Pandemic Love Languages

Expression is so much more stifled these days. It’s been so much harder to read people’s facial expressions because half of their faces are covered. I had the luck of being praised for some work I did recently and I was overflowing with gratitude – I wanted to be as gracious as I possibly could for the honor. It was frustrating to not have been able to express the fullness of that gratitude. It’s like I want to give a gift but I couldn’t quite give it completely. It was like getting appreciation blue balls.


I wonder how the population is dealing with this change in the landscape of expression as well. I know there are people, for example, who want physical presence, and the touch that comes with it. With social distancing measures always in place, how did these people survive this whole time? Those who wanted the security from others, and were only able to receive this in particular ways, in much the same way it could only be given by others in the ways they always knew – how did they cope?


This is something I’ve observed in my own experience. I have a very good friend of mine who, unfortunately, isn’t much of a texter. We’d see each other often pre-pandemic, of course – it was easy. But now that the currency of just hanging out whenever you want to has barely been in circulation for the past eight months, I have to say I feel the same about our friendship. It’s like he doesn’t really know me anymore, not in the way I used to be able to talk about anything before all this. Now, he just seems so far away.


I guess he’s okay with it – that’s his personality. He tends to not need the constant buzz of someone else’s opinion, or need a sounding board for his thoughts – unlike me. I was used to always having someone to talk to. Now that these people who have a very different language aren’t as accessible, I feel like it’s somehow not the same.


On a more hopeful note, I actually liked how self-sufficient this forced isolation of sorts has made me. Before, I was just used to the accessibility of the outside opinions. Now, I find I was able to strengthen my own. There’s a lot of missing and sentimentality, yes, but not in the sappy and maybe even victimized way I was probably used to before – now, I actually feel empowered to be have been able to fend for myself.


That’s one personal random musing in my head. But what about the others? How did they get their dose of love and how were they able to give it, when pre-pandemic, they didn’t really like chatting all day and talk to a screen all night? There is no match for physical presence – time spent soaking up each other’s vibration, and not just exchanging words and cleverness. How do you for example give the language of acts of service when you can’t be around to serve another?


It’s funny – it’s like I’ve suddenly been in a long distance relationship with most of my friends. Lovers used to have a choice. Now there’s barely any other option – and the whole world involuntarily got a taste of it.

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