We were married on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at the Wake County Detention Center—all the courts in Wake County were closed because of the coronavirus, so they told us it was the only option! The magistrate married us from behind bulletproof glass.
The date is special because it coincides with the auspicious Hindu holiday of Gudi Padwa. According to sacred Hindu scriptures, this was the day that the world was re-created after a natural calamity stopped time and killed many people—it marks a New Year of sorts.
—Priyanka, 31, and Thomas, 32, North Carolina
“We’re two humans and two cats in a studio apartment. It’s very cuddly.”
I’d been living alone almost eight years before I met Jacob. We’re both in our mid-30s, so by the time that we met, it was like, “Oh, you, I’ve been looking everywhere for you.” We knew really quickly. I think, gosh, probably like our second or third date, I blurted out, “I think you’re my person.”
I lived alone for almost 10 years before we were together. We moved in together right before the holidays this year, and there’s a side of me that could be getting very stressed out about handling another human living with me. We’re two humans and two cats in a studio apartment—it’s very cuddly. I could be getting stressed out about that. But honestly, I feel like it’s helping us get to know each other even better. There’s not really any way to have mystery in a studio apartment when you’re on 24/7 lockdown. It’s definitely been helping us with communication, and being patient with each other and being patient with ourselves.
We were both so busy before all this happened. It’s nice to have time to hang out and connect whether that’s cooking together, or taking a walk, or playing video games, or hanging out with the cats. It’s nice to have that little cocoon. I’m totally a workaholic. So this has been a very interesting challenge for me to learn to just slow down a little. But it’s a lesson I need to learn. So it is really nice.
— Jess, 34, and Jacob, 37, New York
“I don’t know what will become of this tender, new shoot.”
We were supposed to have lunch a couple of weeks before the crisis, but schedules did not permit. But still, the odds seemed good—both of us work careers in service of others, and most important, he resonated with my Bumble profile statement that I wanted to meet someone who “had done the work,” and worked on themselves.
Our text conversations were incredible. If there is such a thing as “text chemistry,” we had it. The longing I felt, as I texted, “All I want is to fall into you, to rest my head in that place where your neck, shoulder, and chest meet, and to be wrapped up in your arms,” gave me a bittersweet ache that I hadn’t felt in years. But meeting would have to wait.
This period of discovery was so fun. We shared deep dark secrets and spoke about our inner demons that we keep hidden from others. Our conversations heated up, and while we never quite sexted in earnest, we got as physical as one can in a virtual world while staying in our comfort zones—we are middle-aged!
I became dependent upon our conversations. So imagine my surprise and anguish when, despite sending two alluring photos, and a desperate, “Hey, I’m having a rough day. Can you just send me a hello,” I got nothing. I was filled with self-doubt and anxiety. Had I turned him off? Had I been “too much”? This is crazy! I don’t even know this man! I rationalized. On the second day of silence, I told him that I was grateful to feel 16 years old again and that I would miss our conversations, but that I could not tolerate not being responded to. Of course that got a response.