“KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN”: Love and Dating in the Era of COVID-19

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In September, she met up in her hometown of Durham Region and lo and behold, that same friend was also there around the same time.

“I thought it was a weird coincidence,” she said, adding that they both went home because they had been through breakups.

“A few weeks later, we agreed to meet. We both had very small bubbles and the government allowed people to have small groups, so we decided to get together, but we didn’t specify if it was a date or not because we were extremely platonic and had not expressed any form of desire for each other. Well, we both wanted it to be a date.

The 27-year-old said she and her 30-year-old boyfriend were still together. The first few weeks they had a lot of conversations about whether they wanted to see each other regularly and shut down their social bubbles to make it happen. They wondered if they were working from home, on public transport, what their bubble looked like and with whom.

“COVID really forced us to proclaim what we really wanted and those were definitely tough conversations, but we’re getting pretty serious now and isolating together during this lockdown,” she said. “COVID was a dark place and I don’t think a complete stranger could have gotten me out of this. There’s a confidence that wouldn’t normally exist because we knew each other as a teenager.

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Tim Harrison, 38, said he met his girlfriend Crystal, 41, in December through a dating app and they hit it off instantly. Both divorced previously, they made their couple status “official” in January.

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