Its one day after the valentine’s day. Most of the people use this day to look back on how the previous day went. I think it is a good time for me to look back on how the previous, crazy, bat shit year went. When you get older and probably wiser, you think about a lot of things. A lot of things about which car to buy, where to buy a property, the future price escalation, what food has more sugar in it, if the popcorn at Sathyam is good for my heart etc etc.,
The adventurous spirit of early even late twenties will be gone and we will be forced to look at things about how long they will last and not just an use and throw. Falling in love in early thirties is exactly the same. Even though we need the euphoria, joy and stuff we also look for security, belonging and also a place or person or a feeling to call home.
When I fell head over heels in love with a person last March, I didn’t expect life is going to take a huge turn. And none of it was in my hands. Though we got closer over the period of next fifteen days, by the eighteenth day the nation went into a complete lock down. Not new to the heart breaks and stuff I expected to explode even sooner during the lock down. Thankfully it didn’t happen. But being stuck at home when it was just fifteen days old in a relationship sucked big time. But it had its perks.
Every relationship has milestones. To me video calling was one of the biggest milestone. I wasn’t really comfortable with video calling before that. I didn’t want people to see how I am at house or how people at home yell at me when I didn’t answer them. I also didn’t want to disclose too much about the place I lived and how it looked. Call me paranoid. That milestone was the first to be breached during the lockdown. We had no other way to connect.
My apartment has worst of worst mobile reception and only way to talk is through wi-fi. Slowly the whatsapp calls became video calls and I was amazed at how easy the transition was.
Love Language. Everybody has different love language. It is a language which was very difficult for me to learn in previous relationship. The social life and the love life never really looked to come together. However, when in lockdown, I had the time to sit down and think and understand how I want to be loved. I understood what I looked in a relationship and was able to communicate it without any problem.
Also it gave me time and space to understand how the other person wanted to be loved and what she considered inconsiderate or indifference. We got used to each other’s humour and learned to laugh together at things and our misgivings. There was no wondering if things went right after a dinner at a restaurant. There was no anxiety and it felt new.
Almost every part of our life, except for clothing, food and shelter became virtual. There were virtual meetings, friends had virtual huddles. There were umpteen number of facebook groups to beat the boredom etc., To wake up and have coffee with the person I adored could have taken a long time in a normal world relationship. In the covid-world it almost became a routine. We were able to get past the stage to look perfect for our partner to having a good time over coffee, albeit virtually. She still dresses up for our calls but it felt like one of the barriers that broke.
We live in two different worlds, even when the world was not enveloped by the pandemic. The ones we are outside and the ones that we are in home. Sometimes there could be stark differences. When we keep meeting a person in social setting or a controlled environment our whole focus lies with the person only and not the family of the said person. But being in a relationship during the pandemic meant, the family came into picture as well. The way the person dealt with the daily chores, her responsibilities towards home and the way she was just at her home gave a different perspective to her.
I now knew what she would be when she is home and what she would be doing in case one of us fell ill or with the speed she chops vegetables or bakes a mug cake. Things which looked like very trivial became a huge factor and added layers to our relationship.
Transcending the material and physical aspects was one of the main perk. There was no reason to dress up. We got comfortable seeing each other in pajamas or night dress. There was no ordering out and we knew what each other ate or made at home. There was no reason to buy or shop anything because we made do with what we had and the shops weren’t open. Soon we concentrated more on each other’s mental health and physical health caring for each other than discuss about buying or renting things that we may or may not use.
We got a clear idea of what pissed each other and what kind of pressure we were able to handle and when we broke down. We also understood what the other person did or talk when were anxious, pressurised or just in bad mood.
It was easy to introduce the partner to friends during duo calls or whatsapp chats rather than setting up a meeting, breaking the news etc., Sharing memes, laughing over them and bonding over vadivelu dialogues seems to be a much more effective way than inviting people for a coffee in a coffee shop and introducing the partner.
Meeting the families: The theatres were shut down. Beach was out of bounds and the malls were closed. The restaurants operated only for takeaways and there was no way to meet outside. Hence if we had to meet we had to visit each other’s places. It was easy for me and my partner to mingle with each other’s families in the familiar setting of home rather than meeting them in a temple or a hotel. We got comfortable in each other’s home, having lunch, taking naps and what not. The nervousness of getting flagged by the policeman while travelling in the bike turned the nervousness of meeting the family puny. And it worked out in our favour.
The lockdown days looked never ending. The extensions of the lockdown made it even harder. But one positive thing for me is we didn’t have to worry about forever anymore. The lockdown felt like it was forever before we met again. We grew closer than we would have in a normal world. It had its downsides but overall it was positive in the relationship side. Nevertheless it was new experience and we have a great story to tell our kids and grandkids.