Courtesy of Ella Sperling
COVID-19 has provided more than enough challenges for society to deal with, more than anyone could have ever expected. However, one problem that some have forgotten about, yet still affects many, is trying to maintain, or even start a relationship during the pandemic. High school couples have had to learn new ways to connect and be together without the ability to live with their partner.
“We stayed connected through FaceTime and texting all the time,” WCHS senior Arielle Assouline said. “Although it wasn’t the same as seeing each other in person, it still gave us an opportunity to talk face to face virtually.”
Many adults and parents fail to realize the advantage they have of being married and having the ability to live with their partner. High school students spend the majority of the time with their partner in a home, at a party or with friends. However, with all of these opportunities limited, the ability to see their partner has greatly decreased. Especially since most students want to obey quarantine policies, trying to maintain a strong relationship is a challenge, as physical interaction is also limited.
“Some challenging parts of having a boyfriend during quarantine was that we missed out on quality time that we were used to having,” WCHS senior Ella Sperling said. “We used to go to the movies a lot and go on cute dates, so it was hard to adjust to not being able to see each other like we normally would. We also both thrive off of in person communication so it was challenging to only be able to use FaceTime and texting.”
Finding alternatives to cute dates is yet another challenge that couples have to deal with. The majority of date options are restricted due to the virus. Movie theaters, restaurants and going shopping are no longer available; partners now have to find new, exciting ways to spend quality time together. Even though some places are beginning to open up, options are still limited.
“When restaurants began to open, we would go to Bethesda Row, pick up food, and then bring it home and eat it in one of our backyards,” Sperling said.
Some other ideas include walking around Georgetown, having a picnic or going on a hike. Even sitting in one’s backyard and having a conversation could create a deeper bond to help develop the relationship to a new level.
“My advice for any couples that are going through the same thing is just to put a lot of effort into talking every day,” Assouline said. “Whether it is over FaceTime, text or a distanced activity, it is important to make sure to stay connected.”
Being in a relationship can be challenging, however there are many ways that partners can stay connected. Whether it is a FaceTime call or walking through Bethesda, couples can continue to build their relationship through communication and connection.
“I think quarantine definitely made our relationship stronger,” Assouline said. “We had been dating for less than a month when quarantine started, so at first it was definitely a big challenge. However, quarantine forced us to put a lot of extra effort into making the relationship work. Being able to make it through such a tough time at the very beginning of our relationship proved that we were both committed to the relationship.”