original_title] | #bumble | #tinder | #pof

Lockdown has been an interesting time for single people, especially if you’ve dabbled in dating – and no, it hasn’t ended in true love! Congratulations on making it through though. If any of this sounds familiar, you’re in good company…

In the beginning…

Lockdown dating? Nah, you won’t bother with that. This’ll all be over in a few months.

Everyone’s talking about Zoom dates. You can’t think of anything worse. No thanks!

This might be a good time to think about the sort of partner you’d actually like to meet once proper dating picks up again… Hmm.

Maybe you should just have a little look on the apps. Just in case.

But no, it’s not like you can invite them out for a drink, and you don’t want to spend weeks on end messaging someone you’ve never met. What’s the point?

You ask your single friends if they’re dating. It’s a hard no for some, one’s co-ordinating takeaway deliveries with someone they met on Bumble another says they’re going to focus on their houseplants instead. Hmm.

Maybe this enforced break is just what your love life needs, really. Could be a good thing. Yep, defo a good thing.

In the middle…

Reality is dawning – we’re in this for the long-haul. Maybe you should give lockdown dating a go?

Decide to update your dating app profile but realise your only recent photos are selfies with the cat. 

You start hearing stories about people who just got engaged/moved in together after whirlwind romances in early lockdown, and feel a surge of joy followed by – what even is that – horror/envy/panic?

Holland announces measures to allow single people to create ‘sex buddy’ bubbles, or something like that. Start Googling ‘moving to Holland’.

You match with someone and have your first Zoom date. Do you hate it, or is it quite fun? Who knows?

Your Zoom date messages the next day. The spark wasn’t there. Ouch.

The weather’s warming up and there’s talk of restrictions easing over summer… Ok, you’re logging back into the app.

You match with someone else and arrange to meet for a socially-distanced walk. Ooh, what a novelty! Is this what dating in the 18th century felt like?

Your walk was REALLY GOOD. Did you hit it off? Not sure! But you were out of the house. With another human. EXCITEMENT.

The messages start slowing down and neither of you initiates a second walk. You ponder buying another jigsaw.

Nearing the end…

There’s talk of lockdown getting stricter again… OK, if you act fast, you could feasibly be in a bubble-worthy ‘relationship’ before restrictions come back in force.

You settle in for some scrolling. But hang on, where is everyone? The apps have never been so empty.

Why did you let those other matches slip through your fingers? Look them up on Instagram They’ve both moved in with other people. Stare at the wall for the rest of the day.

Check in on your single friends. One sends a crying emoji. The one with the plants sends a photo – their house now looks like a garden centre.

Maybe this has all been for the best? You’ll come through it with newfound patience, healthier boundaries and a far clearer sense of what you’re looking for. Watch out, world.

You hear your mate’s colleague’s friend is about to have a baby with someone they met in lockdown one. Wow. You are very happy for them. Wow.

You wonder how all those other people who’ve shacked up during lockdown are getting on. Google ‘virtual speed dating’.

OMG the roadmap out of lockdown has been announced! Update dating app profile with more recent selfie with the cat.

Reflect on all the things you’ve learned about yourself, and how much ‘better’ you’ll be at dating in real life when all this is over.

Check the app. Ooh, a match. What were you just saying?

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