Students talk love, relationships while social distancing

Some go to video-communication apps for face-to-face connections

Ryan Meyer, Staff Reporter

The stay-at-home order currently being observed by most states is presenting all kinds of challenges to relationships worldwide.

Graphic Illustration by Logan Raschke

Some Eastern students, such as Emily Kuhn, freshman elementary education major, are unhappy with being so close, yet so far from their significant others and find it easy to take out that anger on the wrong targets.

“We’re both healthy, and it’s aggravating that we have to stay away from each other,” she said. “It’s easy to get frustrated with one another when you are both holding on to frustrations that don’t necessarily pertain to your relationship.”

For Kuhn, the stay-at-home order has unfortunately acted as a “barrier.”

“It’s put a lot of stress on our relationship because we feel like there’s this invisible barrier keeping us away from each other.”

Couples are not the only ones being affected. Strong bonds with friends can be a struggle to maintain because of the quarantine.

Freshman marketing major Cameron Krager said that communication is more difficult now that class systems are changing and routines are being upended by the quarantine.

“I think everyone is kind of stressed one way or another,” she said. “It’s hard to keep connected to everyone when you’re trying to adjust.”

Finding time to communicate seems to be a common challenge among adjusting students. Kuhn said clear communication and patience are key for couples.

Apps and programs that use video communication have become customary to keeping in touch with friends, family members, significant others and even professors and their pupils. Some Eastern students, including Jessie Soria, a senior hospitality and tourism major, and her boyfriend Nolan Webb, a graduate student studying sports management, are using these programs to have a face-to-face connection from far away.

“We’ve never been a couple that FaceTimes often,” Soria said. “But we have done it every now and then since we’ve been socially distancing.”

Webb pointed out that being cooped up inside can affect the desired privacy and serenity when phoning a significant other.

“Today we FaceTimed, and there were a couple times it was hard to hear each other because of the background noise,” he said.

There are obvious risks to meeting in person, but the stress and loneliness has gotten unbearable enough that some are willing to take the risk to have quality time with their partners.

“If both people are healthy and have been healthy for the past couple weeks, and they take the right precautions, then it’s worth it,” Webb said. “As long as you’re smart.”

Webb is quick to point out that this does not make all kinds of gatherings acceptable, however.

“Obviously I don’t support going outside and hanging out. Or getting with a big group of people and hanging out in a closed space together,” he said.

Soria notes one of the few silver linings to take away from the quarantine.

“I believe it’s definitely made us appreciate each other and our time together more, and to not take that for granted in the future,” she said.

Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].