What It’s Really Like To Be Single During COVID And How We’re Dealing

I’ve been basically home since March 1st, 2020. I have to mention the year because it feels like it’s been going on for MANY years now. I’m a single girl and someone who’s very content being alone. But let me tell you something, quarantine and the fact that there’s no end in sight has caused me to feel more isolated and alone than ever. If you’re taking the virus seriously, as most of my single friends are, it means you’re not really going out to eat, not hanging out inside other people’s homes and most definitely not traveling. Yet I look at a lot of my married friends and they seem to be doing all of those things.

Is it because they don’t care about the virus? Or is it because they have a built-in COVID-Free buddy that they feel comfortable traveling with or eating alongside in a restaurant? I think it’s mostly the latter. At least that’s how it feels to me. I know I have some friends who I spend some time with, socially distanced as best as possible, but we are worried about being too close to one another. Or sitting across from one another at a dinner table even if it’s outside. It’s a wild feeling to have but it’s one we’re all collectively experiencing.

And I get it, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

I know married people are fighting with their spouses, couples are being challenged to live together and on top of one another for the first time and it’s tough. And I am sending all the thoughts and prayers to people with kids and dealing with virtual learning. But you know what? When you tell your single friend “man what I’d do for a day alone” I have no empathy for you. I have had 6 months of being alone. Asking for just a day of what I’m going through is kind of a slap in the face.

My favorite thing my best friend says is “know your audience”, so please, stop telling your single friends how you wish you had their life for just a day. It doesn’t make us feel any better, I promise. Maybe tell me you got divorced over this and now have to join the battle of Bumble. That may work… I AM KIDDING. I hope all my married friends make it through this difficult time, I really really do. But I also think it’s hard to sit back and watch couples live out every dating idea ever published in Cosmo as they strive to make quarantine more interesting.

So yeah, I’m a bit bitter, it’s fine.

Instead, I encourage married and coupled up folks to reach out to your single friends. Ask them to go for a walk, call them on the phone, check in on them. It’s so appreciated. Invite us over to your backyard to hang out and have dinner, or head to the park with a picnic. You have no idea what it does for our daily monotonous lonely routine.

The thing that’s super challenging though I think, is the fact that we don’t see an end in sight. I’ve heard it from many of my single friends how we all were so amped up about 2020 being the year we did all the things. We’d finally find love, we’d finally start the new business or my own personal goal, a 3 month stay in NYC. None of these things are happening and we’re just sitting, alone with the feelings. There’s no end in sight to when we can start to get back to working towards our goals. That’s the part that is so difficult I think for us single gals.

How My Single Friends Are Surviving COVID

I asked some of my favorite single people how they’re dealing with COVID, staying sane and making activities that work for them. Many of my friends prefaced their response to me with, well I don’t know how sane I’ve been, but here’s what I’m trying to do to stay somewhat on top of my feelings. And many had a fear of not meeting someone or dating or getting to fall in love for another year and how that was really hard to face. I will say, most of my single friends are pretty damn awesome, independent and are happy being single. But I think this reality just hit a lot of us hard at one point or another during this. And the isolation is real.

These ladies all had similar tips that I’ve been doing myself from having projects, reading, going for walks and cooking. And yes, I’m sick of all those things as we head into month 6 of this. But it definitely helps to hear it from others that they too might be having hard days and trying to manage as best they can. Here’s what some of them had to say about finding the silver lining, how they’re spending their time and what they’re working through personally.

Becca Freeman

I’ve been staying energized and sane during COVID with the help of long walks, plus having a meaty new side project to throw my energy into. I started RomComPods — a new fiction podcast — in January and it has been a total lifeline during COVID. Also with one of my best friends as a business partner it’s been a great way for us to stay connected.

I also have a weekly zoom happy hour called “Winedown Wednesday” with 10 of my best friends from college. Everyone lives in different cities across the country. I love having a weekly time in the calendar for us all to chat.

