Dating during a pandemic


Photo courtesy of MK Coolican

COVID-19 has changed the outlook of what it means to have a normal high school experience. Students have lost sports, prom, and all in person school. Yet, even with limits on social gatherings, high school love is very much alive and well, even if it has its downsides. 

Skyline senior Gracie Greenberg has felt lots of anxiety about seeing her boyfriend who is a freshman at the University of Michigan. “We haven’t been able to see each other a lot because he is in college and in fraternity. We mainly wear masks so we are unable to have quality time together,” she said. Greenberg’s situation is different because the two are not involved in the same social bubbles so the risk of contracting COVID is higher. 

“Quality time” was also a concern for Pioneer senior Rebecca Brewer. “I could not see my boyfriend for a month in the spring because neither of us were leaving our houses. We also have nowhere to go so we have to be more creative with our dates,” said Brewer. Many teenagers are now opting for outdoor dates and sometimes they are able to visit each other’s houses. 

Pandemic dating also had positive impacts on different couples and has pushed young couples to grow together. “It helped me realize that we can make it through hard times and we have learned how to deal with stress together,” said Greenberg. Brewer shared a similar viewpoint, “I think we have better communication skills now because it takes more of an effort to say how you’re feeling when you can’t physically see each other.” Brewer also felt that virtual learning made it easier for her to see her boyfriend. “Having less activities and having online school has given us more time to see each other. There is a lot more flexibility and this wouldn’t be possible if school was in person,” said Brewer. 

Having gone into the pandemic in a relationship has in some ways alleviated the stress of trying to find a date mid pandemic. “If I wasn’t in a relationship I wouldn’t be talking to people because I don’t like to start relationships online.” Greenberg who is very concerned about spreading COVID to her family and friends said, “I don’t think I would have had a love life during covid if I hadn’t gone into the pandemic in a relationship.”

There are also students who are taking time during the pandemic to focus on themselves. “As a senior and with the pandemic I’m not too concerned about finding a date,” said Pioneer student Noah Jackson. A University of Michigan freshman and former Pioneer student Sofia Shearing shared a similar viewpoint. “It can be hard to find people to date in college with COVID going on so I try not to worry about it too much.” 

Shearing also shared a sweet moment she had in a zoom class. “I was in a breakout room and this guy and I bonded over loving the same song. And then we tried singing it together. And he was pretty cute,” said Shearing. Moments like these give students hope that love during the pandemic is possible even when it seems bleak. It is possible to replicate some of those in person connections over Zoom. 

The ups and downs of COVID romance have shown the resilience of young people. It can be terrifying to go through a life changing event, but sharing it with another person has been comforting for many. “I’m glad to be in a relationship right now and I am proud to have made the most out of this situation,” said Brewer.