Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /customers/1/a/0/newsgroove.co.uk/httpd.www/wp-content/plugins/newsmax-core/includes/core.php on line 212 Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /customers/1/a/0/newsgroove.co.uk/httpd.www/wp-content/plugins/newsmax-core/includes/core.php on line 212 Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /customers/1/a/0/newsgroove.co.uk/httpd.www/wp-content/plugins/newsmax-core/includes/core.php on line 212
Relationship

'I’m so starved for human touch': a hell of its own for single people living with couples


Tracy, 32, shares her south London home with four others. Or at least she did, until coronavirus hit and two of her housemates insisted that their respective partners move in for the duration of quarantine.

“It’s for our wellbeing, Tracy,” one of her housemates said to her on the day he moved his boyfriend into their home. “It’s a necessity that we’re together.”

Tracy’s bedroom is between her partnered housemates’ rooms, meaning that she now hears both couples having sex through the thin walls. If her two remaining housemates hook up downstairs – a strong possibility given the year-long “weird sexual tension” between them – she could be privy to grunts and moans from all angles, none of which will be hers. “It’s honestly hell,” says Tracy, who feels like she was bulldozed into her current situation.

She’s one of a group of people in a unique category of quarantine purgatory: singles living with couples. While singles living on their own may experience intense loneliness and couples could find their relationships tested (or strengthened), singles living with couples cop both extremes. For the most part, these singles are excluded from the couple’s plans or find themselves in a third-wheel situation they would never have tolerated pre-quarantine, when they could socialise, date, have casual sex and enjoy myriad activities outside the home.

Nadia was only going to live with her friend Lili, Lili’s husband and their nine-month-old for a few weeks when she recently moved from Ukraine to Tbilisi, Georgia. Thanks to the pandemic, they’re all stuck in a one-bedroom apartment for the foreseeable future. The baby screams unless he’s carried for many hours a day, the adults’ livelihoods have been decimated and they’re unsure if they’ll make rent. Somehow, they have managed to avoid arguments, but lately Nadia, 24, has been getting sent out for walks as the couple resume having sex, post-baby. Nadia, who sleeps on a couch in the living room, describes their predicament as “difficult”, but she’s trying to put a positive spin on quarantine. “I was working a lot and prioritizing work over my connection with people,” she says. “So for me, I see it as an opportunity to help her [Lili].”

READ  National masturbation month: 'Room with a View' move will take your orgasm to new heights

In situations like Tracy’s, where single people feel guilted into letting their housemate’s partners stay, it’s hard to feel anything other than resentment, especially when there’s virtually no escape. The couples in Tracy’s home have colonized the kitchen, living room and garden respectively, leaving Tracy with only her bedroom to retreat to – and their own bedroom antics mean she’s not guaranteed peace and quiet there, either. One of the couples in her house, who starting dating six months ago, are even planning to shoot webcam sex videos (thankfully, in their bedroom).

Psychologist Bella DePaulo says that moving partners into sharehouses during the pandemic is entitled couples’ behaviour at its worst. “Couples making decisions will often do whatever serves them best, even if it is a different answer at different times,” she notes. “They can be perfectly nice people who unconsciously believe that when they are dealing with a single person, their wishes and point of view should prevail.”

Like Tracy, Shannon, 38, was told that her housemate’s boyfriend, a soldier, had “nowhere else to go” when he moved into her London sharehouse. He came straight from army barracks, where cramped quarters heighten the risk of contracting Covid-19.

“So now not only are we in isolation, but we’ve got a fourth person in the house who kind of doesn’t do much and potentially could have coronavirus because he hasn’t been locked down long enough for us to know whether he’s got symptoms or not,” says Shannon. She understands why couples would want to be together, “but it’s come at the expense of a risk to my health that I haven’t really consented to”. Rent is also an issue – neither Tracy nor Shannon’s new “housemates” are paying any.

READ  My life in sex: ‘We enjoy making love at length during the daytime’

In her one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, 24-year-old Jade can’t even access her own TV in the living room that her sister and her boyfriend have been occupying, rent-free, for over a year now. Jade’s single status hits harder during lockdown, as the couple watch box sets while she hides away in her bedroom. “I’m so starved for human touch, a hug would go such a long way right now,” she says.

“Usually I’m not too focused on being single, but in this situation it feels like there’s a spotlight on that fact because I don’t have any of the other things in my life to focus on.” Jade, a self-described extrovert, feels like she’s “intruding on their world” whenever she tries to chat with the couple. ”Whenever they do talk to me, it feels like a breath of fresh air and I start talking about everything because I’ve had nowhere else to put my thoughts,” she says.

Even in situations where singles and couples were cohabiting comfortably previously, lockdown can change household dynamics dramatically, causing even the happily single to long for a relationship. One New York single, Kara, 32, reported her housemates’ excruciating quarantine habit of saying “I miss you” every time one of them left the room, while their cuddling on the couch is even harder to bear. “I miss knowing what it feels like to have someone to do that with,” says Kara, who has been single for two years.

In Chicago, Bianca, 29, feels similarly triggered when her brother and his girlfriend are snuggling. Bianca’s dog can’t join her on the other couch because of her brother’s allergies, “so I’m just over there all cold and lonely”, she says. She describes them as “a beautiful couple”, it’s just that their relationship is harder to stomach in isolation. “Before the quarantine I could see friends or go visit my family, I received other forms of love that aren’t necessarily romantic,” she says. “Now, I can’t do that.”

READ  Blind date: ‘When I came back from the toilet, he had his coat on’

Over a month into lockdown, it’s still hard to know when life will return to normal, but the downtime has given these single people a chance to reflect on the sort of connections they want to make going forward. Tracy “cannot wait to get laid!” while Shannon says she’s going to “take dating seriously” after quarantine. At 38, she’s concerned that Covid-19 might further impede her desire to start a family. “Thanks to coronavirus, I’ll make a real effort to find love,” she says.

Nadia has had a few realizations in lockdown, namely that she doesn’t want a baby or marriage but also that she has been feeling lonely for a few years now. “I’m growing to accept my needs for a partner, something that I was perceiving as a weakness in the past,” she says. “The experience has taught me that I should let more people into my life.”

Meanwhile, Bianca decided in quarantine that she’s not going to bother with people who don’t make her a priority. “I stopped texting people first,” she says. “I stopped watering dead plants, figuratively. The relationships that remain are the ones I will keep when this is all over.”

Names have been changed



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply