7 LGBTQ+ Couples Tell Us How They Found Love During the Pandemic
With the implementation of social distancing orders put into place in March 2020, all queer meet-cute spots (gay bars, bookshops, climbing gyms) shuttered their doors, and in turn, shut down the potential for passion. This left many LGBTQ+ singles and seekers afraid that they'd never french, fling, or fall in love again.
But almost instantly, the queer community-ever the innovators of finding love in a time of despair-found workarounds. While some used the shut-down as an opportunity to hone in their DM's slides and Tinder skills, others took the global crisis as a sign to reconnect with their ex. In other words, not only did the queer community make connections during quarantine, but some of the folks also found lovers they hope to be with for a very long time.
Need to hear some heart-eye tales to really believe it? Below, seven queer couples share their pandemic love stories. (Be warned: You're gonna need the box of tissues!).
"We worked for the same company, but didn't meet until a Zoom work event."
"Before the pandemic, Allison and I both worked for the same bouldering company, but at two different locations-and thus had never met. Then in June of 2020, our two gyms came together on Zoom to create an online petition to hold the management responsible for an insensitive comment they made about George Floyd's death.
"We were very aligned in our thoughts during the meeting, and following the meeting, she messaged me on Instagram about my Cincinnati Reds shirt, asked to be friends, and then we spent the next few weeks talking for hours every day. Eventually, we met up in person after getting COVID tested and having frank discussions about what we each defined as safe. In October, Allison asked me to be her girlfriend. And now, we're here! Still talking every day for hours, but as girlfriends.
"Oh, and we're currently co-running NYC Climbing Collective, an organization dedicated to eradicating racism, exclusion, and discrimination within the climbing community."
- Roshni, 25, New York City
"We were partners for four months before we even kissed!"
"I kid you not… My partner and I met at a gas station! Here's the story: I decided to quarantine for 14 days, then dive from New Jersey (where I live) down to Florida to spend the holidays with my family. At the first gas station I stopped at, my now-girlfriend stopped by my car (six feet away and wearing a mask!) to ask me where I got my little rainbow bumper sticker. We got chatting and ended up exchanging numbers.
"We texted a few times while I was down south, and then when I got back [home], I asked if she wanted to go for a walk. My exact line was, "I'd invite you for a ride in my rainbow-decaled car, but COVID… How does a walk sound instead?" We went for a walk, in masks, and then kept going on…
"The wild part? This went on for two months before we hung out without masks on. I didn't see her nose until we were more than two months into dating! And then? I didn't get to kiss her for another two months when she and I were both fully vaccinated. It sounds extreme but she lives with her mom who is very high risk.
"Don't worry… she has a great schnoz and her lips were well worth the wait."
- Mallory, 28, New Jersey
"My ex-boyfriend and I got back together."
"Months after we first broke up, my ex and I got brunch together. It just so happened to be the Sunday right before New York City totally shut down… With social distancing orders put into place, we were both forced to work from home. Feeling isolated, we started texting a bit more…
"On top of that, we only lived a block away from each other and were the only people the other could see without hopping on public transportation. For months, he was the only person I could and would see.
"I think we both were pretty miserable about the state of the world, working, not seeing our friends, and really about being apart from one other, that it led to us naturally falling into our old relationship habits. We're still together today and he actually moved in with me!"
- Théo, 28, New York City
"We climbed together for over a year! It wasn't until one fateful night…"
"Tom and I climbed together every Wednesday for over a year with our rock climbing club without ever really interacting. Then one night in February 2020, we ended up sitting together after an event and didn't stop talking until 4 a.m.… even though Tom had to get up at 6 a.m. for work.
"The next day, we continued to talk, and then the next day... And then thanks to the pandemic, I ended up moving into his place. COVID-19 was ramping up in Australia (where we live) so we decided to try to be long-term, serious partners, and we ended up U-hauling. His home became our home!
"With the restriction in place, he began working from home all day every day, and all of my university courses moved online. This meant we were able to spend as much time together as we wanted, which led to us learning all those little quirks early on!
"Honestly, I think it was easier starting our relationship off, in a pandemic, than it would have been otherwise. Because we got to spend thirty dates worth of time getting right from the get-go by moving in together! With him, everything clicked."
- Mariam, 21, Australia
"We were best friends for 14 years, but the pandemic led to us relying on each other more than ever."
"My girlfriend and I had been best friends since we were six. (Yep, six!). We began relying on each other emotionally to a greater degree than we ever had before during the pandemic because we were both struggling. One night, about six months in, in September 2020, while we were distracting each other from the impending doom of the world, we ended up talking about sex.
"She asked me to tell her about the best solo sex I've ever had, and before I knew it we were sexting. We talked about it afterward and we both agreed it was something we wanted to continue doing. And now we've been together for nearly nine months and are very happy and in love.
"Since we started dating, we both learned more about the asexuality spectrum and we both think we might be demisexual, which means we only have the potential to experience sexual attraction after emotional bond. That would explain why it took us so long to fall into bed together!"
- Kara, 20, Raleigh
"We got on dating apps as a couple and found our third."
"The back story is this: I'm bisexual and my boyfriend oscillates between identifying as heteroflexible and bicurious. We've been together for almost four years now, and during that time, have had a number of threesomes, which is something we really enjoy doing together.
"As soon as social-distancing orders were put into place, that stopped! We weren't going to bars (obviously) and we were worried about getting each other (or someone else) sick.
"Then, in May of 2020, after five months without any group sex, my boyfriend asked if I'd be interested in checking out Feeld, which is a dating app known for unicorn hunting. I was! We ended up making a profile on Feeld and Tinder (yes, we were very upfront that we were a couple in our bio and pictures) matched with a few girls, but really hit it off with a cute bisexual.
"We had a Zoom date to meet each other off the app. Then at the end of the date, we talked about what we each needed to feel comfortable meeting in person. Long story short: After all of us taking two weeks in isolation and getting COVID-19 tested, we finally met for a night of watching The Tiger King and eating Chinese food in my boyfriend's and my apartment.
"The sex we had that night? The best threeway [we] ever had! While it wasn't our plan to start dating this girl seriously, we've been seeing her twice a week ever since, and just last week on our one-year anniversary we said 'I love you.'"
- Emmi, 26, Brooklyn
"We were old colleagues who re-connected on an app."
"At the start of the pandemic, I matched with an old colleague on a dating app and ended up having a steamy texting session.
"For the first few months of quarantine, he continued working from the office. But I was working from home, taking things very seriously, and getting increasingly lonely, scared, and anxious. So, we texted constantly and had a few sweet Zoom dates! During one Zoom date, we played a card game to get to know each other better, had a few movie-watching dates, and ate lunch together every Wednesday via Zoom!
"This continued until Memorial day when we broke quarantine to spend time together in a cabin in the woods. And the rest is history!
"Last spring was really dark in a lot of ways but it also allowed our relationship to develop in ways it wouldn't have 'normally.' We had to be a lot more intentional about how we got to know each other and tried to take care of each other through the tough times."
- Elise, 29, Colorado