Perhaps TikTok’s cryptic algorithm has finally figured out how painfully single I am. Upon opening the mind-sucking app, I’m immediately met with my personally tailored For You Page, generously filled with exuberant couples who have all managed to find love in a hopeless place during a pretty hopeless time.
However, amid all the blossoming quarantine love stories, not everyone is as lucky. As someone who recently ended a passionate, long-term fling, it’s quite disheartening to think that Jeremy Cohen and his New York City “quarantine cutie” are still finding ways to spend time together while I can’t even manage to maintain a Snapchat streak with the guy I thought was destined to be my soulmate.
Going through a breakup or experiencing heartbreak is brutal as it is. Going through one during a global pandemic just feels plain cruel. And while there’s a bunch of romantic content circulating social media at the moment, the quarantine heartbreak content is surprisingly sparse.
[Read more: TikTok’s quarantine lifestyle is unsustainable]
It’s difficult to return to normal routines during a completely abnormal time. Classes are still in session, but they’re limited to screens. The college student schedule still exists, but there’s the added bonus of the chores and responsibilities of being back at home. Life must still go on, but it’s strictly within the confines of our own homes.
So how exactly does one cope with a breakup during a global pandemic? Wallowing in despair isn’t the right answer, nor is giving in to self-deprecating thoughts. Desperately trying to win over an unloving ex isn’t the best option either.
The things people crave after a breakup — physical connections and empathy — aren’t as easy to find during ongoing social distancing precautions and quarantine regulations. Though some individuals prefer to label themselves as the antithesis of “social,” the truth is that humans heavily rely on physical connections. Whether that’s a simple hug or even a comforting shoulder to cry on, it’s not uncommon for even the most introverted person to seek out others’ company during times of distress.
During a time of so much uncertainty, it’s tempting to get sucked into the surrounding negativity and intense loneliness that’s been putting a damper on everyone’s spirits. It’s especially hard to be optimistic while the coronavirus continues to introduce new hardships and endanger the lives of many. Adding a breakup and heartbreak on top of that doesn’t help.
So to those who are in the same boat as I am, trying their absolute best to recover from a breakup and still stay focused on personal priorities: Know that heartbreak is not the end of all happiness. It too will pass.
Over this time of indefinite isolation, find time to engage in self-care. Maybe pursue a new passion. Now is the time to apply all the face masks and binge-watch as many seasons of Girls as your heart desires. It’s also the perfect time to finally pick up that idle guitar and learn how to play a tune or two. That elaborate painting set that’s been lying lone under the bed is slowly collecting dust, so why not unleash your inner Picasso?
Heartbreaks are never easy to deal with, so instead of viewing a broken heart as a pitfall, unleash those feelings and use them to grow, flourish and thrive.