Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Love in the Time of Cholera seems the perfect lead for my thoughts of love and romance during this bizarre time of the world’s pandemic-the Coronavirus.
A bit of backdrop regarding the novel:
In the late 1800s, in a Caribbean port city, a young telegraph operator named Florentino Ariza falls deliriously in love with Fermina Daza, a beautiful student. They meet secretly but when Fermina’s father finds out, he send his daughter away where she marries a successful physician. Florentino is devastated but holds true to his first love through years of wars and through the cholera outbreak. The story is about a love so strong for another that it is compared to a disease.
Fermina’s huband dies-51 years, 9 months, and 4 days later making her a widow. Florentino approaches her, telling her he has been good for no other woman due to his love for her. I won’t give the ending away- a good book to read perhaps while we are all housebound.
On the personal side:
I am fine throughout the day, staying in and working and getting the chance to be with my granddaughter and daughter, but in the early evening, a sadness sweeps over me. It usually happens after my first glass of wine ( I limit myself to 2).
I want love in the midst of this crisis. I want my partner to be close to me, in proximity and in a spirit of solidarity. I want to talk things over, discuss, cuddle, cry and make love.
I ask myself what is Romance? What is it to me in particular? And why now does the lack of romance pull at me so hard, so insistently? I believe romance is a calling of two people. It is not guaranteed to last.
Romance is the beginning of potential love, of something lasting. And the beginning is always fun, full of hope, exciting as two people unfold bits and pieces of their own life to each other. And as they learn more and more, the chance of honesty, vulnerability and true connection can happen.
Does it start with passion? sexual tension and attraction? I believe the majority of unattached humans want and believe this is the essential starting place. But how do any of us know right away that it’s there or not there?
Sometimes the passion might get in the way of developing something deeper. It can occlude my vision of who and what the person who I’m interacting with really is. I am caught up in the mysterious, mystical excitement of each other that I may not listen carefully and observe the dynamics of a budding relationship.
But I am much better at this now. Too many false starts has given me pause, caution and more observing powers. And I am apt to give men who I would not consider in the past (mostly in the area of looks and physique) a real chance at what might develop in the inward parts of me (which is important!)
Do you like a mystery?
I have had this happen only a few times. When you have a meet up with someone and the meeting goes really well. Maybe even plans for a second meeting- a real date. Then nothing happens. He doesn’t fall through or she ghosts you. And the reason is they didn’t feel the spark. I want to say judging me or anyone from this set of standards is compared to a person who enjoys reading mystery books. They open the book and read the first chapter. They close it and walk away. And when asked what they think of the book?
It didn’t have the spark I was looking for! It is a mystery and I want to know in the first chapter the who, what and why of who killed the victim. Do we really know anything from a first meeting?
Disappointment is what kills romance, continual disappointment. It is what makes people looking for love cynical and feel hopeless about finding love. Either you have met someone and they like you but you don’t see it going anywhere, especially after a few dates. Or, you really like someone and it doesn’t go anywhere. And in the World of Dating, there are so many disappointments.
For me, meeting someone I like and then being told there is no spark, it is disheartening. I just think it’s a bit too soon to really be able to declare this. There are those meetings where you absolutely know this.
World of Dating
The World of Dating has been put on a large HALT/HOLD. No restaurants or places to meet, and meeting is risky, especially with a stranger.
Some people are meeting virtual, through SKYPE or Google or Zoom. This may be a beginning, but as we all know, you really don’t know until you meet a person-face to face.
With the ban of social distancing extended to April 30, 2020 or even longer, it may be a time for all of us to sit still with ourselves and feel the uncomfortable in many ways. It is the time to examine and ponder and find satisfaction in a simple way.
Being single right now can be okay. I am centered on my work, my family, my writing and connecting with friends by phone.
Being in a romantic relationship, in this age of ‘cholera’ would be comforting. It would give a bit of hope and consolation.
I must readjust my expectation for now.
Waiting will yield good results
I do believe when the COVID19 has finally had it’s run, there will be more single people looking for love, for relationship.
And it won’t be as long as poor Florentino waited. Gawd, I hope not!
The altering results of this pandemic creates a more intentional focus on what is important, what is cherished and valued.
I hope everyone, whether or not you are looking for romance, will value the ‘romance’ of human beings connecting and being together. Love in the Time of Covid means examining what is really important, getting back to the very core values and intentions we truly seek and need.