Dear Elle: Before the pandemic, my relationship with my girlfriend was very strong. We had only been dating for a couple months when COVID hit. When the schools were shut down, my girlfriend and I weren’t able to be together for a few weeks, but we were still there for each other—just electronically. I think that the spring would have been much harder without her.
Since the summer ended, though, our relationship has cooled. We are both so busy with school that we don’t connect much any more in-person or electronically. She doesn’t seem as interested in me as she did before. Worse, we fight a lot more when we are together. I don’t think I’m ready to end the relationship—it kept me sane at the beginning of the pandemic—but I feel like it’s just another thing to deal with when there’s so much other stuff weighing me down. What should I do?
Sincerely, Sick With Love
DEAR SICK WITH LOVE:
You are definitely not alone in this. Social distancing and quarantine can be an unbearable burden on young love. Almost all of our relationships, romantic or not, have moved online.
What I hear you saying is that you are struggling with the idea of potentially ending this relationship because when you needed her, she was there.
However, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned through all this about love, it’s that love is not always permanent. Sometimes people come into our lives for a short period of time, to teach us a lesson or help us to grow in some way. I know it sounds cliche, but you have to use your intuition.
If you feel like being together as a couple it is not making you happy like it was in the spring, and you are just holding on to what was, it might just be time to let go.
On the flip side however, many couples just have what it takes to make it through this weird and unprecedented time. Only you and your significant other know what is the case for your relationship. My advice is, when you feel ready, have a conversation with her about how she feels, and you two work out a plan together.
No matter what you end up deciding, just know that love is beautiful, no matter how long it lasts, and you will always carry the memories you have with her in your heart.
Need advice on school, work, love, life, or anything else that’s weighing you down? Email Elle at [email protected], and she may respond to your letter in the online or print edition of The McHenry Messenger.