dressed up for video chats while hiding in her bedroom.
She says: “My ex and I broke up at the end of last year, and had been organising the sale of our flat but then lockdown happened and we were stuck together.
I had just started getting my head around being single again, and it felt like the door was slammed in my face.
I thought, ‘this isn’t fair, I want to move on with my life’ and my age is a big deal, I don’t have all the time in the world.
I want to find someone who makes me happy, so I started secretly dating while living with my ex.
I joined Bumble and had video chats with a few guys, which was awkward since my ex kept asking why I was doing my make-up and getting dressed up at home.
My ex kept asking why I was doing my make-up and getting dressed up at home
It was really nice to flirt and feel appreciated again, and to know that there are people out there who are going to find me attractive.
There have been a few dates in the park too that I got dolled up for, which is a bit weird since I cycle everywhere – and I had to hide it from my ex, which is really hard.
So far, I’ve only had a kiss with one guy.
My ex and I still have dinner, watch TV and cook together and it has reignited feelings, but it’s not real life – it’s an imaginary world where we live happily ever after and that’s just not going to happen.”
‘I put on full make-up & nicest clothes to turn heads in the park’
Carol Aquino, 40, lives on her own in a flat in Shoreditch. She’s been single for two years, following a divorce from her husband of 14 years and has been dating all through lockdown.
She says: “I go on dating apps, like Inner Circle, once every couple of days but I’m very picky about what I want from men.
I’m looking for something long-term, someone who shows a level of commitment. A lot of men will say that’s what they want but they actually don’t – it’s just a way to fool women into sex.
During lockdown, I’ve been on social distancing walks, including one in Victoria Park with a guy I really like.
I’m sort of a freak when it comes to coronavirus, I really don’t want to get sick but it was so hard to keep my hands off him.
I’m into guys who like fitness, and I always wear make-up to the gym
Thankfully I’ve got my toys to keep me going at home, but I really miss the intimacy, cuddling and kissing, more so than sex.
I’m into guys who like fitness, and I always wear make-up to the gym – I want to look good when I’m there, because you never know who you’ll meet.
During lockdown, I’ve dressed up in my nicest clothes to work out in the park with a full face of make-up.
I actually did meet someone who asked me for my number, but then I never heard from him.
I’ve also had lots of video dates, but nothing X-rated yet.”
‘I’m sick of annoying couples moaning about lockdown’
Amy Ford, 32, lives in London and has been single for two years. During lockdown, she has been stockpiling matches on dating apps and rekindled a romance with her ex.
She says: “At the start of lockdown, when you couldn’t leave your house for more than a walk, I tried a few FaceTime dates but I found it really difficult because you just can’t get the chemistry that you need.
Instead, I started swiping to stock up on matches, so I could save them for when it was possible to meet up again. There are a lot of men on Tinder who are married but looking for affairs, so there’s more to sift through.
I want to meet someone soon, and I’ve actually started talking to my ex again, on Zoom
There have been a few social distancing dates – we had a picnic, went cycling, had coffee – but it’s really hard because there’s only so many dates you can have without breaking the rules.
As a single woman, I’ve found it annoying with couples, particularly work colleagues, saying that it’s difficult living with someone and seeing them all the time.
I have no sympathy, imagine what it’s like not having anyone hug you or touch you for months on end.
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I want to meet someone soon, and I’ve actually started talking to my ex again, on Zoom.
We’ve been trying to work through our old problems and discussed getting back together, but he lives in Australia so it’s really difficult.”