Love in lockdown: A guide to Covid-era Cambridge dating

Advice from The Cambridge Tab’s very own power couple…

When the second national lockdown came into effect, we both knew what this meant for our relationship. In fact, I think we all know how the story goes. Two households (colleges) both alike in dignity. Two young people, separated by circumstance, calling to each other dramatically from a balcony that overlooks Sidney Street. Two metres of distance divides them, their voices muffled by surgical masks, their hands burning from when they put hand sanitiser on and realise they’ve got a cut on their hand (ow). But this story does not need to have a tragic end.

And so, for all you lovers, daters, and it’s-complicated-ers, we’ve put together this list of ideas to maintain your inter-collegiate relationship over lockdown – rated out of 10 for your enjoyment and perusal. You’re welcome.

Zoom is your best friend

If you bought shares in Zoom back in March, you’re probably sat on a yacht right now. For the rest of us peasants, for whom Zoom has become the only way to maintain some semblance of social connection, the breakout room has become the club, the restaurant and the awkward family party all rolled into one. The possibilities are endless. Watch a film on Netflix Party, cry together over your workload, or combine the two. I recommend Ben and Jerry’s for the latter. Also, recommend it just in general. 

Can we have a breakout room for two, please?

Sophie: 5/10 (for the technologically illiterate like me who sometimes struggle to turn on their laptop, this constant use of technology is highly confusing, although my discovery of the raise hand function was rather exciting.) 

George: 7/10 (lovely chance to take a break from work and have a chat – I certainly didn’t miss the walk to meet Sophie outside Peterhouse!)

At least try and get some exercise

I know the idea of doing something other than sitting down is an entirely radical suggestion. Still, it is probably a good idea to get some movement in before all our muscles gave out. Perhaps walk down the river at Magdalene, take a stroll to Grantchester, or chill with the cows on Coe Fen. With a completely necessary pit stop in the excessively long Pret queue, I’m sure you’ll make it through. You never know, you might even enjoy it.

“Oh yeah, just walk a bit ahead of me for the picture, yeah, perfect.”

Sophie: 8/10 (the weather is temperamental, to say the least, but if I get a nice photo out of it, who am I to complain?) 

George: 6/10 (the views were excellent, but the blister on my heel is really just a sign that exercise is evil.)

Deliveroo the day away

If there’s one thing that we have all become familiar with during lockdown, it’s ordering a takeaway. What used to be an opportunity to go out with friends very quickly became just a way to avoid the food from servery (King’s ham, mushroom and pineapple pizza, I’m looking at you). What’s not to like – Dave from Deliveroo is a very speedy driver (be safe Dave!), there’s only a small chance of your drink ending up upside down, and you can sustain your artery-clogging eating habits without stepping further than your doorstep. We decided that it was time to make Dave a part of date night. Dave, Deliveroo and a date on Castle Mound – what more could you want!

OK, maybe it’s not Dave from Deliveroo, but Angel and Asparuh came a close second.

Sophie: 7/10 (I love me an Honest Burger but points deducted for the sub-Arctic temperature on the wind tunnel that is Castle Mound.)

George: 7/10 (Franco Manca really delivered on the pizza, but who puts whole cloves of garlic on garlic bread!? The views would have been lovely if the wind wasn’t blinding.)

Walking in a winter wonderland

The Christmas lights have become a staple part of everyone’s walk to Mainsbury’s. It was only logical, then, to go for our weekly shop together, taking (socially-distanced) photos together on the way and get those aesthetic photos for our insta story!

Market Square – the background of every Cambridge student’s most recent Instagram post.

Sophie: 10/10 (it is, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year) 

George: 10/10 (The walk was very cute and it’s amazing how long it can last if you take photos. Although socially-distanced, the photos are a sweet reminder of our first Bridgemas together)

Relationships might not be easy to maintain during the pandemic, but we hope that with our suggestions (seriously, get some Ben and Jerry’s), you’ll make it through.

Related stories recommended by these writers:

How to deck your halls with some Bridgemas crafts

Trip to the Gyp: Bridgemas Edition

High and dry: How Cambridge colleges are coping without bedders during lockdown

All image credits to authors.