Follow @beccamfreeman

Meg Rupp

I’m staying preoccupied with my art, baking and cooking, planning little things to look forward to, or giving a theme to the weekend evenings (usually involving takeout). I’m also setting little goals like workout every day for a month. I’ve definitely read more in the last few months than I usually do all year, and that’s something I’d like to keep up with.

The silver lining for me is that I get to spend so much time with my dog, and I talk to long distance girlfriends a lot more now. I think it’s hard to accept that I just won’t be dating the rest of the year, but it’s not forever. And I will definitely never take going out and socializing for granted EVER again.

Follow @megrupp.art

Grace Atwood

The things that have kept me sanest have been little things I make sure I do every day: making a big coffee, meditating (I use the Headspace app and really love it), daily workouts with Melissa Wood Health (they are short, sweet, and effective!), and long walks while doing an audiobook. I have also been doing themed movie nights/weeks… this week I’m all about 80s movies!

In terms of a silver lining, honestly, I’ve never felt better about not having children. Does that sound awful? I could not even imagine having children right now and trying to homeschool them (or with a smaller child), not having a nanny while balancing work. I do not envy my friends with kids!

Follow @GraceAtwood

Katie Niemic

To be truthful, I haven’t been my sanest, happiest self by a long shot ha! However, I think the summer weather has made a huge difference. Not that I can control it, but in Chicago, it’s all about the nicer weather. Having the chance to “escape” for a simple walk for coffee or go to the farmer’s market – coming up with a new routine to make things feel “normal” again.

At the beginning I made a few care packages to drop at friend’s doors. I could still fulfill my want to bake and create something without eating it all on my own! Since then, I’ve been sending out cards to friends who live afar and just picking up the phone more for phone calls and the occasional FaceTime. Over the last few months, I’ve also seen the same 3-4 girls and we set up time to do things like visit the farmer’s market, play tennis or just meet up for wine and snacks on someone’s patio.

Follow @katieniemic

Naty Michele

Being single during COVID is rough, especially when you live alone (and in NYC!). The first couple of months were definitely the most challenging for me to get through, but now I feel like I’ve gotten into a new routine. I started running consistently last month and it’s honestly the main thing keeping me sane and energized. I also start my mornings with a workout – even just 15 minutes – to get me moving and start my day. It’s helped so much with my anxiety. I know that running is not for everyone, so even taking long walks can be great.

I think the silver lining for me is the time COVID has given me that I didn’t have before. I’ve been able to reevaluate so much in my life and uncover certain areas that I need to work on within myself. I’ve been on this new journey of self-care right now and if it weren’t for COVID I don’t think I would have made these changes just yet. I’ve really been trying to embrace being single during this time and focus on taking better care of myself. I actually deleted all of my dating apps at the moment so that I can get into a better headspace. 

Follow @NatyMichele

Things To Do To Stay Positive + Connected As A Single Girl During Covid

It’s clear there are some really great ways to stay busy, stay connected and feel less alone right now. Here are some that I’m doing as well as my amazing single friends that they shared with me.

How are you coping with quarantine?

Photo by Hannah Lozano

Jessica is an Atlanta life and style blogger. Aiming to bring practical tips to your every day life. Tips that you can easily tackle and make your life feel just a tad more 'put-together'.

Leave a Comment

25 Comments

  1. 9.2.20
    Kayla said:

    thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I relate a lot to this.

    • 9.2.20
      Jessica said:

      Thank you so much for reading, and glad you were able to relate. I hope it helps!

  2. 9.2.20

    This post is FIRE! So good and love the interviews with other single ladies!

    xoxo
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    https://poorlittleitgirl.com

  3. 9.2.20
    ADR said:

