Love in Lockdown 3: Students share their dating experiences during Lockdown

Glasgow Students are not going to let a few restrictions get in their way of having a good time


This is the third edition of Love in Lockdown  series where we speak to students about their dating experience during the pandemic and how they have managed to meet people in spite of the lockdown restrictions. This week we spoke to Phoebe, 21, who studies Sociology and Public Policy, and Cornelius, 19, who studies Engineering.

What was your love life like before the pandemic?

Phoebe: “I’ve had a couple of boyfriends but they haven’t lasted for too long. A lot of it has been travelling and university shenanigans. I took a year off and toured all of my friends’ universities to see which one I liked the most, which was an interesting period of my love life. It ended up being a case of finding out which universities I didn’t like more than anything else, for example St Andrews because it was too small. I was there one night with my friends and ended up shagging two boys in one night. The next night, I bumped into both of them and it turns out they were both friends, which made me realise how much of a small town St Andrews was, and how it definitely was not for me.”

Cornelius: “For all of first year and the start of second year, I was in a relationship. So, nice and boring. It was long distance; she was back home in Edinburgh but eventually ended up coming to Glasgow and that was what ended things. Being 15 minutes away instead of an hour away is what killed it. I decided in 2020 to have a hoe phase, and that lasted all of 3 months before Covid hit. I was still relatively successful though.”

Any wild dating stories?

Phoebe: “Here’s the thing: I have so many bad and messy experiences that I just don’t remember them. I was in Barcelona, travelling for a week once. I managed to get return flights for £15, very sexy. I’d just had a fight with one of my friends and came back to the hostel slightly fuming, and bumped into the guy who ran the hostel, who I then proceeded to rant to. He’d been on a night out with us previously, and he just was like “Let’s go somewhere quiet and we can have a chat.” He takes us to the common room and one thing leads to another and I find myself having sex on the pool table, and we had the whole room to ourselves as he had a key and could lock it. It was quite fun the next day, checking out and making eye contact with him knowing what we’d got up to. I never even got his name.”

Cornelius: “The first time I brought a girl home, we were greeted by my flatmates who fed her pizza and proceeded to roast me for 20 minutes, despite my best efforts to get her away. Surprisingly, after all that, she still wanted to stick around. She is referred to as Janice among us, because her laugh sounded like Janice from Friends. I couldn’t even tell you her last name. Actually, both one night stands I had in my pre-Covid hoe phase; I couldn’t tell you their surnames.”

How have found dating during the pandemic?

Phoebe: “Dating apps are kind of boring now, everyone just wants sex and that does get dull very quick, so a lot of my antics have been through meeting friends and friends and of friends. Quite recently, I was at a gathering, and got chatting to this guy. All of my friends had called this weeks before apparently, but we get chatting and we go through to my room. My room had been used as a communal room, so everyone had left their stuff there, so quite a few friends walked in while we were shagging, which was interesting. And then, Roxanne  waltzes in, demanding a cuddle before she leaves. She dives into bed and snuggles into me for a spoon. She’s chatting away for a solid five minutes and then turns around to me, looks me dead in the eye and says “Phoebe, is he still inside you?” I had to tell my best friend that yes, she was snuggling into me, while I was shagging someone. She was so drunk she didn’t care then her boyfriend waltzed in and we chatted for 10 minutes before they fucked off!”

Cornelius: “I’ve actually had more sex post Covid than ever. Obviously, it’s quite difficult to meet new people, so I’ve just ended up shagging a lot of my friends. It’s got to the point where I’ll be in a room where I’ve slept with at least 3 people, and my friends have also slept with the same people. GUSA incest knows no limits.

One night, we ended up drinking and playing lots of drinking games which culminated in 6 of us in bed, all getting with each other while not wearing much clothing. It didn’t quite become an orgy, but I slept with one of the 6 after it. It may or may not have happened at a famous street named after a financial organisation.”

How do you look after your mental health these days?

Phoebe: “My friends, honestly. Just hanging out, chilling, making dinner; I’ve had so many potlucks the past wee while. I do like my own space too, and reading with a nice coffee is a solo activity I enjoy a lot. My favourite author is Sarah J. Maas, and I love to get lost in the fantasy worlds that she comes up with.”

Cornelius: “A big part is sport. It’s been difficult because most of my sports were indoor and close contact, so I’ve adapted by picking up new sports such as tennis. I’ve also got some weights at home, so I keep active. Mostly, I try to see my friends as much as possible.”

Do you think having a dry spell affects your mental health?

Phoebe: “Normally, my dry spells are self-imposed. I ban myself from having one night stands for a while. I think it’s good for you to go through dry spells and focus on yourself. It’s easier said than done though: I’m a social person and things just end up happening. My friends refer to me as “Cuddle Whore” as I nearly always end up having a nice long spoon with the guy after we’ve finished shagging. Honestly though, at the same time, you can get some great cuddles from your pals. Sex is fun but it’s not everything.”

Cornelius: “Yeah, I would say so. Obviously, the pandemic was a major dry spell, and during such times I think about sex a lot more and I want to have sex a lot more. When I’m having regular sex, it’s not something at the forefront of my mind, but with any break in sex, it’s on my mind a lot more and I kind of end up having this romanticised idea that sex is some incredible otherworldly experience, and then I have it and remember that sex is just sex. It happens.”

What advice would you give to people out there looking for love in lockdown?

Phoebe: “Don’t search for it. Just enjoy your own life and make friends. Get out there and try new things, and love will naturally come. The people I enjoy spending time with have all come through doing things I love, such as sport. In a twisted way, I’m really thankful for this pandemic. We’re not clubbing, so it’s not a case of seeing my friends for half an hour at pres before being blackout drunk in the club all going off with random people. Instead, I’m tipsy with them for like 6 hours chatting utter shit and loving life. I think that’s so much more fulfilling and rewarding than anything I’ve experienced before, so I’d say to meet someone is to actually enjoy your life first.”

Cornelius: “It’s the same advice I’d give outside of lockdown: forcing it never works. I think being willing to just do things and saying yes to things is the best way to maximise the chances of things happening. From people that I know and my personal experiences, relationships happen when the people involved are not actively looking for it. If you try really hard to get a relationship, you end up settling for a relationship for the sake of the relationship, without actually liking the other person. Say yes to everything, do everything, but don’t stress out if nothing seems to be happening. The more chill you are, the more things will happen.”

Love in Lockdown is The Glasgow Tab’s series on dating during Covid, with articles dropping every two weeks. Wanna get involved? DM @thetabglasgow on Insta

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