Pandemic Presents Relationship Challenges

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Photo Courtesy of Jose Manuel Gonzalez/MCT

Dating in a pandemic comes with its obstacles

Samantha Lewis, A&E Editor

This past year has been extremely difficult for everyone, from causing intense boredom to damaging people’s social lives. 

Forming friendships and even dating have become even more difficult for teenages because of the pandemic. Most students rely on school to meet friends and significant others, but since many students were remote this year, starting and/or maintaining relationships has been challenging.

For most of the school year, even if students did attend school in-person under the hybrid schedule, there were only a handful or two other students in the classroom, so it was far from the normal experience. Only recently have more students entered the physical classroom. Not to mention it was hard to even talk to others, since everyone was all spread out. 

Junior Wesley Reyes said meeting new people presented a challenge.

“It was more difficult meeting new people since everyone was not in the building five days a week, so you didn’t see a lot of anyone,” he said.

Some students have gone to alternative methods, such as social media and even dating apps. Dating apps have become increasingly popular among young people; however, high school students must be 18. 

When asked why he joined dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, senior Cayle Montgomery said. “I thought it would be interesting to see who else is out there beyond our school, especially because I am graduating this year and I thought it would be nice to meet new people.”

On top of creative ways to find people students  had to come up with innovative ways to go on dates while following COVID-19 restrictions.

“My boyfriend and I met through mutual friends in June 2020. At that point, his family was not allowing him to leave the house  to work or anything, so we weren’t able to see each other,” said senior Sam Szucs. “For the first few months we had to find a way around it and then finally in September his family eventually understood that they couldn’t keep us apart.” 

For couples who were already together, having to be apart was quite difficult.

“During the initial quarantine we didn’t get to see each other for a few months and that was really rough and when she got sick, not seeing my girlfriend for another two weeks was also very rough,” said senior Daniel Oseguera 

Finding ways to hang out with existing friends was hard as well for students. As they could not go into each other’s houses as usual, they also used creative techniques to see friends. 

“When the home restriction was lifted, I limited myself to only hanging out with a small group of my friends and only occasionally,” said junior Claudia Fleming.  “My other friend who is my neighbor and I  would walk around or just drive around mostly.”

Others just made the decision to prioritize their health over friends. 

“I just didn’t hang out with  my friends, it wasn’t worth the risk. Facetime is the way to go,” said senior Amy Twohig.

Despite the challenges COVID-19 has brought to people’s social lives, some powered through it and were even able to find love. 

“We have been happily supporting each other in achieving our goals for almost a year now,” said Szucs. “And we are looking into buying an income property soon and continue with our educational success.”