    Being single during this time has been rough, compounded by the fact that the relationship I was in for 7 months was abruptly ended the first week in March, when my ex finally let out his inner narcissist! So it’s been really fun to deal with that as well as this. On the one hand, it’s been incredibly lonely, and given me a LOT of alone time with my anxiety and thoughts. On the other, I have had the time to hide away from the world and process and attempt to heal, and really have to face my emotions. It’s been a relief to know that technically HE couldn’t go out and date right away, but on the flip side, I couldn’t go out with friends or do a lot of the things that normally help me heal. Which was hard. And a few months in, when I realized he had never even checked to see how I was doing with all of this (I had reached out once after the breakup and was met with really unnecessary vitriol), I realized he was awful and I wouldn’t have wanted to be quarantined with him anyway. Still really not over it all yet, and then you add in the stressors of all of the unrest going on and feeling slightly helpless, the election stress, my dad going into the hospital (he is home but has a long road), and THEN someone hitting my car and leaving last weekend, and it’s like WHAT THE HELL? AND not hugging anyone for months is tough, human touch is really, really necessary guys.
    One bright spot has been deciding to get a puppy. I have a 12 year old golden and got a new golden puppy in May, and she has been a lifesaver. Kept my mind occupied, made me get outside a ton, etc.
    I know eventually it will get better, but man, it feels super rough right now. And the dating apps are freaking awful, so I’m just staying away for the time being. Since this started/my breakup, I’ve had therapy every week, and that has really helped. Lots of reading, lots of trying new ways of coping (meditation, lots of barre workouts, more hiking, more self care and rest days), and hopefully Jan 2021 will be so much better. Big hugs!

    • 9.2.20
      Jessica said:

      I’m so glad to hear you found something amazing like a puppy, therapy and workouts to keep yourself feeling better. Sending all the virtual hugs to you as well!

  4. 9.2.20
    A said:

    Thank you for this! It’s exactly how I feel but couldn’t put into words. Even as an introvert this has been extremely difficult

    • 9.2.20
      Jessica said:

      Same, I’m an introvert and it’s definitely been a challenge. I will say it’s probably EASIER that we’re introverts. So I can’t even imagine how my extroverted single friends are coping!

  5. 9.2.20
    Anon said:

    Not sure if you have tried online dating or not but I have had several friends start relationships this way. They say it has worked better actually because the “physical” part of the relationship can’t be rushed which so often happens. Might be worth a try or at least fun to try out and see!

    • 9.2.20
      Jessica said:

      I’ve thought about it, but because I already disliked dating apps, the idea of doing it now in weird times sounds even more awful! Never say never though.

  6. 9.2.20
    Erin said:

    Thank you so much for this post ?

    • 9.3.20
      Jessica said:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  7. 9.3.20
    Josslynn Garcia said:

    This post was wonderful! I felt very seen. I think the other part, and maybe this is just me, and my morbid self, but I think the idea of a virus really brought on this idea of dying alone as more of a reality than I had ever been confronted with before. I tried the online dating thing at the beginning, of it all, it was odd and not my favorite. So I hear ya on not wanting to do that. I ended up pairing up with one of my single girlfriends, and we became each other’s covid person, doing picnics, and backyard happy hours, since most of our friends are all married, and doing tons of family facetimes and friend zooms. And, like a lot of the ladies in your post, confronting all the things in my own self that I needed to work on and really diving into that, so that when things start to open up again, and there’s a semblance of normality, I’m emerging as a better person. The gym in my apartment building just opened back up, with all the social distancing rules in place, to include masks, and there were 3 of us in there, and we were chatting (6feet apart) because I think we were just soo excited to interact with people again.
    All this to say, thank you soo much for writing this post. It was very nice to read about how a lot of us were/are experiencing the same thing!
    xx
    Joss

    • 9.3.20
      Jessica said:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I’m hearing a lot of it too that this has made single people who were SO happy single, realize they do eventually want a forever person. I’m also so happy my gym has been open in my building. I don’t go as often as I should but giving myself grace during this time. But getting a workout in that isn’t in my living room is SO amazing.

  8. 9.3.20
    Karly said:

    This was such an interesting perspective on this topic! Thanks for sharing – you’ve given this married gal some things to think about!

