BURO. DATING GURU
As if coronavirus wasn’t bad enough, it’s going to send divorce rates soaring, too. Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, a leading divorce lawyer and politician, recently told MPs that scores of couples forced to spend serious time together in isolation would break up at the first opportunity. "Our peak times are after long exposure during the summer holidays and over Christmas,” she said. "One only has to imagine what it's going to be like when families are sealed in a property for a long period of time."
But, like looking at a cupboard stocked with only low-grade tuna, split peas and desiccated Bovril (guilty), we must simply look on the bright side (‘Yellowfin Surprise’, anyone?). You’re not married (yet), so you don’t have to worry about getting divorced (yet), and with all the hotties stuck at home, you’ve got a captive audience. Some might even say this is the best time to be single, and it’s your time to shine, bebe. When life gives you Corona, jam some lime in the bottle and send it over to the sort by the (virtual) bar. Here’s my guide to finding love in a global pandemic.
Unless you have a thing for the actual boy next door, dating apps are the only way forward, so you need to adapt to the zeitgeist. In times gone by, it was all about telling people how well travelled, well-rounded and well-endowed you were with as much subtlety and brevity as possible. Now, you just need to let people know that you have access to running water, tinned goods and multivitamins. Remove the picture of you snorkelling in Gili T, the one of you with your family Labrador, and the one of you in a HILARIOUS Louis Theroux T-shirt. They will only make people pine for a time when they weren’t housebound and terrified. Instead, titillate them with a picture of you on a throne of Andrex, wielding a crossbow, dousing your isolation-hardened body in Purell.
“I’m so hot for you (to a normal, healthy temperature of 37 degrees)”
“Are you tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind [once a] day”
“You can’t spell ‘Quarantine’ without U, R, A, Q, T…”
*Whisper sensually: “I have a warm bunker and enough low-sugar baked beans to outlast humanity”
This is a tough one. You’ve been indoors for days, so not only has your complexion taken a hit, but you’ve gone a bit mad, haven’t you? The days have merged into one long bunk-off and you’ve started to question why we all have to wear something on our bottom halves at all times. Luckily, as any saucy newsreader will tell you, trousers are not necessary for a video broadcast.
In what has been an incredibly steep learning curve, I am now something of an expert on video conference-calling services, and your go-to should be Zoom, which offers custom backgrounds, allowing that date at Spoons or Secret Cinema or Hampstead Heath to happen for real, only on the internet. Alternatively, Houseparty is the sort of kooky, Gen Z option that’s good for loads of people, so maybe you could get a gang on there, like you’re in pub, then pair off to FaceTime when you want a one-on-one, like you’ve gone to the beer garden. It’s a logistical headache but think of the meet-cute!
Someday, this whole bonkers situation will be over and you’ll be able to act on all the digital flirting you’ve been dishing out. Your new harem of lovers will feel so close to you, and yet so far away… and yet so close to you, because the algorithms of the apps mean they all live within a mile of your flat. Spend a few days eating vegetables and drinking water and wearing structured clothing and you’ll be right as rain. Go for a run, maybe splash out and go for two runs in the same day.
The perfect date in the post-corona world will overflow with all the things you’ve been starved of for so long. Walk the aisles of Waitrose with abandon, jog hand-in-hand on parallel treadmills, share a bottle of scrumpy in the park… simply congregate with each other.
It’s going to be mega. A fresh start, a new era, a different way of doing things. But for now, pack away your trousers and wash your hands.
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