Is It Time For A Pandemic Breakup?

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Hi Meredith,

I’m 26 and met my boyfriend right before the pandemic. When lockdown hit, we stayed in touch virtually for two months, FaceTiming every weekend for hours and coming up with ways to get to know each other. Since meeting in person, we’ve spent every weekend for the last five months together. We’ve gone on many trips around the state (national parks, etc.). It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve been through a lot together. It’s my first relationship that has lasted this long, but he’s most of what I would want in a partner. He’s incredibly caring, kind, invested, and perhaps most important of all, really listens to me.

The problem is that although I always want to see him and I care for him, I’ve never felt a strong enough connection that allows me to see a future. I’ve grown to like him more and more as the months have gone by, but I have a very hard time seeing a future past the pandemic. I’ve told him this and he told me he was OK continuing to date if I needed more time, so we’ve kept going. He does see a future. The situation has been really upsetting – and has given me anxiety I’ve never felt before. I think the right thing would be to break up, but I don’t want to throw away what we’ve built. It also feels wrong to break up with someone in an otherwise healthy relationship when the only thing that’s missing is a passion that I somehow can’t quite feel. I know I love him, but I’m not in love with him. After six months, I don’t know if that’ll change. Should I invest more time in this? I also have to admit that I’m really scared to be alone right now. I know that’s not a good reason to stay with someone and that people are dating virtually, but it’s making this decision harder.

– Stuck


If it’s becoming difficult and troubling to be with him because you can’t match his enthusiasm and feelings, it does make sense to end the relationship.

But consider this: sometimes people fall for a significant other when they see them with friends, family, or when they hear them order a meal inside of a Cheesecake Factory. I’m just saying … the weird part of pandemic dating is that there’s all this space for one-on-one relationship development, but there’s no world around you. No community. I don’t know that I’d be able to fall in love with someone without seeing them be funny around my family or comfortable with my friends.

I have to assume the two of you have been very isolated (I hope). Maybe this has felt limited because it can’t grow past a certain point right now. Maybe you haven’t seen the best of him or of what you can do together.

Listen, I can also say that if you’ve hit a wall, you probably know it, and a breakup might be best. If you’re no longer looking forward to having him over, that’s telling. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case or that you know anything for sure. He’s given you more time, so take it. The status of this pandemic is ever-changing. You might be too.

– Meredith

Readers? Time to call it off or let it play out?

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