As we’ve said on several previous occasions, the lockdown we’re all currently succumbing to is having a huge effect on relationships, both those already formed and those that have yet to flourish. Without the ability to head out on the town to try and pull, the single ones among us have resorted to spending more time on apps in the hope that we’re one swipe away from meeting Mr or Mrs Right.
But even though the lockdown could be the perfect time to find ‘the one’, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should. It’s something I’ve certainly thought about, as a nearly-28-year-old, still unbelievably single male. Should I be forcing myself to meet someone just because all my nearest and dearest are in long-term relationships?
I’m from the UK and am in Australia on a working holiday visa, and admittedly, I did come over with the expectation that I would meet someone and have it be so amazing that I would be able to apply for partnership and live out the rest of my years down under. Two years have passed (incredibly quickly, I might add) and I’m still no closer to meeting someone than when I first touched down. Perhaps I should have tried an inventive move like Jeremy Cohen.
Part of that, as I’ve said in a previous article, is because I’m a self-sabotager and useless when it comes to using apps. But also because in my mind, I’ve felt like there’s no real point trying to spark up a relationship right now, not only because we’re in lockdown so can’t really have a ‘proper’ date, but also because my visa expiry date is fast approaching. I don’t mind the idea of long-distance, but nearly 17,000km is a bit of a stretch.
I reached out to Sydney-based relationship and sex therapist Heidi Gee, to get her professional opinion on if my thoughts regarding relationships were normal. I first asked her if I’d essentially missed the peak period of my youth to find someone, considering my closest friends have all been with their partners for at least five years.
She told me, “If you’re happy with your life or current situation then why change it?”. That may, of course, sound obvious to many of you, but it’s reassuring hearing it from an expert. Especially as ultimately I’m the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life.
Heidi continues, “Of course, if you want to date when iso is over then do so with an open mind and have fun with it.”
“I think we all get to a point in our lives where people around us are in a different place in their lives, so we question whether we ‘should’ be doing xyz.”
“I think it’s important not to compare, we are all on different life paths and the most important thing is that you are happy within yourself.”
After reading this response I already started to feel a little less confused about the particular path life has in store for me.
I was then curious to get Heidi’s opinion as to whether I should be making the most of lockdown to improve my chances of meeting someone who would be understanding of my situation, both in terms of age and visa.
“Do what feels right and makes you happy, not what you feel like you ‘should’ be doing just because your friends are doing it, or ‘maybe it’s what I need to do.”
“Lockdown is actually a perfect time to slow down, work on yourself and catch up on the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to do them.”
Home workouts for the win, it seems.
“You want to get into a healthy state of mind, body and soul and obviously right now, you want to remain safe. If checking out dating apps feels right one day, then start swiping.”
Not only did Heidi’s words confirm for myself that I’m perfectly normal to be unlucky in love at my age, but also that even some simple words can have a profound effect on my mental wellbeing.
Besides, there’s plenty of opportunity out there and plenty of other countries to visit.