    Karly
    https://www.whatkarlysaid.com

  9. 9.5.20
    Valerie said:

    Wow I relate to this so much. I’ve been happily single for the past 10 years. I’ve built a career, traveled the world, moved across the country, and spent so much time with friends in that time. Occasionally I would want someone, but my life was great & I never felt lonely. Then covid hit & all of my travel and social plans were cancelled. I’m now seeing a few friends & spending a lot of time outdoors. But this has really made me face the fact that I do want to share my life with someone. As someone who has always been extremely independent, it’s really hard to feel lonely on my own. So thanks for sharing-it makes me feel less alone in this!

    • 9.5.20
      Jessica said:

      I 100% feel this too. Thanks so much for reading!

  10. 9.6.20
    Ryann said:

    This is so good, thank you! <3

  11. 9.7.20
    Robin said:

    This is spot on! My coupled friends were great at the beginning! Lots of Saturday night zooms. We were actually seeing each other more and were closer than we had been for years. But then time passes and people get used to their new norm and busy again…especially those with kids. So now that things are kind of starting to open again, it’s almost worse than it was at first because people are out and about with their “pods”/families. Sometimes social media makes it seem like I’m the only one still in the pandemic! Thanks for relating several people’s single stories! It is encouraging to relate to them!

    • 9.7.20
      Jessica said:

      Ugh leave it to social media to make you feel left out right? I hate it all. I feel the same way too in that if you didn’t work on the friendships and maintain them during quarantine, it’s hard to pick them back up. This is definitely putting friendships to the test and learning not all will survive this unique time.

  12. 9.14.20
    Barnie said:

    I read this post the other week and I got so upset that I didn’t even want to write a comment. But now I will write a comment.

    This is the most unhealthy attitude ever. Roundtrip flights to Europe are only $200 MAX more than usual on Expedia and hotel rooms are WAY cheaper. GO! Get out of your apartment!

    If anything, you should be going out more to support small business.

    Nothing is stopping you from Dating or Moving to a Different City as You Said You Were Planning On Doing (and I was so excited for you!)

    What I’ve seen during Covid is mainly liberals..sorry…there is a political element amongst the left to ‘Out-Care’ one another.
    ‘I’m so upset that so many people were out shopping during a Pandemic!’ Saturday Night Live Church Lady Attitude.

    It’s ridiculous. Anyone who has put their life on pause these last few months is a fool. Sure, gyms were closed…but the outside wasn’t…The only people who have reason to complain are small business owners, those who lost their jobs, and people needing medical treatment who didn’t get it or didn’t get it to the standard they deserved.

    In 2020 you could have already…taken a vacation…found a boyfriend…moved to a different city.

    And you didn’t do any of that to my knowledge. And it’s not because of Covid.

    I have some relatives who absolutely refuse to see anyone…They will not see anyone because of fear of Covid. I said to some other relatives ‘Have you ever thought Covid is giving them the excuse to do what they always wanted to do…which is not talk to us?’

    That’s what Covid is. Giving people the excuse to do what they always wanted…from Sitting on their butt in their apartments Feeling Sorry for Themselves, Not Seeing Family or Friends, Telling Other People How Bad they Are for Going to the Nordstrom Sale and trying on Clothes, and yelling ‘It’s a pandemic people…how dare you continue living!’

    Get off your butt, go out, accomplish your goals and move your life forward….you’ve got 4 months left to turn 2020 around.

    • 9.14.20
      Jessica said:

      Thanks for taking the time to write this. However, I do think it’s really unfair to judge someone for choosing to listen to the scientists about how to manage their risk factor with this pandemic. I’m sorry you think you’re family is choosing to not see you to not talk to you as the excuse, and not because of a Pandemic and the risk of getting sick and possibly dying. I’m sure it’s not personal! I think there needs to be more empathy with why someone is choosing to be more cautious than others. I’m also not sure where you live, but my flights to Europe this summer, and the one I have coming up, were canceled since we are not allowed in. So yes, COVID is effecting my life in ways that are out of my control. You also have no idea what is going on in my life behind Instagram/blog that is making me choose some of these decisions too. Not everything is shared on Instagram.

      • 9.15.20
        Barnie said:

        Just be a fighter.

        It will pay off.