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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Philippou

Summer of love?

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

After the way single people have been treated in the Covid pandemic all I want is a hug

This article was originally posted in iNEWS.

If single people haven’t suffered enough during this pandemic, now we’re being told that this is the ‘summer of love’

What hurt me most about the Matt Hancock affair saga was that he had someone he could legally touch in lockdown, yet was still intimate with someone else. Hancock and the Government have been nothing but cruel to single people and non-cohabiting couples in their lockdown legislation and the affair was a stab in the back for those of us who were expected to be without physical touch for so long.

We suffer if we’re deprived of touch, scientists call the absence of touch “affection deprivation” and it can cause us a host of psychological and physical issues. Government lockdown legislation deprived us of a human need and punished us for not existing in homogenous structures or for being able to afford to live alone – support bubbles were reserved for those few single people who don’t have flatmates.

In the depths of lockdown, I’d be on my way to a walking date in the freezing cold and I’d always hope as my eyes poked out from under all my layers that the person I was going to meet might be of potential bubble status. But alas, they always lived in flatshares, like me, because rents are so high thanks to government housing policy that insists on supporting buyers and ignoring renters.

If single people haven’t suffered enough during this pandemic, now we’re being told by various media outlets and advertisers that this is the “summer of love”. This sounds fun in theory, but it’s irritating because it makes light of our experience and it implies a feeling of sexiness that just isn’t there and how can it be? We’re still living under a horrific level of uncertainty and no one feels sexy when they’re anxious or tired. This comedic perception of single people emerging from their caves, oozing with sex appeal and raging about in a hedonistic bonk fest adds further insult and pressure to a group of people who just don’t need it.

The summer of love is out of step with reality. We’re exhausted and will continue to feel this way, for summer and beyond, as we adjust to the changes to our freedom and process what we’ve been through in the last sixteen months.

Socialising has returned and I’m saying yes to every invitation, as seeing friends still feels so precious and like it could be taken away from us at any moment. Despite what the predictions of a summer of love imply, most single people aren’t desperate to release their sexual frustration onto the world, but are seeking a long-term partner that they can forge a meaningful connection with. Many people are also terrified that they’ve lost a year when they could have met someone they could start a family with. The depth of that longing and potential loss is no laughing matter.

I recently read a piece that argued “many of the challenges of being single come from other people and perhaps one of the benefits of lockdown was that single people were saved from being exposed to a lot of that pressure to partner up from other people. We don’t need any pressure on us this summer.

Perhaps if single people were taken more seriously in society, the Government would have formed less punitive legislative measures against us and there would be greater acknowledgment of our sacrifice and suffering. So, enough with this talk of the summer of love. Hedonism? Sex? All I want after these last 16 months is a really big hug.


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