June 3, 2020

Lessons from a COVID Affair of the Heart.

At the start of COVID-19, I wrote “Love After Corona,” an article in which I shared openly about my desire for a relationship.

Shortly after writing that article, I connected with a writer who lived oceans away.

We shared mutual connections, interests, and engaged on social media. At the time, I thought nothing of it. I was isolated from everyone and alone, and this strange man wanted to Zoom and chat.

I thought it was harmless and that it might even be helpful.

Fast-forward a few weeks, and my already rich imagination had the best of me. I was obsessed with everything about him and soon found that I was living in another time zone. What really pushed me over was when he said, “I want to get to know you better. Can you share your writing?”

I felt a twinge—my raw writing, the unpublished stuff? I felt reluctant, yet I shared three pieces and “Love After Corona” was included.

I sent them off and waited, slowly dying. While I waited, I lived off of the aftereffects of the love bombing, dopamine hits from the love drug, which was his affections.

His response wasn’t what I wanted. He shifted to suddenly cold and distant and clinical. Yet still I pursued, engaging and hoping and dreaming. Days turned into weeks, months passed, and still I longed and yearned for each like, message, and engagement. It was bad—my brain was on fire and I was struggling with sleep, yet the writing came natural, like breathing, and I had some productive weeks.

I started writing more like him and felt things he was going through. It was a slow-burning fire, and I was fanning the flames. I thought he was my muse. He had dreams of being Eckhart Tolle, and I had dreams of an Eckhart Tolle-kind of love.

The fog did lift. Once I was able to get out and see some real live people, I shifted. This wasn’t healthy, nor was it reality. I’d had an international love during university and I know how that ended. This was a relationship in my head—a completely unrealistic fantasy.

I had to cut it off. I severed all contact and felt that energetic chord fall at my feet. I was free, and I could breathe easily and sleep and get stuff done. For months, I had been holding on, waiting. It felt familiar and strange all at the same time.

This sweet man was yet another wounded person, unable to form a real relationship where he was living, and I had been the same, except I was ready to let go and move on. I was aware; I had insight to my own behaviors and my brain was returning to normal.

This COVID affair has ended, and I am ready to reintegrate back into a brave new world.

What I have learned from this is that I fall easily into old, familiar patterns. I love hard and easy and fall fast and come back to the earth even harder. In the end, there was much sweetness and I do miss those engagements.

The sweetest moment, however, was the moment I returned back to myself and what I needed. Love is abundant—there is no shortage and my heart is open.


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