They Fell in Love During the Pandemic. Then Things Changed.

For some people, it wasn’t easy being single during the early days of the pandemic. Many rushed into relationships, seeking company and comfort in another person — even if the match wasn’t quite right.

People moved in with their significant others far too early. Cooking and watching movies with a partner while cloistered indoors helped relieve loneliness.

Others developed online relationships from dating apps, and upon meeting in real life, they discovered that the people they had fallen for were not who they thought they were.

Four years after Covid-19 lockdowns were implemented worldwide, many people have been processing their early pandemic experiences in all areas of their lives, including their love lives. The TikTok star Reesa Teesa, for example, drew wide attention on the app for sharing her whirlwind pandemic relationship saga in a 50-part series.

Now that some time has passed, we invited readers to share their pandemic relationship regrets. Many noted that their feelings of loneliness while quarantining and social distancing prompted them to latch on to a partner — and the romanticized ideas of their partners they said they had contrived to help cope with the uncertainty, isolation and dreariness that came with the pandemic.

“With our housing choices limited, jobs in limbo and a paralyzing sense of existential dread, we drank, cooked and binge-watched television to pass the time,” one reader wrote. “It took half a year to move out and over two years of therapy to sort out the whys and hows of the relationship: why I agreed to move in, why I stayed, why we lived in denial. ‘We were living through a pandemic’ is all I’ve got.”

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