[this is an extract from Dating in a pandemic, written for and published on Poised.]
When I first met my boyfriend earlier this year, I didn’t expect everything that followed to be so movie-esque. It all unfurled slowly, like the lead up to the conflict that inevitably transpires before the predictable Happily Ever After we all want, wish, and hope for. The search for a Happily Ever After sinks in from childhood, all those fairytales whispering sweet promises of love everlasting, never really looking at the reality of life, but continuing to yearn for the dreamy haze that always comes with a relationship when it first begins.
We become blinded to the darker side of life, but then it hits us like a slap of cold water, sending us crashing to the ground from the clouds amidst the fairies and daydreams, skinned knees and scared hearts. For me, there were two hits: one I knew would be an all-encompassing, terrifying ordeal with the culture clash and the second came when ‘lockdown’ began.
The pandemic brought with it the intangible fear of getting sick and losing loved ones, and its plus one was a decline in mental health—depression and anxiety fighting to be the stronger one taking control of my mind.