Love In Quarantine: Sally

Words by Maria Mora. Illustration 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.

What was going through your mind when you found out that we’ll be going into a nationwide lockdown, dating wise?

When we went into lockdown, I had already been in my phase of “I’m not in the mood to go through dating right now.” So, I wasn’t actively working through an app or outside of an app. I did think, Welp, these apps will probably go through some rough times since everyone is going to try and stay home. That thought has changed since March. I logged into Bumble a month into it, seeking attention, honestly. I have been on it ever since. Isn’t Bumble going public with their shares? Guess it’s the perfect time to be a dating app developer. Anyway, that’s where my thoughts went.

Have your relationship priorities changed due to the pandemic?

I’ve noticed that I’m getting more of a voice. When I’m not really into someone, I have no shame in saying, “Hey, this isn’t working out.” In a COVID and racial injustice sense, everything has made me realize I don’t have to settle for something I’m uncomfortable with. I used to think, This is probably my last connection with someone. Make it work by any means necessary. Maybe I’m finally raising my standards for what I’m into, but I’m also prioritizing what I want. At the moment, I’m into the physical with my current partner. I’m not envisioning this continuing for much longer because even the small talk gets boring and unamusing. 

What brought you to the realization that you are not emotionally available?

Honestly, I think I’m not emotionally available since I’m working on my emotional availability within my family unit. If I don’t have it figured out in my own home, I sure won’t have the energy to share it outside. There have been men I’ve connected with that want to FaceTime, text, call, etc. since “we can’t see each other.” I realize they want to know way more about me than I care to share about myself. Even my Bumble profile doesn’t have an “about me;” I removed the prompt questions. I’m getting tired of composing the “game-enough, mysterious woman, authentic texts after every get-to-know-you” question.

What have you learned about yourself and your needs in dating during quarantine?

I don’t like wasting time. I like people who are direct and authentic. Before, I entertained small talk. Not anymore.

What do you see for yourself in the next year or so in regards to relationships?

I don’t expect anything for myself or others when it comes to a relationship. My mind and that of others around me are so focused on community, politics, human rights, and advocacy. Suppose I were to cross paths with someone genuinely interested in engaging in something meaningful with me, and I felt the motivation to reciprocate. In that case, I’d be shocked and taken by surprise. Who knows. –Sally, Baltimore, Maryland