As Valentine’s Day approaches amid Covid, relationships remain difficult for Fremd students

Jill Harvey and Alexandra Lu

Every year, Feb. 14 offers an opportunity for couples to show their love for their significant others. From flowers and chocolates to stuffed teddy bears, romantic gestures know no bounds. However, as the pandemic continues, some Fremd students have expressed concern about how Covid has prevented teenagers from being able to connect this Valentine’s Day. 

60 Fremd students were polled and interviewed about their current relationship status and whether or not they believe the pandemic has had an impact on that. Of the 60 students, 10 students said that they are currently in a relationship, while 50 reported that they are single. 

Most of the students in a relationship said it is harder to spend time and connect with their significant other because of the pandemic. Due to social distancing and other restrictions, it has become harder to find places to hang out. As a result, dating amongst teenagers, an experience often characterized as rather impulsive, has become less spontaneous. Although this presents a chance for students to be creative because in a time defined by physical isolation, many have still maintained their relationships. 

While the pandemic has presented numerous challenges to the couples of Fremd, it has also remained an isolating time for many single students. The viewpoint held amongst a majority of Fremd singles is that meeting new people and connecting with them has become harder as a result of the physical barriers presented by masks and social distancing. The pandemic presents an unaffectionate time as romantic behaviors such as kissing someone on the cheek have become impossible. Additionally, while restrictions make it difficult for couples to meet up, they also make it hard for single teens to meet new people. Many students have expressed feeling isolated as a result of this lack of connection.

In an attempt to connect throughout these past few years, online dating has taken over. As society has turned to the internet, a natural distance between those hoping to connect online has remained. A majority of single students polled expressed their dislike of online dating platforms as well as their desire to return to a time before connecting with others primarily via the internet. 

Besides the previously mentioned social barriers, a physical barrier has also been introduced by the pandemic. An unforeseen effect of the popularization of face masks has created the phenomenon of “mask fishing.” Mask fishing, derived from the popular phrase “catfishing,” refers to when someone is perceived as more attractive wearing a mask than without a mask. In these unprecedented times, when it is entirely possible to meet someone and develop feelings all without seeing the bottom half of their face, many are calling into the weight of appearances when it comes to forming new relationships. However, as many fear accidentally presenting a more attractive version of themselves with masks than being maskfished by others, many argue that the problem is not mask fishing but rather personal insecurities. 

Amidst challenges, the most romantic holiday of the year is less than a week away. Admittedly, Valentine’s Day is known for being a day disliked by many single people. However, hopefully Fremd students are able to overcome the physical and emotional distance and enjoy this holiday.