I matched with Andrew on Hinge in August 2019, just a few months before the entire world would change. We talked for several weeks on the app, then over text, and eventually we decided to go on a date in October. Thankfully, we hit it off on our first date and decided to spend more time getting to know each other. But, with both of us working full-time, our weeks were swamped and we only really saw each other over the weekends. Little did we know that we would spend almost every waking moment together in March 2020.
In December 2019, I started to hear about COVID-19 in the news. Juggling all of the anxiety that was coming with this new disease — and the beginning of a new relationship — was a lot. Before I knew it, in March we were told that everyone was to "shelter in place" to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Andrew and I chose to spend the next 100+ days together in his small one-bedroom apartment in Queens. Our relationship, while feeling serious, was still in its very early stages. Sure, we had been dating for a few months. But, spending every single day and night together for the foreseeable future, with absolutely no one else, is definitely challenging.
"There were nights we stayed up until 4 am talking about everything from our childhoods to his time in the army, our previous relationships, and our biggest hopes and fears."
I should note that before we made this decision, we hadn't built any relationships with each other's friends or families. We talked about it being "too soon" to start crossing our lives like that. We both thought that our relationship would take its natural course and eventually build up to these moments. So skipping ahead to living together before hitting any of the "normal" relationship milestones was a little strange. However, looking back, we laugh about how we can't believe we did it, and how grateful we are that we did.
While many couples found that spending too much time together under the same roof showcased how they were not meant to be, Andrew and I were the opposite. It was everything we needed to show us that we are a perfect match. There were nights we stayed up until 4 am talking about our childhoods, his time in the army, our previous relationships, and our biggest hopes and fears. On top of that, it allowed us to try new hobbies, cook together, binge-watch dozens of shows and movies, redecorate, and so much more.
Getting to know someone in a new relationship is hard when you have hundreds of things going on in your life. But, since I was forced to pause and drop everything, I was given an opportunity to really focus on my relationship with Andrew. After a few weeks at home, our relationship felt like it was something we both slipped into, and it fit like a glove. I loved that he watched me when I laughed at TV shows, how he always wanted to touch the small of my back when he walked by, and how he became invested in the English lessons I was remotely teaching.
"After a few weeks at home, our relationship felt like it was something we both slipped into, and it fit like a glove."
However, my biggest fear wasn't if our newfound love was going to survive the pandemic, but rather the possibility that we wouldn't fit in each other's lives afterward. Would we be ok interacting with each other's friends and families? Would our relationship still work even though we'd have busy schedules again?
Fortunately, we fell into each other's worlds the same way we fell in love — easily. I'm happy to say that we're engaged to be married and are currently planning our wedding together. Sure, it's a bit strange that the first time we'll be meeting some of each other's family members will be at our wedding. But, I wouldn't change a thing about our love and the way we got here. If we were able to survive a toilet paper shortage in the world, we can honestly survive anything.