We met in the park one sunny day in the middle of the quarantine. I brought us two cans of beer. You turned out to be tall, attractive and with a beard.
At first, we kept a social distance. And then you became part of my quarantine circle of friends and soon offered to meet.
I wanted it to be an epic love story: two dissimilar souls who met at a historical moment in our time. I continued to think and imagine what could happen if we survived the quarantine together.
But maybe that was the problem. I did not see what was in front of me, I thought about the potential, not yet recognizing you as a person.
Everything was magical at first. You were like the light at the end of the tunnel. Something new when the whole world froze. I even started to think that a lockdown is not so bad if there is someone to spend it with.
My life didn’t change much, because I continued to work – except that there was uncertainty, monotony and social isolation. But you didn’t work, so you gave me all your attention.
You wrote to me every day. He sent me a photo of what you are doing. Was interested in me. Sincerely. Sometimes he would not let me leave his house for several days.
“I’m worried that we have just started dating, and already spend too much time together,” I said.
“And I think we don’t spend enough time together,” you answered, and I couldn’t help but smile. Remembering this now, I understand that it was necessary to be on the alert. At the beginning of a relationship, it is very important to maintain space. I needed to set boundaries. I had to take a step back. But we already fell in love and enjoyed this moment.
You said you never felt this way with anyone. Your friends said they never saw you like this.
I wanted to believe that it was for real, and maybe it was, not for long. But relationships cannot be in the bubble we were in at lockdown. Instead of thinking that we can handle everything if we survive the pandemic, I should have asked myself: if we are failing now, then what will happen when the real problems begin? Everyone can be happy all day watching TV shows and eating sushi and pizza from delivery. Can you be there when I have problems at work, when someone gets sick?
After the lockdown, I began to notice a change in you. At first, you were glad that you went back to work, and I was glad for you. But it seemed that you were more happy that now you do not need to be with me all day. You are distant. You’ve been missing for days. Hours of unanswered messages.
I tried to be patient. I told myself that this is just a transitional period. I felt my insecurity growing. I wanted to give you space, not to be intrusive and desperate, but I felt you slip away from me and I wanted to grab you harder.
When you left me, I kept thinking: was I just a quarantine girl for you?
Was I just comfortable? Just to fill in the days when you can’t make any other plans.
I don’t think you realized that. I believe that you wanted to be with me. It’s just easy to fall in love with someone during a pandemic.
And the reality is more complicated. It’s harder to be around when things get tough.
Yes, and I myself probably wanted to be a quarantine girl. I envied couples who bought food for two, listened to touching stories of caring for a sick partner. I envied that they had physical touch, that they had someone to lie in bed with and watch TV shows.
I think I was ready for a relationship, but I also saw how easily I succumbed to toxic behavior: I became addicted, forgot about myself, as soon as someone with whom I could spend time appeared.
I am grateful that I was a quarantine girl, because it is still easier to be with someone during quarantine. And who knows what would have happened to me if I survived this period alone.
Now I know that I don’t have to depend on a relationship to get rid of loneliness. I learned to be alone. I started writing again. I started reading again. I started running in any weather, pretending that I was overcoming the obstacle course of life’s problems.
I’m not looking for love anymore. At least not from despair.
I do not want to be a quarantine girl, because now I love myself more and am ready to be with myself. Imagine what I am now ready to deal with if I have dealt with it.