Is He Just With Me For My Antibodies? – Dating During a Pandemic

When I found myself back on the Isle of Man, I thought to myself ‘oh f*ck’.

Not because I was, at the time, a 25 year old with £120 in her bank account moving back in with her parents (although, yes, that did hurt), I was mostly cursing myself because I knew I was back to the very limited dating pool the Island has to offer.

Spoiler: only thing that’s changed is my bank balance (and even that’s not doing very well for itself) 

Despite having a population of around 84,000 I personally find this place suffocating at times, especially… when on tinder.

Here’s how being on tinder normally goes for me (imaging me swiping left with every comment)

  • No

  • No

  • No

  • Hmmm *taps to see a second pic* *pic is of guy with his top off flexing in a grubby mirror* nooo

  • Went to high school with him

  • Went to primary school with him

  • Friend’s brother

  • Friend went out with him

  • He is a friend

  • No

  • Hmmmm *taps to see a second pic* *pic is of guy holding an animal he’s just shot* noooo

  • Heard weird stories about him

  • Aaaand that’s my cousin 🙃

now if this isn’t where I run out of people, it’s where I end my search anyway, delete the app and forget about it until I’m pissed a few months later with a friend who’s in a relationship and she says ‘omg i haven’t been on tinder over here! what’s it like?’ and I pass her my phone for her to see for herself the disappointment that awaits.

Now I’m not saying I’m a 10/10 who’s too good for anyone here. In fact, far from it! After these last few months I’m a 4 at a push (seriously I shave my armpits very infrequently). My point is, there is very little in the way of choice here –  something I’m sure many people, single or not, would agree.

So, when you factor in that we were all locked in our homes for a few months and now we’re allowed out (if you’re not riddled with social anxiety) you can’t even get closer than arms length to hug someone let alone kiss them or (mum & dad look away now) shag them, you realised just how limited dating is now, especially on the IOM.

The world of dating was a minefield before but now it’s like trying to get through the beer tent crowd with 3 pints in your hand and not saying ‘hiya, you alright? Yeah, good thanks! You? Ah good. Just taking these out, see you later? Yeah great, see you!’ to at least 5 people on your way out or spill a third of the contents over yourself – it is… impossible. 

Although I resigned myself to thinking I’d abstain from dating for the foreseeable, some people got stuck right into it. At first, there was the novelty of having a ‘Zoom date’. Tweets from girls saying their male date had sent them money to get themselves a ‘bottle of something’ and that they’d ordered them food to eat together on the call went viral. An interesting concept… but not for me.

Hearing and watching a person I love eat across the table is a challenge enough for me, the idea of having that happening over a video call while your internet drops in and out and you both basically look at yourselves in your own viewfinder the whole time, while never actually making eye contact? No thanks, I’ll pass. 

But people did do it, and they enjoyed it – I think. I’m yet to hear a ‘yeah we met on tinder’ and ‘yeah he sent me a 20 quid on PayPal to buy a bottle of echo falls and order a kebab.’ ‘Yeah, we’re living together and engaged now!’ but I suppose it has only been 3 months since this whole thing kicked off so there’s time.

That brings me onto my next conundrum – what are the milestones in a pandemic relationship? Going with the American ‘bases’, what does it look like?

1st base – Zoom date 

2nd base – socially distanced date

3rd base – meeting their parents in the garden for a (socially distant) BBQ

4th base – moving in together for 2 weeks so you can consummate the ‘relationship’ and then spending the next 2 weeks self-isolation together in case either of you has given the virus to each other?

On the topic of sex, I think the Rona has done a favour for the ‘taboo’ of sexual health. Surely there can be no shame in going to get tested for STIs any more. Going into the comfort of the GUM clinic is SURELY better than being up the grandstand getting swabbed in your car.

NB: Has anyone ever mentioned the GUM clinic to someone who’s not from the IOM and seen the look of absolute disgust on their face as you hurriedly try to explain what ‘GUM’ stands for?

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here talking about being sexually active and dating because a lot of people I’ve spoken to, and from what I’ve seen on twitter, is that most people’s experiences on dating apps have been that of more serious connections. Gone are the fuck bois and those looking for a quick hook up and left are the soft(er) lads – the serious ones. Those committed to carrying on conversation for an indefinite amount of time. (Ok this isn’t 100% true there are still those willing to risk it all for a hookup but we’ll ignore those for the purpose of this narrative). Will ‘dating’ even exist any more? Or will we just do the old school thing where we skip straight to getting married so we can live together? Is dating just for those daring enough to take the risk of physical contact?

As you can probably tell, I’m none the wiser. These are just the rambling thoughts of a single 25 year old who lives at home with her parents on the Isle of Man. And if you were wondering, yes that is my tinder bio x

5 thoughts on “Is He Just With Me For My Antibodies? – Dating During a Pandemic”

  1. Bet you wouldn’t have had a problem with it if it was a bloke talking about shagging, eh Brian? Grow up, it’s the 21st Century.

  2. I’m knocking on in years now. There aren’t many pluses to aging, but not having to go through all that is one of them. I met most of my boyfriends (do women still have them, or does it go straight from hook-up to partner via friend-with-benefits?) through friends, work, social occasions. The idea of all that tinder mullarkey is a droll concept to me. And please, tell me what GUM is. I’m always eager to learn, in case I ever need it.

Leave a Reply