We have entered the new normalization, we will live with certain regulations in the office, on the street, on vacation, shopping, on the beach, in sports and even in high society markets. What about in love? Will meetings be masked, flirting, social distancing? Attention; Don’t get caught in corona while running for pleasure!
The quarantine period was definitely a milestone in terms of relationships. Don’t say “People were after their health, what do you say”. Because big storms broke out in the houses. Couples, who have not lived side by side for a long time, have not lived side by side, knee to knee, the limits of tolerance for each other have decreased, divorces have increased, secret lovers could not meet, they could not make love, those who fell in love before the epidemic missed the first date, one-night stands were censored by the corona, some said that their spouse or lover was cheating on them. It was heard that those who had a bad relationship but had the chance to discover each other again during the corona days also corrected the situation. In short, various landscapes were experienced in the houses.
And normalization has begun, we have waited too long to leave ourselves from the virtual to the real world, to the street, to socialization and love, but how will we leave? Corona knows, but does love know social distance? Is the strong, strong and macho man of my country, who says nothing will happen to me, ready to go on the first date with a mask, and the woman of my country without lipstick? What about the lovebirds? Will he say, “Wait a minute, my love, let me cologne my hand and touch you like that”? Let’s see how #evdekalanaşk will flirt with the virus for months.
ARZU LOVES RISK
Although a small number of skeptical types ask some questions before the first meeting, and the meeting is in accordance with the social distance rule and masked, the couples will not listen to the virus or anything in the second and third meetings where the fever rises. Even thinking that love is a mystery and that the mask adds a dose of excitement seems unlikely when the fire engulfs the chimney. For romantic and cautious types, maybe the first kiss will be delayed a little bit, maybe the couples will take more time than usual to get to know each other, but if both parties want it, masks and gloves will be thrown away with the excitement of waiting for months. It is very clear that the types of socializing without masks and distance that we see on the streets as of now will follow their instincts, not logic, when it comes to love. Coming to the first meeting with a mask and gloves and dividing both words with a disinfectant will reduce the magic and romance of the business, so this scenario seems not to be in demand.
It is obvious that those who skip the first stage and go straight to the result and go to bed quickly will not worry about the corona. Pleasure-oriented people who act fast and brave in relationships without a plan, have already started to challenge the corona. Just think about the types who impatiently throw themselves at home to make love, but instead of jumping on each other, they run to the toilet, wash their hands and look for a place to hang their masks. It doesn’t look very realistic. Because love and sexuality, which are the address of living in the moment, not questioning and adrenaline, is not a subject to think about. It comes and lives fast, so it doesn’t wear corona and anything.
There is also the following dimension: Desire always loves the risk and the impossible. Since Corona is a new risk, there is no doubt that it will attract love even more.
Pelin Dündar, aka Pinkfreud, also supports that the virus cannot prevent love: “No virus can stop flirting, a sighing mask doesn’t listen. I know couples where quarantine knows no obstacles, even this time without social life will accelerate other things, I think. No one has to wait, measure or measure anymore.”
Writer Oben Budak explains that people’s love habits will not change until a possible second wave:
“If we talked about this in mid-March, I would answer for myself that I would only have a girlfriend in September or October and monogamy would rise from now on. But in Greece, where I live now, the daily Covid-19 case dropped to two people a day, and life in Athens continues from where it left off. For the first weeks, we were passing it on with elbow salutes, then hugging and kissing started. You get gassed when people act like nothing happened. For example, in the first week when the bars opened, we socialized by taking our drinks and watching people having fun on the opposite sidewalk. But the next week I was dancing among them. We are afraid, but it passes. I don’t think there will be much change in people’s habits until the second wave.
It’s like dating apps never took a break. In fact, people continued to meet and make love even during the corona period. Let’s admit that the 20s don’t even care. Over 35, on the other hand, was a little more cautious, generally waited until the venues were opened. When the bans were lifted, those long-awaited reunions took place with previously known flirtations. People seem like a better choice to be with a familiar person. But the rise of monogamy turned out to be too romantic, as was supposed. If even the coronavirus is not going to make monogamy on the agenda, I guess we should not bring up that subject again. Just one thing, working from home is an important criterion for dating. Freelancers who are in contact with fewer people are now much more popular than white-collar workers working in crowded holdings. One of the first questions in the dating conversation is ‘are you working from home’. According to him, everyone should prepare themselves. I also think that unprotected sex will become a thing of the past. It would be best to say that you are crazy to those who propose it.”
