Teens Dating During Covid-19

Teens Dating During Covid-19

Leah Bromagen

     Senior Mark Moody sat at a park bench and waited patiently, just like he had many times since the pandemic began almost a year ago.

     His nose itched behind his face mask, and the remnants of winter’s chill had slowly started seeping through his jacket. However, he stopped caring as he spotted a young woman with a head of familiar red curls happily skipping towards him.

     With a smile, he stood and raced to her before engulfing his girlfriend in a bone-crushing hug. Eyes sparkling with laughter, the pair linked hands and set off on their walk.

     Ever since quarantine started, teens, both single and taken, have wondered where romance and dating fits into their lives. 

     For Moody and his girlfriend, fellow senior Isabella Corsaro, Covid wasn’t as much of a hindrance as they expected. “I would say that it would probably be harder to stay together generally in any relationship, but with us, I have felt like the pandemic actually has brought us closer and challenged us in ways we normally wouldn’t be challenged. Being together so long has definitely helped us have grace and patience for each other, and communication just becomes easier and easier each week,” said Moody.

     Even dates themselves appear to be just as fun as they were prior to the pandemic. “We sometimes go on a drive or go through a drive-thru to get ice cream or something like that. It definitely has not been hard to keep on falling in love. Being forced to stay at home and do all these ‘do nothing’ dates has made us realize how much we love spending time together, and how much we value the little things,” said Corsaro. 

     However, there are concerns amongst teens regarding the virus and its interference with physical contact. How can a relationship continue, or begin, if you have to stay six feet away?

     Junior Leven Gehlhausen, who recently began an online relationship, may have an answer. “Verbal communication is way more important than I thought it was. You need to tell each other how you’re feeling and what you’re comfortable [or] uncomfortable with, or the relationship is going to fail. There’s more to a relationship than being physically intimate. It really depends on your love language. Covid has made it difficult to spend time together in person, so if your love language is physical touch, for example, then it’s definitely going to be hard,” said Gehlhausen.

    It seems that even parents are beginning to accept dating in these times. “They didn’t want me to hang out with anyone at first, but since about month two of the pandemic, Mark has been in my circle. My family is totally okay with it. He’s practically a part of the family anyways,” said Corsaro.

     Gehlhausen has had a similar experience. “My family was really supportive right off the bat. My dad was understandably wary of the long-distance relationship and the fact that I met them online, but after I assured him that everything was safe and I wasn’t being catfished, he trusted my judgment and supported me,” said Gehlhausen.

     However, many teens still face difficulties with dating as the pandemic reaches its first full year. But when more people can take the vaccine, perhaps romance will once again be able to bloom for teens.