Falling In Love During a Desolate Time

Going through a terrible marriage, a psychotic divorce, and a six year dead end relationship took a toll on me. It took me a while to get back onto the dating scene. Interestingly, COVID-19 came and proved that giving up on love wasn’t in my future.

The isolation brought on by quarantine restrictions inspired me to pursue online dating more strategically. It wasn’t something new to me because I’ve tried it on and off for the past two years.

It was just hard to find the right person on these sites based on the right combination of things that were important to me. My crazy schedule was also one of the reasons for me neither having the time nor energy required to shuffle through the BS in order to find the “right one.” I wasn’t ready to give up though.

I’ve also heard about (and experienced) online dating horror stories. So, I approached online dating cautiously with no real expectations. I tried several apps and would often delete them out of frustration because I was sick of them and needed a mental break. I would then return to them when I felt it was time to try again. Who knew April 12, 2020, would have been the day?

It was Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection and new beginnings. I would normally be getting ready to go to church with my family, and it would be a very exciting holiday for us as Christians. This time was different because we were all on lockdown and there was no church service to go to because of the COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

I was toying with my phone, scrolling through social media when an ad popped up for BLK, an app specifically for Black singles. I had never tried that app before so I said, “What the heck?” I downloaded it, filled out my profile and left it at that.

Finding a Deep Connection

My phone was pinging endlessly the moment I completed my BLK profile. But, I had to find a way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

This may sound cliché but I created a checklist for my ideal man. I dive deeper into how I created my checklist in my book – Flying Solo – BE-TOU-TIFUL. Any man who didn’t check all the boxes immediately stopped getting my time and attention.

You may think that it’s impossible to find a man who checks all those boxes. And that’s part of the problem – we choose to believe that we must settle, that we don’t deserve to experience great relationships. I’ve been there and done that and don’t have time to waste.

My patience won because I met a handsome man who checked all the boxes. Our connection was so deep that we would spend hours on the phone (and still want to spend several hours more).

But, it was more than just spending hours on the phone – he actively demonstrated that he cared about me holistically and we had a lot in common. Our bond further deepened because his actions spoke louder than words.

True Acts of Kindness

It almost felt like love at first sight when I saw him for the first time three weeks after we met online. I wasn’t even sure if I was really falling in love or if being trapped in the house for so long was making me go crazy. Was I loving him or was he the escape from the craziness of COVID-19?

My COVID crush has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to me in several ways. One of his most touching displays of genuine affection was on a day when I was having a terrible migraine.

COVID-19 forced me to pivot my businesses. I was hosting virtual events, going through crazy work schedules and just feeling a lot of pressure. That situation meant my migraines were in full swing. This particular migraine was already a day old and not going anywhere.

My COVID crush called me as he always did later in the day. He wasn’t expecting me to tell him that I was really feeling out of it because of this persistent migraine. The medication I usually used to treat it was no longer available because it contains aspirin, a compound initially thought to worsen coronavirus symptoms.

I called several pharmacies but couldn’t find the medication. So, I just resigned to waiting for the migraine to subside. To my surprise, my COVID crush wasn’t having it though. He found a pharmacy 45 minutes away from where he lives that had the generic form of the medication. He sent me a picture of the brand to confirm that he was getting the right thing and then told me he was on his way.

He lives about an hour and a half away from me. This man drove 45 minutes to the pharmacy and then an hour and a half to my house just to give me medication that would help me feel better. That put him in a completely different league from the other men I was speaking to at the time.

My COVID crush appeared at my front door, medication in hand and when I saw him…he took my breath away. This was the first time we were seeing each other since connecting three weeks prior. The physical attraction was definitely there!

But, that wasn’t all. We sat in his car and talked for a while. He asked me why I was getting the migraines and I told him that I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping because I was bogged down with work. There really wasn’t any substantial food in the house.

He looked at me and said, “Give me your grocery list. I’ll buy some groceries tomorrow.” I laughed it off thinking that he couldn’t be serious although I told him that I’d send the list. I never sent it to him. He called me the following day asking for the list again. But, I felt bad so I just sent him a short list with a few items.

There he was a few hours later with several bags of groceries and a bouquet of flowers. He cared enough to provide what I needed without me asking. And these two grand gestures helped me learn the value of being vulnerable with the right person and accepting help despite my independence.

Bonding On Things that Matter

I still wasn’t sure he was the one I should commit to even after months of conversations. But, I felt drawn to him. The pandemic couldn’t keep us apart after that initial meeting.

There weren’t many places to go because of the pandemic. So, we would often sit in our cars eating takeout food, chatting and laughing for hours about life, our kids, and everything that mattered to us.

I also felt it was important for us to understand each other’s love languages. It was time for me to be with someone who I could know on a deeper level and who was also interested in learning about me on a deeper level. That was lacking in my marriage and my six year relationship.

And it wasn’t like I had to persuade my COVID crush to dive into this love language process. He was genuinely interested in using that tool to learn more about me. So, I sent him the Five Love Languages Test and we both took it. We then had a lengthy conversation that piqued our interest in reading the book.

But, our approach to the book was different. We would go to the pier near my home, play a chapter of the audiobook, and then discuss it with each other since our dates were now limited to takeout food in our cars without the ambiance of a nice restaurant. Those conversations were deep and meaningful.

COVID Safe Link Ups

We didn’t let COVID stop us from seeing each other again after our initial meet-up. In fact, COVID probably helped him keep ahead of the game because many other potential online guys that I met at the time wanted to wait until Covid was over. I guess realistically we thought we would be cleared of the COVID crazy in about a month or two, maybe three. Who knew it would have been 2 years and we are still in this mess!

Seeing each other meant taking safety precautions such as wearing a mask, maintaining the stipulated six feet distance away from others and so on. We loved music and enjoyed listening to great tunes together. Unfortunately, the clubs and lounges were closed. There was nowhere for us to go and entertain ourselves with great music so we often cranked up the music in our cars and had fun.

One of my favorite memories is after 2 months of dating, he asked me to officially be his girlfriend and I said Yes! He turned on the radio and played the song You’re My Lady by D’Angelo. He came around the car, took my hand, and asked me if he could have this as our first dance. We danced in the parking lot for almost the whole night one song after another.

Another great memory includes our first time going out to eat at a restaurant together. Normally, we would’ve taken these moments for granted but it felt so good to be somewhere other than inside our homes or cars! It was such a unique experience because they had just allowed restaurants to be open for outside dining. We were away on a short little weekend getaway and were able to enjoy dinner and drinks together for the first time after three months of dating.

The food wasn’t that great (it was actually horrible), but we were just grateful to enjoy being out. What once was a no brainer date turned out to be a very unique first time experience.

You don’t have to try hard to make a connection with someone work if that person is meant to mesh with you. Our connection runs deep, so deep in fact that we’ve gone on road trips together in the spring and summer, and we still spent hours talking to each other.

We found a new appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Normally, I wouldn’t have had the time to stop and literally smell the roses because my life was that busy. Experiencing this COVID love changed that reality.

Final Words

My COVID crush definitely helped me get through the psychotic months of lockdown. He gave me something consistent to look forward to that put a smile on my face while our world was literally crashing.

Sometimes really terrible things happen so that good things can come out of the situation. We’ve all lost something great during Covid. Like many of you, I’ve lost family, friends, and financial opportunities.

But, sometimes we have to look at the bright side of things as well. In this time of great despair and mourning, I also found love.

Written By: Carline Beaubrun Photo Credit: James Willis


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