“MEASURE YOUR FIRE, EXTINGUISH YOUR FIRE”
The perception that Corona is not fit for bravery is also quite high. Can you imagine that in patriarchal countries like us, Turkish men would go to pick up girls with masks and gloves? Nothing will happen to me, when his head is hit by a machismo, the place will be full of men without masks and who do not follow the social distance rule, and it is clear. Assuming that there are not few women who think “my man is not afraid of corona”, there is no doubt that life will continue faster than before.
Look what writer and stand-up artist Deniz Özturhan says: “As someone who came across the first flirtations after the quarantine in our distinguished Kadıköy and on the beach of Moda, I can say this. Flirting is not Covid. Especially the young people are very comfortable, they are in the enthusiasm of ‘this virus will not do anything to us, let the old people think’. They’re not too unfair. There will be a slight change in dating of individuals in middle age. But there, too, men are strong, women will not wear the mask to look beautiful, I think. Maybe they’ll take a temperature together first and then kiss. Entertainment venues can design ‘measure your fire, put out your fire’ points that will allow this. I don’t think dating will change much, except for those little advertising jokes.”
“NO ONE WILL SHIP WITH COLOGNE IN HANDS”
Şebnem Burcuoğlu, the author and screenwriter of books such as Talk to Your Husband, and Süreya Hair Salon, explains that quarantine has increased the popularity of dating sites, and says that love will not be infected with the virus: “I can say that online dating platforms have exploded during the quarantine period. Imagine that female users increased by 25 percent, men by 20 percent, and match rates increased by 40 percent. Tinder is launching its video-dating option as of this month. On the other hand, they talk about a 70 percent growth with 17 million downloads in just one month in the Houseparty application, which is a conducive to good meetings. When this is the case, I can say that the flirtations that will flourish especially on the singles front will start at a gallop. The main question that comes to my mind is this: Will those who seek compassion during the pandemic period and promise to be a better person in a relationship back up when everything returns to normal? They look like they’re going to back out because we humans forget things so easily.”
LOVE MAP AFTER CORONA
Ezgi Ceren Işık, Turkey Marketing Manager of OkCupid, a mobile dating application headquartered in New York, draws the map of post-corona love while giving information about virtual dating:
“With Covid-19, we have entered a period where we discover brand new communication models. Virtual dating gained even more momentum during this period. The data also confirm this. OkCupid matches worldwide increased by 10 percent. Likewise, in-app chats have increased by 20 percent as singles turn to virtual dating.”
VIRUS IS NOT AN OBSTACLE TO MEET NEW PEOPLE!
“There has been a 900 percent increase in the rate of mentioning the coronavirus in the personal profile of OkCupid users around the world. Based on this, we added questions about the period we live in. For example, we added at the beginning of the process ‘Do you go out during this period to meet someone new?’ The answers to the question were quite interesting. According to the answers worldwide, 88 percent of users were willing to go out to meet new people despite the virus. Croatia was at the top of the list with 97 percent, while Italy was at the end of the list with 45 percent, one of the countries where the virus spread the fastest. 80% of Turks did not see the virus as an obstacle to meeting someone new. However, this changed as the process progressed. On top of that, we added questions that would create a common point at that moment, such as virtual loves, the routes to go on the first vacation after the quarantine. For example, ‘Do you believe in emotional contact without physical contact?’, ‘Can you say I love you without seeing someone physically?’, ‘Have you ever had virtual flirting before?’, ‘Which flirting habit you acquired in this period will you continue when the corona period is over?’ such questions came to the fore. In addition, ‘Do you like Instagram live broadcasts?’, which touches the changing consumption habits. We had questions as well. In fact, 84 percent of Turkish users answered no to this question.”
WHERE AND HOW TO MEET AFTER CORONA?
“Although not exactly specific answers, ‘what do you want to do most when social distancing is over?’ or ‘Which habits you acquired during the social distance period will you continue after?’ There are questions such as If we look at the answers to these, 59 percent of Turks say that they will go out to eat or have a drink. While the rate of those who say ‘I will just spend time outside’ is 23 percent, this is followed by the answer of ‘I will meet with my family and friends’ with 12 percent. The rate of those who dream of visiting a museum or a different cultural activity is six percent. This ratio also differs in the distribution of men/women. For example, 78 percent of men said they would go out to eat or have a drink, while 22 percent chose to spend time outside and were not interested in other detailed answers. In women, there is a more specific distribution. Likewise, post-corona habits are also changing. For example, almost half of Turks (46 percent) say they will continue to make phone calls when the period of social distancing is over. Likewise, 27 percent do not plan to quit video calls. The rate of those who say they will continue virtual dating is 18 percent.”
Article: Selin Milosyan
Taken from ELLE July-August 2020 issue.