How The Pandemic Has Changed My Perspective On Being Single

I have been single for a long time. In fact, the most recent (and only) relationship I’ve been was in high school which was 3 years ago. This essentially leaves me with no experience in dating. I have generally been fine with my situation in the dating field, however, this recent pandemic started to turn those feelings of peace and complacency into feelings of loneliness and longing.

My life was busy before the pandemic, and I felt fine with my relationship status. My mind was focused on productivity, my future, and a schedule full of obligations. However, when the pandemic started, and most of my obligations fell away, I began to feel a small, tingling sense of emptiness.

I realized I was longing for something more.

During busy times in life, it is easy to view oneself as a strong independent person—someone who can live their life free from any interference or setbacks. But in the quiet, lackadaisical days of quarantine, it is easy to let your mind wander and dream while free from the regular distractions of a busy life.

After my breakup, I was perfectly content to live my life as a single professional. No one to set me back or distract me, no one to worry or care for other than myself, and no problems or challenges to face. I was free, I was happy, I was independent and I sure did not need a boyfriend. I realized I didn’t need anyone other than myself to define my worth.

But once life slowed down, I noticed I was feeling empty. I was longing for companionship. For someone to care about my problems as deeply as I did. Someone who would challenge me and make me smarter. And to be there for me on the hard days and celebrate with me on the good ones.

Throughout the last few months, I have watched my friends build strong, happy, healthy relationships. It has been slowly fostering a sense of jealousy and hopelessness. What better way to spend this time than to get to spend hours upon hours with someone you love? But for someone like me, who has nothing better to do than play video games and read while the world falls apart, it can be hard to feel happy for them. It is hard to see so many people I know have a partner to rely on during these uncertain times.

They have someone that is always there for them while I have dealt with my own anxiety and stress completely on my own.

I have no idea when my current relationship status will change, but I do know things are hard. Especially right now. The current events going on in the world are taking an emotional toll on us all, but being alone while everyone else around me seems happy is making it even harder.

Photo by Hüseyin Topcu on Unsplash

12 COMMENTS

  1. I can definitely relate and you’re not alone. At least you’re still young and have plenty of time ahead of you. Three years out of high school? Try being almost 40 and still single while living in a place with no family. Dating these days can be difficult as it is and the COVID pandemic seems to have made things even worse. Having friends is great too but it’s not the same as having that intimate partner that you connect with on a deeper level. Also understand that not every relationship is necessarily a happy one either. Continue to hang in there and enjoy your youth and freedom. Hopefully things will start to get better real soon.

  2. I’m over 50. Single and empty nest. I have been single for a long time. It is slim pickens the older you get. But, enjoy life, find who you are and what you want. You have to be happy alone before you can be happy with someone. Because if a relationship goes bad and you are not happy, you know you can walk away and be happy alone. You will know the difference.

  3. Wow! I thought it was only me, I’m in this exact same place, single since high school for me its been 12 years though I’m 30 now, and was so focused of career and education that I let life slip on by…. Having to deal with your anxiety and stress on your own is very hard and then fellong lonely just adds fuel to the fire… ive recently started going to counseling just to help me cope, I never thought that others were dealing with this as well.. I dont even want to get into the experience in dating part, who knew that there was formating to this, I find it difficult to make connections now but life goes on i guess! Thanks for sharing such a great point Hannah! May things get better for all of us!!

  4. Thanks for writing this. I’m sure it hits home for a lot of people. Can I say something as a coupled person? A relationship doesn’t have to last forever. You can try one on and if it doesn’t work then you’ve got some experience under your belt that makes YOU and THEM better for the next one. Relationships are wonderful learning experiences. Everyone would like a partner. Everyone. You dang singles need to link up! Yes. We’re in a pandemic. That means we should not meet up in big groups. Going on a date is not a huge risk. And if you’re worried about it then go on a social distance date. Could be fun. And really? If you hit it off, get tested and have a real date. I met a girl once who immediately left for a two week vacation. We chatted online till she got back. The anticipation that created was magical. It turned into a 9 year relationship. Stop the excuses and turn around! Everyone has someone interested in them that they’re not totally sure about. What’s the harm in giving them a try? You might learn something.

    • Age and loneliness are facts of life. Age is inevitable, and loneliness is nuanced in a myriad of personally exclusive ways. I respect you, your honesty and your time in life. I had been in two female/male romantic long term relationships for over a thirty year period. I have grown through my COVID loneliness, and am stronger for it as a woman, and as a human. I am alone now, relationally and romantically speaking. Yet I still crave a relationship like an addiction or affliction to my soul. I want to spoon at night, laze with my coffee in the morning, be silly, think, talk, laugh, cry and dream with my next soul mate. I met a nice man during Covid when out walking the dogs. I am not attracted to him in the physical sense, which is too bad because we both want a special someone. So I will embrace my memories of love; I will evolve, reshaping myself as I go into the future.

  5. Keep the faith, keep head up, things will turn good in your life I’m sure…. I lost my self a while back, but found myself after I lost everything that mattered to me, and it’s probably too late to change anything.

  6. Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings.

    You know, you are not alone. I hear what your saying and I feel the same way too. Older myself and separated, I look around my friends and others sharing life. I’m pleased and bit envious too. How do you know how happy they truly are? You said being alone without your work obligations, you felt empty. What is that emptiness for you? Love yourself and you will hopefully attract partners on your wavelength. By the way, I get those empty feelings too. I’ve also felt them with my ex husband. This tells me theyve been there along time.
    Be good to yourself and good luck !
    Best wishes

  7. Every once in a while, I too have felt that sting. I’ve had several relationships since high school, though. I prefer to be alone, even now.

    I have not ever once felt as happy as I do when I am single. During the pandemic, I have found more of myself. I have been doing art, gardening, photography, spending time in nature. It’s been beautiful.

  8. You’re 21…. 3 years is not a long time. You have your WHOLE LIFE ahead of you. Can’t take anything serious from a child.

  9. I have the similar as you are going through. I am 33 and single with no kids. It’s very hard to get someone to have interest in me. I have been in relationships and they were a failure and it’s not on my part. I have been single and never really had a true boyfriend or husband. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find someone who will like me and vice versa. I’m staying strong and you should too.

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