Picture early March.
Flowers bloom beneath your feet as you take every springy step. Your heart is warm as you think about the color of your crush’s eyes, and the picnic date you’ve planned.
You’re so lovesick, the background noise about a virus spreading in various parts of different countries is just radio static. Besides, it’s probably just some form of the flu. Hardly deadly at all, and definitely not deadly enough to affect you and your boo in your own little corner of the world.
And now we’re here. Perhaps what I said didn’t resonate with you at all. If you’re anything like me, you’ve always been single, earth-shattering pandemic or not.
Still, we’re forced to acknowledge how our relationships with loved ones have changed when you can’t even reach over to hold their hand.
Has social distancing measures proved love can withstand any tests or has it forced people into premature break-ups?
Today, we will examine the newfound realizations that North Hollywood High students have formed about their relationships.
Paula Toranzo, a current senior, is especially insightful about the inner workings of her relationship and reveals that she is “actually happier’’ post break-up.
She finds that her relationship was more genuine before the quarantine, because of the time they could spend with each other. She also notes that it was difficult for her partner to text and maintain communication via FaceTime because it was harder to be emotional on digital platforms.
Pre-corona, it was very easy to just plan things out and have it set in stone compared to the present where the uncertainty of the future looms over you like a heavy rain cloud.
When asked if she thinks whether her relationship would have lasted if not for COVID, she responds that yes, they definitely would have.
‘’He was my prom date, my best friend. We were each other’s reason to be super excited about attending school and getting through the day together…we still talk because we care about our friendship but not having physical contact doesn’t help.’’
Paula confides that a sense of obligation seemed to be lost, the act of texting ‘’good-mornings’ and ‘’good-night’’ phase out during quarantine when time itself seems to stand still and whiplash.
Not all couples have broken up though. Jess Trevella, another senior, is still going on strong with her boyfriend of two years.
According to her, if you want your relationship to last when the world is trembling around you, you need to put in more effort.
Jess and Will would always casually meet-up and now Jess has to actively ‘’talk to him as much as possible so it doesn’t feel like we’re drifting apart.’’
She has to consciously think about whether she had talked to him that day, and then make a mental note to check up on him and his day.
‘’We needed to text back fast and engage in conversation because it’s our only way of really communicating.’’
Jess and Paula’s stories highlight the essentially of communication, what can be kept with it, and what can be lost without it.
Not every couple have the steadfast dedication Jess and Will have towards communicating though. Kaia Ross, an 11th grader, finds herself exasperated by how busy she and her partner is: ‘’Our schedules don’t line up at all, so I’ve hardly been talking to him.’’
She explains that their current dynamic consists of themselves asking the other person if they’re free, saying no, and then responding to that no with a ‘’Ok, I love you. Bye.’’
While some relationships have strengthened or weakened, some have just grown stagnant.
Through my relentless pursuit of finding students to interview about their relationships, I was most intrigued and perhaps a little heart-warmed by NHHS junior WooMing Small’s unique perspective.
‘’I liked having a relationship during quarantine because it gave me the opportunity to get to know my significant other without the face to face awkwardness that I sometimes feel. It was easier to talk to someone I couldn’t visualize or touch. It was reassuring to be with someone who genuinely liked talking to me.’’
All in all, the current pandemic has made a huge impact on dating culture for teens. It’s not like any of us have kids or mortgages or bills to fret over with our parents like adults do, but that does not mean our feelings are any less valid.
If you’re currently in a relationship, please make sure to keep practicing social distancing. While I might not know the pain of not seeing your loved one, NHHS students certainly do and they all advise to take your safety and health seriously.
And if you’ve recently come out of a relationship, chin up. There is always more fish in the sea, fish we can catch once the world is a little calmer.