Dating in times of pandemic and curfew is much more complicated than before.
Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP / SIPA
"It's hard to be 20 years old in 2020," said Emmanuel Macron, during his speech on October 15.
"20 Minutes" took him at his word by exploring several areas of the lives of young people.
And while many departments and cities are subject to a curfew to stop the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, making new romantic encounters in this context is not easy.
For young people, celibacy reinforces the feeling of loneliness.
It's no fun being young today.
Difficulty finding a job, distance learning courses, closed bars and gyms.
And, since October 15, a curfew that forces 20 million French people (46 million from this Saturday) to stay at home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Obviously, the climate is more gloomy than ever.
Emmanuel Macron has also agreed: "it's hard to be 20 years old in 2020".
It's hard to give up evenings with friends.
To be alone in a small apartment.
It's also hard to make new romantic encounters when it is no longer possible to spend long evenings getting to know each other over a drink.
Our readers share with
the difficulties of their love life during the time of the curfew.
"Nothing beats an evening in a bar"
As during confinement, many use apps to try and meet people, despite this curfew that looks like night confinement.
Without necessarily much success.
“In terms of love, we can say that it's the desert, summarizes Axelle, 25 years old.
The fact of no longer being able to go out to bars, to have a social life so constrained by the curfew limits the possibilities of meeting in the evening, sometimes wonderful, sometimes disastrous, laughs the young woman.
I tried the apps, but I'm too blue flower for all the libidinous men there!
So I wait… ”If she feels“ super lonely, for lack of parties, birthdays, meals with friends to meet her soul mate ”, Alice, 23, has grown tired of apps.
"I could get back on Tinder, but frankly, I don't even want to anymore."
"With the confinement, the restrictions and now the curfew, it's the obstacle course to find a girlfriend!"
I use Tinder or Instagram to flirt with girls since in real life it's harder to meet girls.
But these are mostly butt shots, confides 23-year-old Paul.
Nobody wants to get involved because of the pandemic and the climate it has created ”.
And then, “nothing beats an evening in a bar to meet and chat with someone over a drink!
», Estimates Anto, 20 years old.
"I don't have time for
And meeting people when you have busy days and evenings under curfew, it's not easy to put in your agenda.
“I have classes until 5:30 pm on weekdays and I work until 7:30 pm on weekends.
So it's difficult because I don't have time for
This week, I had one after work, but I spent the whole evening looking at my watch so as not to miss the curfew ”.
It must be said "that between work or class hours, what is left to see each other, to please, to get to know each other, to desire each other, asks Célia, 22 years old!"
I try to find an hour here and there, but it is not ideal to get closer ... And we are deprived of a whole space of seduction with this curfew ”.
"Love will wait for the end of the curfew"
But the curfew also poses another logistical problem: if you have a
, you either have to leave it before 9 p.m. or spend the night with it.
Extra time that you don't necessarily want to play with someone you barely know.
"Invite a stranger over to my house and take the risk of having to keep him at home until 6 in the morning?"
No, very little for me, says Estelle, 22 years old.
Love will wait for the end of the curfew!
A caution adopted by Lea, 25 years old: “I am single, but there, I gave up meeting someone.
Already, if I accepted a date with someone, it's complicated to see each other early to leave before 9 p.m. and I certainly won't spend the whole night with a guy I just met!
The freedom to be able to leave when I want to is essential.
And then, I can't afford to go on
with guys I don't know, since I couldn't find a job, so I went back to live with my parents who are elderly and not in very good health.
I do not want to put myself in a situation of danger or expose my parents to the risk of the coronavirus ”.
Many young people are thus "acutely aware of this part of the co-responsibility they have in the spread of the epidemic and will therefore be cautious and anxious", indicates Robert Zuili, clinical psychologist specializing in emotions and social interactions.
"Until now I had never suffered from celibacy"
Before the curfew and celibacy, many in their twenties were able to adapt to it perfectly, thanks to a busy social life.
“Until now I had never suffered from celibacy.
Loneliness was not felt as long as I could go out with my friends for a drink, to dine out or to party, explains Elia 22 years old.
But today, with the curfew, it's over, and there, I feel trapped like La Fontaine's cicada: for wanting to take advantage of my youth by postponing the search for love, I today undergo a forced loneliness ”.
For Robert Zuili, “today we are in suspended time: we wonder whether to mourn the life of the past or to rejoice in a return to normal soon.
The duration, the uncertainty of this period which has nothing of the carefree 20 years plunges part of the youth into sadness, the disillusionment of a lost time and the feeling of having their youth stolen.
So there, "it's the worst time in history to be single," said Ludivine, 26 years old.
Normally, “we go out often, it makes being alone a little more bearable,” observes Julie, 23.
There, we are stuck, so we have more time to think about our loneliness and the grief it causes us ”.
Before the pandemic, “we had the ability to mask this void of the absence of a partner who is confronted with a fairly anxiety-provoking inner void, underlines Robert Zuili.
We did not realize the value of the social bond, continues the psychologist.
Today, there is an awareness that the relationship with others is fundamental: we need to see people, laugh with them, touch them.
However, with the mask, distancing and today the curfew, all social interactions are undermined.
We are deprived of others and this confronts each one with what he is fundamentally and what he finds in the relationship with the other ”.
"I have never felt so alone"
Because the constraint of the curfew makes celibacy all the more burdensome as it refers everyone to a loneliness difficult to deceive.
“Being single has not only lost interest, it has become a real pain, testifies Ludivine.
We are locked up at home, alone.
Couples support each other in these times of anguish and boredom.
Me, I go over my old stories, I digest your emotional and sexual lack, knowing that I am not about to meet someone.
I have never felt so alone in my life.
And the more time passes, the more I am depressed ”.
While the curfew is expected to last at least another six more weeks, the feeling of not seeing the end of the tunnel reinforces the feeling of unease.
“When you're 20, you live in the moment, you enjoy,” recalls Robert Zuili.
The unpleasant feeling of these health constraints is all the stronger as many young people find it difficult to perceive that what they are doing today will have a positive effect over time ”.
And when you live alone, when you cannot hug your loved ones so as not to take risks because of Covid-19, the lack of physical contact is also a source of suffering and weighs on morale.
“The simple fact of not being able to kiss, hug, not having a
, is to deprive myself of all the social interactions that I miss today,” says Nino, 20 years old.
“There are very few people who know how to live alone for so long,” notes Lison.
And she is right.
"We are social animals, living alone for us is complicated," confirms Robert Zuili.
The link is essential to life ”.
"I prefer to see my friends"
So, rather than looking for love, some prefer friendship to overcome this particular period.
“Since it's more difficult to see friends at night, I prefer to spend my free time with them rather than planning
,” said Amanda, 23.
It's much better to spend days with friends on weekends rather than going on a
which will not succeed ”.
"The real joy is to manage to extract some pleasant spaces from these current difficulties, by identifying the resource persons in our entourage who do us good: friends, family or psychologist", prescribed Robert Zuili.
But also "by creating new centers of interest, insists the psychologist, to resist the ambient gloom."
We are faced with a world of prohibitions and loss of meaning that we did not suspect, but that does not prevent us from exchanging and taking everything that is positive ”.
This is what Lucie decided to do: “This curfew prevents us all from having qualitative meetings, whereas that's what we do when we are young!
It's a bit sad, but I prefer to focus on hoping to socialize again soon.
And it is also the occasion to refocus on oneself, on personal projects and the close entourage, philosopher the young woman of 22 years.
This is important because social networks and dating apps disperse us ”.
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