Finding love where you least expect it: 5 potential pandemic meet cutes

Photo of a person on the Big C swing
Daniela Cervantes/File

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Roses are red, violets are blue, are you wondering how you’ll meet your next boo? It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. The quarantine couples are celebrating, people are finding ways to have socially distanced dates and you’re sitting at home, tragically aware of how single you are, wishing your love life was a romantic comedy. You snap out of the daydream and sigh: How does one find a Valentine during such trying times? Singles, do not despair! While life isn’t exactly like the movies right now, here are some extremely realistic scenarios that explain how you may meet your future significant other. 

In the long lines of RSF’s COVID-19 testing center

It’s another Friday in Berkeley, and you’re due for your weekly COVID-19 surveillance test. You leave your apartment and head toward the Recreational Sports Facility, or RSF, where the lines stretch far past the building. Standing there, masked and six feet apart from others, you notice that the person in front of you unknowingly dropped their ID card. As the wonderfully kind person you are, you pick up the card and return it to them. Your eyes meet, and there’s instant chemistry. A conversation ensues, and the distance between the two of you shrinks — metaphorically, of course. 

At the grocery store

You’re at Trader Joe’s doing your weekly grocery shopping among many busy shoppers. You scan your list, making sure you have everything. Fruit, check. Chicken, check. Ah, hand sanitizer, the last but most important thing. In a daze, you rush down the aisle and find one last bottle sitting on the shelf. As you reach for it, another hand bursts out of the blue, and your fingers meet around the clear bottle. Startled, you look up and find yourself staring into the most charming and beautiful eyes. They let you have the sanitizer, and the rest is history. 

On a hike

After a long day on Zoom, nothing beats a solo hike up to the Big C. You pile on your layers and make your way up the steep hill, taking in the fresh and chilly air. There’s no one else on the trail. It’s a peaceful afternoon, the perfect remedy for a stressful day. As you breathlessly reach the top, you’re surprised to find another human already there, admiring the pretty sunset. They sense your presence, turn around and crinkle their eyes into a smile. A silent bond forms as you both watch the last few rays of sun disappear into the horizon.

At the dog park

It’s a warm and sunny day at the dog park. Peaches, the golden retriever puppy you adopted during quarantine, is happily romping around. It’s been a few months since you first started coming here, and there are lots of new faces. With the chaos of all the pups running around, you bump into another person. You feel awkward, but their masked face reveals nothing but friendliness. Slightly embarrassed, you make your introductions and hit it off. They also just so happen to be the owner of the German shepherd that Peaches seems to have taken a liking to!

In a Zoom breakout room

You’re sitting in a discussion section in which having your camera on is just about mandatory. Right as you’re about to doze off, the GSI sends you off into breakout rooms to work on an assignment. You find yourself staring at your partner, a familiar face you’ve glanced over several times on your screen, yet a complete stranger. Neither of you have ever spoken before, but there’s no denying it — sparks are flying through the screen. 

With masks, quarantine and limited in-person contact, it may feel impossible to meet a significant other. But they say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and nothing illustrates that more perfectly than these pandemic-edition meet cutes. So the next time you find yourself out and about, keep your eyes open and heart hopeful. Who knows? You may find love where you least expect it.

Contact Kristie Lin at [email protected].