The most precious commodity these days is human contact and those who are single have started to feel the pinch
The lockdown has unleashed a universal feeling of frustration. But it’s perhaps the singles whom it has hit the most. Usually singles are confident, and independent, both financially and sexually. They like being on their own, free as birds. But now with the lockdown, riding out each day alone has transformed into a nightmare for the tribe.
For 35-year-old Harsh Kumar, GM, of a leading chain of spas, spending time away from others is rather daunting especially when living alone.
“First four to five days, it was cool. I loved it that I didn’t have to wake up early in the morning to work out, had no work pressure, no traveling. I could rest at home, order takeout, cook Maggie and omelettes differently, calling and chatting with old friends and family, watching motivational movies and drinking and eating food till late night. But soon, life became tough looking at the same walls of the apartment all day through,” he laments.
Quite like Harsh, Yagnapal Raju Upendram, a 35-year-old Telugu language expert, explains how doing your own thing can be nice and relaxing for the first few days only. “No one likes feeling lonely, it’s challenging to manage when the length of isolation is uncertain,” he says.
Raju has been single for over a decade and while he’s not phobic towards people, he doesn’t mingle too easily.
“I like to keep to myself and I enjoy a limited company. And this lockdown has helped me to sit back and reflect upon what I’ve done in life so far. But even so, during these times, I feel a lonely as I can’t step out to even meet my friends,” he says adding, “The mind is tricky. Nobody can recon the damage a single negative thought does to our psyche and how it re-programmes our defence reflexes. It takes some time to get of such an insecurity,” adds Raju.
Nothing to despair
True. Loneliness could increase the risk of indulging in negative thinking, making one vulnerable to depression. Despite how bleak the situation may seem to some, being single needn’t be a reason for despair.
Sonia Akula, a 26-year-old social worker and actress, tells us how the period has been productive for her. “The lockdown helped me calm down and understand the joy of doing nothing. I cook, exercise and meditate and use online resources to keep up with those activities. I also read books, watch movies and connect with my parents on Facetime. I watch online beauty classes; have learned how to make lip balm at home, etc.,” she says.
But Akula also has moments when the joy of solitude transforms into berating loneliness. “I love my teatime with friends. But since the lockdown, it’s sometimes difficult to even find milk when I go to buy it. So besides having to have black tea, I miss the company of my friends,” she adds.
Even Shubham Agrawal, the 25-year-old CEO of Magic Lantern, feels being a bachelor and away from one’s family can be depressing.
“Even videocalls lack an emotional touch. These things cannot take the place of a human with whom you can talk and share your thoughts, ideas, feelings and imaginations,” says Shubham who has turned to art during these times.
As Bella DePaulo, author of the book Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After points out, “For people who are single at heart, they often love having a place of their own, they look forward to their solitude. But now they don’t have a choice about it, so that makes it a little less positive. And then there’s the uncertainty of not knowing how long it’s going to go on.”