Dear J: “I started talking to this guy, but it’s hard to spend time together due to the new COVID-19 policies. How do I pursue a relationship right now?
Dear Socially Distanced: Firstly, I applaud your efforts to put others before yourself and practice social distancing. Continuing to connect with others during this time is extremely important, and taking it slow right now can make your relationship stronger in the future! Although you won’t be able to visit this person’s dorm or invite them over for now, there are other things you can do! Take advantage of the nice weather and your picnic blankets right now to have meals outside on the lawns. Alex’s Place on Tisch roof is a date-worthy place to hang out. Taking the SMFA shuttle into Boston to visit the Museum of Fine Arts for free or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are also safer options with their COVID-19 policies. I wish you luck!
Dear J: “I have a crush on someone and I want to ask them out but I don’t want to spring a relationship on them during COVID-19 because if confessing to her goes horribly wrong, I fear losing her emotional support. We go to the same school but are apart right now since we are living at home.”
Dear Lonely: I’m glad that you have found a reliable support system in your crush. Because both of you are currently living at home for at least this semester, I would recommend holding off on confessing your feelings. The university will resume normal operations eventually and you will be reunited on campus soon. Tell her in person then instead of over FaceTime or text right now. This will give you clarity on whether or not this crush is real or just the result of quarantine blues, and you will have the chance to thank her for being your rock throughout this time. For now, keep supporting her and keeping in touch with her as a friend as she has done for you.
Dear J: “Usually I have all the space I need in my college dorm, but living at home with my parents means I have no privacy. How do I stay sane?”
Dear Crazy: Since you will be at home for at least three more months, it’s important to bring this up with your parents before it starts affecting your academic life or mental health further. Call a family meeting and tell them your feelings. Make sure to set specific boundaries and schedules such as, “Please text me before coming into my room unannounced because I might be in class” or “Study hours from 8 to 10 p.m. worked for me in college so I’m going to start doing that after dinner every night.” Taking time to yourself and going outside for a little each day can help a lot, whether it’s practicing yoga in your backyard with headphones in or going for a walk around the neighborhood by yourself.
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