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Calling Cupid During The Pandemic

*This article uses the gender pronoun ‘they’/’them’ to protect the identities of the individuals in this piece. They/them is used as a singular pronoun.



I still can’t remember where I first saw it. I thought I chanced upon an article about it as I Googled about dating during the pandemic. The next day, I was looking for the editorial with that term again. Google only had 606 results and Instagram literally only has 10 posts with that hashtag, which given the size of the internet, is paltry. 

 The top result on Google for it was a tweet by a poet sharing about her mailing list that details her journey in finding love during the pandemic, titled ‘A Little Coronamance’. 

It sounds exactly like what dating is amidst the coronavirus. Timid, but kind of hopeful, only inching forward in an off-kilter way. Memories of when I didn’t need to wonder if I’m speaking clearly when I’m wearing a mask, especially since I sometimes slur, seems so surreal. Since everyone’s wearing masks now, there’s no evidence that that kind of reality even happened. I mean, I’ve even heard a podcast about two people who’re attracted to each other in New York decided to stay with each other for two weeks. I guess that $100 staycation voucher makes more sense now.

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Love Lockdown 

The dating landscape now has met an unthinkable scenario. The whole dating process changed so fast. I couldn’t process it properly, I was barely even registering it amidst all the news. When Tinder launched Passport as a free feature during the Circuit Breaker, I thought maybe swiping on dating apps could be fun again. So I escaped into the filtered photos of dating profiles, imagining myself having a video chat with a cute Cuban or a virtual date with a charismatic South Korean.

And I’m the type that’s torn between giving myself a reality check or becoming a full-on romantic seeing roses blossoming around my phone whenever I get a match or a message. I haven’t been in a relationship before, so when it comes to dating in the 21st century, I don’t expect a lot. Or at least I try not to. This isn’t New York, and I’m not Ted in How I Met Your Mother.

Barely anyone replied my messages, and I always, always send a message that reference what they have on their profile, be it the bio or the picture. Maybe it’s swiping fatigue, an actual thing even before the coronavirus hit. Or perhaps we’re just all exhausted now. I matched with what feels like 100 profiles (including the questionable profiles) on Tinder. I did match with a Spanish artist that somehow can still holiday in Singapore. But the only result out of that interaction was me introducing The Projector to them. In the end, I could only have a proper conversation with two. Two.



A curious wanderlust at heart, Benedict is always out to explore the world around him, and share his discoveries.