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New Couple Say Lockdown Has Brought Them Closer Together Than Dating In-Person

New Couple Say Lockdown Has Brought Them Closer Together Than Dating In-Person

A couple who met on Tinder in the first week of lockdown say chatting via video calls has brought them closer than dating in real life

Mischa Pearlmen

Mischa Pearlmen

Dating in the time of coronavirus is definitely more difficult than usual, but that doesn't mean it can't work out. Just look at Sarah Greatrex and Tom Edwards as an example.

The pair, both of whom are 29, met on Tinder in February, and had eight dates before the UK went into lockdown on 23 March.

But that didn't stop the pair getting to know each other. Quite the opposite, in fact. Instead of meeting up again in person, as they'd both expected to do, they continued chatting online via video calls.

One week into lockdown Tom, who lives in Leicester, asked Sarah, who's from Loughborough, to be his girlfriend when they were on Zoom having a virtual date.

Sarah Greatrex/Facebook

They both say having virtual dates instead of meeting up in person has allowed them to get to know each other quicker. It means they have to actually think of things to do instead of just opting for a cinema date.

Tom, a physiotherapist who has been working on coronavirus wards, told the BBC: "You can't sit there and watch a film and have a hug. You're just talking to each other. I think if you can do that for eight weeks in a row, it makes you stronger."

Soon, every Sunday became date night. It's just that those dates had to conducted via technology. While that was entirely unexpected, Sarah, who works as a research technician at the University of Leicester, said shifting their relationship online almost felt natural.

She said: "[My colleagues] asked 'What will happen if we do go into lockdown? I was like, 'I have no idea'."

"We didn't know what was happening, so we didn't think about it. It wasn't that panic of 'we're not going to see each other'. I think we knew we could adapt.

"It's been so strange to say to friends that I've got a boyfriend now. They're like: 'What? But you're in your house on your own - how does that work?'"

Sarah Greatrex/Facebook

Although the circumstances aren't ideal, Tom says he and Sarah have 'made the best out of a bad situation'.

He said their date nights are an excuse to get 'out of our pyjamas and actually put some nice clothes on'. Often they cook the same meal and have dinner over video call.

A few weeks on, Sarah now even takes part in a virtual quiz with Tom's family. She plays on Tom's team and they communicate over the phone. She's yet to actually meet his family in person.

Tom said: "I'm not doing that on Zoom. My parents both tried as hard as they could to shout to Sarah and try to embarrass me but I don't think Sarah could hear them properly."

The couple did, however, get to see each other in person once again after lockdown restrictions eased to allow socially distanced get-togethers outdoors.

Tom has even made a 'freedom list' in the notes on his phone of ideas for dates the two of them can go on when lockdown finally ends. It includes a list of restaurants they want to try, meals they plan to cook together and an escape room, as well as a visit to an alpaca farm.

Who says romance is dead?

Featured Image Credit: Sarah Greatrex/Facebook

Topics: Dating, Coronavirus