Students find love during the pandemic

From meetings online to bike rides at a distance, students find ways to continue dating

Social+distancing+is+challenging+for+students+in+relationships.+This+doorway+near+KU%27s+football+stadium+reflects+the+instructions+that+people+stay+six+feet+apart+during+social+distancing.

Barbara Tholen

Social distancing is challenging for students in relationships. This doorway near KU's football stadium reflects the instructions that people stay six feet apart during social distancing.

By Arien Roman, Staff Writer

Spring is in the air and the time for local love birds to emerge and frolic together is upon us, but couples will have to approach this season of love six feet apart.

During this pandemic, it’s easy to connect with loved ones thanks to technology. Couples are able to persist through these times while being safe and staying at home. 

“It’s been weird,” senior Keely English said. “We’re used to being able to hang out whenever we want, so not being able to is very different.” 

English and her boyfriend, senior Kaleb Gardner, have been able to stay in touch with their phones through apps like Snapchat, Facetime and iMessage.

“I usually check in everyday and just see what he’s up to,” English said. “Not really solely because of everything that’s going on, but more just in general, how I would usually check in.”

Without being able to go out, couples can’t do the normal things they enjoy as a couple, like having picnics, watching the sunset at Clinton Lake or simply spending time together.

“It’s sad that we’re not able to do that right now, but the distance just gives extra time to plan more surprises, which is another favorite of mine,” junior Alia Sartin said.

Nevertheless, this self isolation has prompted creative date ideas to keep things interesting, from virtual movie dates, to walks, to playing video games online.

Zoom often comes to the rescue with its screen-sharing feature, making movie dates possible for couples.  

“Having little mini dates help a lot,” sophomore Justice Tullis said.

Alia Sartin
Alia Sartin and Jackson Rogers video chat to spend time together. Couples have had to get creative in their methods of spending time together.

Alia Sartin and her boyfriend, junior Jackson Rogers, take advantage of restaurants still offering delivery services. 

“We’ll occasionally order each other some food and have a virtual dinner date,” Sartin said. “There are a few Netflix shows that are kind of our shows.”

Junior Sophie Bracker-Sturm also found a way to safely spend time with her boyfriend, senior Cameron Bohmann, while being active. 

“We went on a bike ride and a hike — from a safe distance of course,” Bracker-Sturm said.

Even with technology and the six-foot rule, couples agree that dating during a pandemic could not be called easy, but most choose to look on the bright side.

“I think if anything it has kind of just helped us get used to a long distance relationship feeling,” English said. “It’s not the same thing, but sometimes it feels like it. That will probably be helpful in the long run with college coming up next year. But I think it’s just helped us get used to it and ultimately get closer.”

This pandemic puts stress on relationships but in the end, couples say they hope it shows that love conquers all.

 “I think overall it has brought us a bit closer, at least definitely on my end,” Sartin said. “The fact that we are able to stay connected and are still as happy as ever makes me feel really confident in our relationship’s stability. I will say that I can now relate and understand the iconic quote, ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder.’ ”