Your Co-Star is telling you to “embrace the now with grace,” but you’ve been wearing the same sweatpants for three days and forget what going outside feels like. The good news? Your coronavirus crush is coming along swimmingly: You’ve texted back and forth, exchanged a few nudes, and even discussed how nice it would be if you could social distance together. But there’s a slight catch: Whenever you bring up the prospect of going on an actual date in the real world, you get left on read. How will your love last past quarantine?
Friend, if this is happening to you, you might be getting coronazoned.
The pandemic-pegged cousin of “friendzoning”, coronazoning can be defined as engaging in flirty, romantic, and/or sexual conversation with someone you have no intention of dating once social-distancing is over, solely because self-isolation is leaving you bored and lonely.
And like getting friendzoned, it absolutely sucks.
If you’re worried your COVID-19 courtship won’t make it past incubation, here are five signs you might be getting coronazoned.
1. They’re more interested in your pet than your personality.
While I’m sure your rare fish is amazing, if your crush is more interested in getting cute videos of your dog eating peanut butter out of the container than getting to know you, they’re probably not in it for the long haul.
“People seek relationships during high-stress times to serve as a means of escape in different ways,” Pricilla Martinez, founder of Regroop Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle.
Listen, spending all day talking about coronavirus can be exhausting, and it’s natural to need a reprieve (or a flood of funny videos). But if your crush only asks to see pictures of your pussy cat (I’m talking about your actual cat) and changes the subject whenever you bring up how worried you are about your grandparents? You, my dear, should call the zoning board — Because you’re likely getting coronazoned.
2. They’ll vent all day about their roommate Kyle but never ask about your life.
When an entire week’s worth of conversation is comprised of you listening to them vent about their roommate doing CrossFit in the living room and quelling their fears of never going to Coachella again, you may be getting coronazoned.
“Given the high level of stress and anxiety with the pandemic issues, it’s absolutely natural to feel scared and confused” Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear, tells Bustle.
As Manley shares, you don’t have to be a water sign to need a little extra emotional support right now. Still, if you find yourself constantly comforting your crush and they’ve never asked how you’re coping, it may be time to reevaluate.
In short: if you’re feeling like your crush’s therapist, parent, and life coach named Zelda, you’re probably in the zone. The coronazone.
3. They only hit you up between lunch & 6:00 p.m.
Long gone are the days of late-night booty calls and last call-inspired hookups. As bars and restaurants close their doors, and more and more people are working from home, it seems like everyone is looking for someone — anyone — to exchange breakout room small talk with. Consider a 1:00 p.m., “What’s up?!” to be the quarantine edition of a 1:00 a.m., “U up?”
While it’s nice to have someone to schmooze with during the day, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, and your crush just needs someone to G-Chat on their work-from-home lunch break, you’re probably getting coronazoned.
4. When you try to hold eye contact over Zoom, they angle their camera at their crotch.
If you and your date are both seeking some temporary comfort or excitement, getting virtually frisky can be a major stress reliever. However, per Dr. Manly, “if one person is hoping for a long-term reconnection, and the other is seeking temporary comfort — not addressing this discrepancy can lead to hurt feelings, confusion, and anger,”
Sexting just to sext can be flipping amazing. Turning up the heat over FaceTime for one night? You love to see it. But if you’re looking for a deep connection and your date just wants you to sit on their Face(Time), you might not be on the same page about what you’re looking for on the other side of self-isolation.
5. Their phone dies every time you mention making post-quarantine plans.
You and your new boo don’t need to commit to each other for life. But when you ask your quarantine crush if they’d like to grab a drink whenever bars reopen, and they respond, “Oh no! My phone battery is about to die!” (or, better yet, don’t respond at all), you’re likely getting a socially distant snubbing.
“It’s important to be intentional about what this looks like after the stressful period,” Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, licensed clinical psychologist at Therapy Group of NYC, tells Bustle. “Agreement on expectations and needs is critical.”
If your quarantine crush is always bailing on your FaceTime dates, has never asked about life outside your apartment, and takes days to respond to your DMs, they’re probably not as invested in your happiness as you are in theirs. You deserve someone that’s going to prioritize you — during a global pandemic and every other damn day.
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