As an extraverted introvert – or INFJ in the Myers-Briggs tongue – I have always craved alone time while also would not mind the occasional social interaction, especially the ones with the closest people in my life whom I care about the most. And to make this a little more personal, I have never been in a (romantic) relationship before, but I have always been hoping for that certain, special interaction with that certain, special someone to present itself to me, and I was always certain that as long as I'm out there, I would catch someone's eye at some point.
However, when the Coronavirus hit and forced me to stay inside pretty much all the time, all of that changed… Well, to put it simply: while I wasn't really going out too much before – back when I had the option to go out – now I desperately want to go out just because I could! Whether that be with friends or family, I would gladly agree to anything as long as it's with someone I know at someplace outside my house – masked and socially distanced, of course.
Don't get me wrong: I understand why we have to stay in during these "uncertain times," mainly so we can work to stop COVID from spreading even more than it already had and I still believe it's vital to follow these procedures, but just because we have to physically distance ourselves doesn't mean we have to completely social distance from each other. And while having classes via Zoom and club meetings on Google Meet does help to combat the bouts of loneliness I may feel from time to time, it's not exactly the same as having in-person interactions.
Whether everyone likes it or not, or is consciously thinking this or not, we all need some form of social interactions with people outside of our own homes every now and again, and personally, not having to interact with friends and classmates once in a while like I used to, and only having to interact with my immediate family is seriously driving me crazy. We all need to connect with others so we don't feel completely alone; while we keep to ourselves a lot of the time, introverts are all about the connection, so when we do go out, it's to connect with the right people.
Plus, for me, there's just something magical about being there for in-person interactions, whether I would feel compelled enough to take part in the conversation, or otherwise choose to sit back and listen to the others talk amongst themselves, taking it all in. (I know that sounds creepy out of context, but most times, I just happen to overhear conversations around me.) Even if I'm not the one speaking, I'm still a part of the experience of the discussion by just listening – though the discussion part wouldn't really be done justice until I decide to give my two cents to it.
While yes, I am grateful that places have been opening up again but under the certain protocol for all employees and customers to follow, I just know that COVID has left an unerasable mark on history, and when it comes to how we would behave around each other both in public and in private – whether it be at our jobs, parties, sporting events, and many other scenarios, everything is, and will be, profoundly different.
And of course, to tie it all together: that certain, special interaction has yet to come for me, and maybe because of this year, I might be even more turned off of dating apps than I already was beforehand, but despite the lingering heartaches, I know that it will happen. It's only going to take a little more time and a lot of patience… and trust me: I have been known to be very patient.