By Lucy Osborne
I am not sure what I think gives me the right to give advice on relationships, however after a year of this pandemic I have accumulated some tips and tricks to help you ease into the socially distanced dating scene. This is not just regarding romantic relationships, but also for completely platonic relationships - it is harder than ever to make new friends at the moment with uni and societies all online.
I entered this year at university extremely dubious about the concept of making new friends; this was even with cafes and restaurants still open in Scotland. With the closure of indoor socialising spaces before Christmas, it meant we had to get creative with meeting friends and new acquaintances. Due to the beautiful Scottish snow recently, meeting friends has entailed many afternoons bracing the freezing weather and trying not to slide all the way down the Royal Mile. To try and help combat the cold I’ve found it helpful to plan an activity outside with a friend as opposed to just walking round the Meadows. For me personally, I’ve started skateboarding. It is as hilarious as it sounds, being the gangly bean stalk that I am. This both keeps you warm and acts as a bonding session when both of you fall flat on your face. If skateboarding is not your scene, you could always go and ride a bike or go for a run together (although I’ll leave the running to you guys as the hills in Edinburgh are no joke). Whilst it might seem strange to use a dating app to find friends, you can log onto apps such as Bumble to look for friends instead of flings – who knows, you might even find your next Gari’s pole dancing buddy.
As depressing as it is to think that we’ve been in this predicament for almost a year now, it is almost comforting to look back to this time last year and see how far we’ve come - even if just in terms of personal growth. I entered the first lockdown in that awkward stage of dating where you’re not official but you’ve been on a fair few dates. Let me tell you it was horrific. Somehow we managed to successfully keep ‘dating’ through numerous Facetime calls, which got gradually less awkward as time went on and we eventually managed to see each other in the summer. So hopefully this can act as a small emblem of hope for any of you embarking into the realm of a pandemic relationship. Just keep persevering. It’s worth it to be able to see each other in person and to assess if you are actually compatible or not.
Many of my friends have had similarly successful stories; meeting boyfriends on Bumble and bonding over a ramble up Arthur’s Seat seems to be the most popular favourite – and so, to avoid the awkwardness of a Facetime call or dreaded Zoom quiz, here are some ideas of things to do with a date or a new friend out and about Edinburgh.
So there you have it, a strange amalgamation of socially distanced dates. I’d like to reiterate again, if you are seeing someone long distance persevere with the Facetime dinner dates and Animal Crossing meet ups. It’ll all be worth it - I promise. Covid might have taken a lot from us, but it hasn’t taken away our ability to love, so embrace it.