We all know Netflix and chill, those kinds of dates in which Netflix plays in the background and you’re, well, occupied doing something else. There are many offshoots of this type of date, like Disney Plus and thrust, or Hulu and hang, but they all essentially mean the same thing. The official date is that you’re watching these platforms together, while the unofficial date is a bit less PG!
But what exactly is quarantine and chill then?
So, what is quarantine and chill?
There’s no one set definition of quarantine and chill, particularly as it only existed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When lockdowns began in March 2020, quarantine and chill was a common hashtag, something that existed in the memes we created to help feel better about our current situation. It was less something that was real and more something that was just an online buzzword.
As many believed that they’d be taking a few weeks away from the office and everything would be back to normal after that, the pressure to actually quarantine and chill wasn’t something that we really needed to worry about. However, going on nearly a year since lockdowns began, the concept of quarantining and chilling has changed.
Today, in 2021, there are many ways in which quarantine and chill manifests in real life. For one thing, as many have noted if they’ve been on dating apps in the past year, there are some dropping the phrase into their profiles to let people know that they are good to meet up. The appearance of this term can be a cause for alarm. COVID-19 isn’t something to be cavalier about, and suggesting that you’re open to having strangers come to your place to hang out can be a red flag.
Hook-ups are indeed still happening while the pandemic goes on, and, while you should always be safe when attempting to have a one-night stand with a stranger, the pandemic brings about a whole new set of challenges. If you’re trying to “quarantine and chill” with a stranger, that should mean that you intend to take a COVID test and then quarantine before you go do the chilling.
Quarantine and chill: the speed dating side effect
The other side of quarantine and chill has the potential to either be more wholesome or more infuriating. There are those who are looking for real romance and something long-term. What we’ve seen throughout the pandemic is a rise in what is referred to as turbo relationships.
Have you inexplicably seen your friends get engaged this year, or at least permanently move in with a partner, even if you know that they were single back in the olden days of 2019? Maybe you have a friend who started dating a partner in the spring of 2020 and they seem very, very serious already. Yeah, you can blame the pandemic for that.
In this new reality, every day is quarantine and chill. A study by eHarmony and Relate found that one-third of people who are newly living with a partner say that two months has felt like the equivalent of two years of commitment. It’s simple to see why.
Ideally, you’re following COVID-19 restrictions. You’re not seeing many people. You’re not leaving the house unless it’s essential. So, you’re mainly just seeing the person that you’re living with. If you’re not living with your partner, it’s harder to see them so it makes sense to just move in together.
Even couples who barely started dating prior to March of 2020 have found themselves moving in together because it’s safer and easier than trying to navigate seeing each other when much of the community is shut down.
If you’re trying to have a real relationship and start dating during the pandemic, you’re also likely hitting relationship milestones earlier than you might have if you started dating pre-pandemic. For one thing, those who are on dating apps and are not just looking to hook up are using extra tools in the apps to vet their potential partners. They’re using video calls more and essentially trying to figure out if this person is worth taking the risk to get to know.
Online dating on steroids
While we might have been more willing to just go on a date without getting to know someone online for too long before COVID, we’re now basically trying to date online before we date in person. Now, when we do link up for a real in-person date, it already feels like we know this potential partner. Now, it seems, if someone says that they started dating someone in June of 2020, they may have actually been talking to that person for months prior and feel like they’ve been dating for a lot longer.
Of course, rushing into moving in together or getting serious and exclusive comes with its own set of challenges. While it might feel like you’ve been committed for longer, you’re still technically in the getting to know you phase, even if you’ve been spending a ton of your time together.
Those turbo relationships have the potential of ending just as quickly as they started. Spending all your time essentially in quarantine with one person can be a lot of pressure. But the couples who are surviving it and working through it feel that their partnership is all the stronger for it.
While quarantine and chill can be a red flag on a dating app, the practice of actually quarantining and chilling with a new, vetted partner has the potential to create a strong bond. While this buzzword will hopefully one day be forgotten and just be a remnant of an era that’s optimistically ending sooner rather than later, the relationships that are built upon it may last a lifetime.