In our new series Staying Connected, we will be talking to women in the public eye about life during lockdown the pandemic, and how they are navigating relationships during this time. keeping their relationships alive during isolation.
Staying Connected is sponsored by Bumble, the social networking-app, connecting people across dating, friendship and professional networking.
Bumble’s virtual dating feature Video Call is an ideal way to chat, date and connect with new people.
Remember, your dating life doesn’t have to stop because of social distancing.
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For this week’s feature we are speaking to former Miss Ireland and top influencer Aoife Walsh.
The Tipperary beauty opens up about having to postpone her wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, being forced apart from her fiancé and the how she has stayed connect with her close friends and family.
Q: How has lockdown been for you overall?
Lockdown so far has been surprisingly not too bad. I went through a pretty rough patch at the beginning like most people naturally feeling a little anxious and worried about loved ones and being separated from my fiancé.
But now that we are finally reunited we love hanging out in our own bubble and have a great routine of working from home, exercising, baking and cooking.
Q: You initially went home to Tipperary from New York – how was that for you?
I spent the majority of lockdown in Tipperary with my mum and dad. It was great to get to spend so much quality time with them over a prolonged period and I know we will look back on it as a strange time but a time where we supported each other and went out of our way to cheer each other up during a frightening time.
I got to learn how to bake with my mum and went out for country walks with my dad. Even dabbled in a spot of gardening! I would normally never have the time to do these things as I travel so much and spend so much time in New York with Gary.
Q: How long were you separated from your fiance? And what was that experience like being so far apart?
Over lockdown I was separated from my fiancé for 10 weeks. It was very hard as we had to go through the emotion and logistics of postponing our wedding over video chat when all you really wanted was a kiss and cuddle. We video chatted every single day of lockdown and sometimes twice a day! We would have been completely lost without it! I was naturally worried about Gary in New York and was glad when he flew back to Dublin. With the strict travel restrictions it meant we couldn’t travel to see each other so we were so overjoyed when we finally reunited!
Q: What do you think the secret to a successful relationship is?
The secret to a successful relationship is a good sense of humour and a short term memory!!
Q: Before you met your husband-to-be did you ever do any online dating? What do you think the benefits are for dating online right now?
I’ve been with my fiancé 5 years so I didn’t do any online dating before him! I think things have changed a lot in the dating scene since then and I think online dating is a fantastic way to meet people.
I know friends who have met their husbands online! It’s more important even now, when we are not out socialising as much as we used to but would still like to meet someone special! You can even do video chat dates now too which is such a great idea!
Q: If you never online dated, have friends of yours used Bumble for dating? If so, have they had good experiences?
Most of my single friends use bumble for dating online and love it!! I can’t keep up with half of them, they have a new man every time I’m chatting to them!! Others have even found their husbands so overall they really like using the app! Oh to be single again!!
Q: You were meant to be getting married this summer, how has it been being a ‘Covid Bride’?
We were supposed to be married this July but because of Covid 19 that’s naturally been postponed like so many other brides and grooms out there. After the initial shock, the decision was easy.
The health and well being of both ourselves and our family and friends is our number 1 priority. We will have plenty of time to celebrate with a big party when the time is right. We are just grateful everyone is safe and well and that’s what is most important.
Q: Talk to us about some of the most important connections you have in your life and how have you kept those connections alive during this pandemic?
I mainly stay connected with my family through video chat! I haven’t seen my niece or nephew since January so I call my sister regularly! They are still so young so I think virtual face to face communication is important so they don’t forget their favourite aunt!
I video call my mum and dad more than a regular phone call now! It definitely makes me feel more connected to them! Sometimes I ring in the middle of their dinner and it feels like we share those moments together even though we are apart.
Q: How are you staying connected with your followers during this time? Do you find social media has really helped?
I definitely feel I’ve gotten a lot closer to my followers over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been able to chat and get to know so many of them through direct messaging.
Lots of brides to be in the same situation and feeling the same things. I think everyone was longing for that connection over the lockdown and I was so delighted that so many reached out to me.
Q: Talk to us about some of the things you have done for self-care during this time.
I’m enjoying the down time. I normally travel all the time but instead I’m really enjoying just not doing a whole lot for a change. I bought a bike recently and try to cycle to the beach for exercise most evenings. I also have really taken up the hobby of baking since learning all the tricks from my mum. My fiancé is delighted with all the baked treats in the house.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned about yourself during isolation?
The biggest lesson from lockdown has been gratitude for the little things in life that are really the biggest things. My health, family and my fiancé.
Staying connected is more important than ever before and Bumble is a social network that allows you to feel empowered while you make connections, whether you’re dating, looking for friends, or growing your professional network.
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