Relationships can be quite complicated and being in a relationship during a coronavirus pandemic can be rather challenging.
The national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many to adjust their lives and plans accordingly, especially lovers who aren’t able to be together due to the regulations that have been put in place.
Six people have shared their experiences of not being able to be with their partners during the national lockdown.
Omolemo Molefe (22) saw her partner just three weeks before the lockdown was announced.
The couple usually see each other twice a month as Omolemo lives and Gauteng and her partner lives all the way in the North West province. As much as she wishes provisional travelling was allowed at least once a month, she feels the measures put in place are necessary for the health and safety of others.
But it hasn’t gotten easier.
When the easing of lockdown regulations was announced by the President Cyril Ramaphosa, Omolemo thought it would be her chance to finally see her beau. Unfortunately, regulations remained the same for social gatherings, which means she had to wait a bit longer to see her boyfriend.
“It’s quite hectic,” Omolemo tells us. “It’s been extremely frustrating; this type of long-distance relationship is the pits.”
However, the pair have found alternative ways to stay in touch and connected.
“With the help of video calls and phone calls, things have been made a tad bit easier for me to cope,” she said.
As for what she looks forward to once the lockdown has been lifted. “A weekend away with my partner”.
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Although Tloko Hlompho’s partner worked outside of the town he lives in, he saw her once or twice every two weeks before the lockdown.
Having seen his partner just before the lockdown, the 26-year-old from the North West says he didn’t cope well with the thought of not seeing his lover.
But things have grown easier for the young man.
“It’s a matter of adaptation or death. So, I got used to all the video calls, the texting and phone calls,” Tloko tells us.
Not knowing what they'll do when they see each other once the lockdown is lifted, Tloko says “I think we are just too focused on seeing each other. What we plan on doing, doesn’t matter. As long as we’re together and we can physically interact.”
Samson "Gatsheni" Ndlovu*
Gatsheni, who hasn’t seen his girlfriend in three months, plans on secretly surprising her with some of her favorite chocolates and recreating their third date, as soon as social gatherings are allowed.
Accustomed to seeing his partner twice a month, not being able to spend time with her has been tough. With him being in the North West and his lover in Pretoria, the pair have been unable to see each other due to the restriction of inter-provincial travels.
However, the 23-year-old feels that the regulations put in place are fair, as he agrees that the travel restrictions were implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“I’d really love to see and spend time with my partner but as responsible citizens, we have to adhere to the rules and regulations put in place to mitigate the risk of spreading and contracting this disease,” Gatsheni tells YOU.
The couple stays connected through video calls, phone calls and text messaging.
“These digital methods of communication don’t come close to her physical presence. But due to these unprecedented times, we have to remain positive and focus on what’s in our control.”
Originally from North West, Charles Finesse is amongst those who used to see their partner every day. Being only two hours away from his lover, the young man had to wait till lockdown level 3 to see his partner – and even then, he had to produce a permit.
The 23-year-old went on to say that he’s taking it one day at a time, even though some difficulties pop up occasionally.
“I’m just trying to be patient and understanding,” Charles tells YOU. “Don’t get me wrong differences will always be there but how you approach it is what matters the most.”
Charles, who recently saw his partner after 85 days, says they are currently trying to get back into a routine by trying to spend as much time with each other as possible.
“Relationships are hard and so is life. Constant communication helps mend and solidify so many things. Like the famous saying goes; it takes two to tango.”
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In Mmapule Thola’s case, she only gets to see her partner every school holiday and sometimes on weekends.
The young woman, who last saw her partner in January, would’ve met up with her boyfriend around this time of the year, but the pandemic got in the way.
The 26-year-old says being in a long-distance relationship is difficult and requires a lot of sacrifices.
“The lockdown has been such a struggle and it’s been depressing because I can’t visit my partner like I used to. He’s had to comfort me from miles away,” Mmapule tells us.
When the lockdown is lifted, Mmapule plans on bonding with her partner and their son.
“Honestly speaking, nothing beats the feeling of being loved and valued by the people you love.”
Although Search only sees his partner three to six times a year, the pandemic interrupted his plans for his second visit, which was due at the end of this month.
Search lives in Joburg and his girlfriend in Kimberly, making their travel plans impossible.
However, the 23-year-old feels that the rules stipulated by the government in efforts to help flatten the curve are not strict but that the precautions are there to keep us safe.
As for how he and his partner stay connected: “We FaceTime almost every day and that’s made it all the better and much safer”.
*Some people have chosen to remain anonymous