When a 24-year-old illustrator
One Sunday afternoon, she encouraged her internet partner to take a quiz she had created for a gay magazine with her. Slouching down on their respective sofas, as the two leaned over relationship issues, they also leaned more deeply into each other’s likes and dislikes. And soon, the cat took precedence over their chores. “By the time we got to the last question, it was 11pm and we didn’t feel like we’d connected just a week ago,” Dali said after thinking. The duo are among those for whom romance is now played out on a virtual level. No wonder then that
The new normal
On a recent Saturday night, marketing professional Dency Mathew, who lives in Borivali, donned her favorite red dress, while her filmmaker boyfriend Jonathan Augustin, at his home in Chembur, donned his lucky blue shirt and the couple pulled on their lucky blue shirt. looked up at their respective laptop. screens. This is the closest they have come to reality since the entry into force of the national order of shelters in place. Since they started dating in June of last year, this is their longest separation. “To make it interesting, we also played a ’20 question game,’ says Mathew. The exercise gave some pleasant revelations. “I was happy to hear that one of his happiest moments presented me. It made me feel special,” said Mathew, who even made a personal video bringing together the most treasured memories. Augustine for his birthday last Sunday.
Like them, 26-year-old Mrinalini Mali and his Pune-based match are also using apps to overcome the challenges posed by the lockdown. “Because we both work from home, voice notes work best during the day. But after work it’s time for our daily video call, ”says the Bangalore-based PR manager, who met her 29-year-old boyfriend on Bumble a month ago. “Unlike me, he enjoys experimenting with food and shares his culinary experiences almost every day,” says Mali, who picked out a chicken recipe or two through his date online.
The process of selecting a partner varies with each application, and those who build relationships are all too aware that the chances of meeting offline will only decrease in the months to come. Thus, geographic distance has now taken a back seat. For example, by simply sliding his finger across the screen of his phone, a 20-year-old
Negotiating a new relationship or maintaining an existing one with only the tools available on your smartphone takes the imagination. “I don’t like texts, they don’t convey the mood and can be misinterpreted,” says Arjun Reddy, 26, who works for a digital agency based in Mumbai. Reddy, who found his partner in a final year student, says he’s annoyed when she takes too long to respond to her messages. “But she is very mature and knows how to reach me,” he adds.
While the lack of physical intimacy is an obvious concern, some say long-distance romance in the days of
Dali, on the other hand, wonders how things will turn out when she meets her partner in person. “Maybe we’ll end up being two very cheerful friends who met online and found some quiet and laughing moments as the world was falling apart,” she said.