Healthcare

Love in the Time of COVID: Moving in With a New Boyfriend

You think YOU'RE living in a tough situation? Try this.

When I started the “Love in the Time of COVID” series and asked people to send in their stories about navigating social interactions in these perilous times, I didn’t think I’d get such a great story from a co-worker — and one whose job isn’t words. Morganne Stewart’s official title is “art manager.” She’s a designer. She chases down images and lays out pages and does it all with an even-keeled disposition that I aspire to. Morganne has a compromised immune system, but she’s not sure why. She is still working with her doctors to get a diagnosis. You think your life is weird right now? Here is what Morganne is dealing with:

Netflix’s Love Is Blind couldn’t have come at a better time — at least for me. I’m essentially living in Season 2. No, there are no cameras or those weird gold wine goblets that they took everywhere with them, but, boy, is my season going to be interesting.

For those of you unfamiliar, the whole point of the show is to see if love is truly blind (thanks, Vanessa and Nick Lachey). The contestants get in pods to talk and get engaged, then go on vacation, start cohabitating, and get married — all in the span of three weeks.

Right now, my Elmwood home is under quarantine as my roommate-sister is sick with a mysterious illness. All normal cold and flu tests have come back negative. So we are waiting on the free coronavirus test, which takes a full week to get back. (The three-day test is $300.) Doctors have recommended self-quarantine for at least two weeks, regardless of results. That means my entire house is off limits to me, the girl with the broken immune system.

Last week — when I thought this was going to blow over in a couple of days — I decided to stay at my boyfriend’s new home. It will be fun, we both said, like a mini vacation. Boy, were we wrong. When I say new, I mean lingering paint fumes, no furniture, few kitchen essentials. But, hey, we have internet! (Also, did I mention the relationship is new? Like three months new?)

So here’s how my Season 2 is starting: now that I’m stuck here, we’re going to either hate each other in two weeks or be very close. All those embarrassing or just plain gross habits we hide upfront in relationships are going to come out very quickly. I hate dishes being left in the sink, and I like to dance when I brush my teeth (judge all you want).

For now, we are taking it day by day — or more like hour by hour. We don’t work in the same room, which I think all couples should do. We are planning date nights inside; he is cooking dinner, and it’s my turn tomorrow. (Wait till he finds out I’m a terrible cook.) We are taking drives along the back roads, listening to old ’90s hits and laughing at how bad his singing is. But one thing we’ve each told each other is that we need clear communication about everything. Yes, every couple should have that in the non-corona world, but when you are stuck together with nowhere to go, it is crucial.

If you have any tips for all the new COVID-19 couples out there, we are all ears. Honestly, I think it’s going to be a fun experiment, in a time where we could all use something a bit more lighthearted.

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