Love In Quarantine: Jess Mendes

Art by Sam Liacos.

We’ve been faced with unforeseen circumstances in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing us into social isolation and reflecting on our relationships–past, present, and future. Our new series #LoveInQuarantine focuses on how couples are loving while in lockdown and how (or if) singles are dating during these times.

How was your love life, pre-quarantine?

I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for two years. Between wanderlust and traveling for work, we found ourselves frequently exploring new places together. People tend to have negative sentiments towards long-distance relationships, but we’ve always moved at our own pace. It’s a fun and memorable journey.

What was going through your mind in regards to your relationship when the nation went into lockdown?

I was on the west coast, visiting my boyfriend when New York declared a state of emergency. The uncertainty surrounding the early weeks of quarantine gave me so much anxiety. Naturally, I was second-guessing most things; work came to a halting stop, I was in between apartment leases and locked out of the city I lived in for an unforeseen period. Second-guessing most things, but not my relationship; I felt safe where I was. 

Has anything changed in your relationship during quarantine, good or bad? If so, what has changed? 

Quarantining together, we’ve uncovered quirks about each other that have strengthened our communication and admiration. Some characteristics we can laugh at, others we work with; overall, it brings us closer. 

Do you think that this change, or growth, in your relationship was inevitable, or do you think it would’ve been different?

Both. We’ve entertained the idea of living together before the pandemic, but it boils down to timing. If you were to tell me at the beginning of this year I would be living with my boyfriend during a pandemic, I would call a bluff. Now that I’m reflecting on the cosmic shift 2020 has unveiled, I’m grateful we were together when this all started. He’s a real one. – Jess Mendes, 27, Boston

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