Truman Lee, 19, hasn’t seen his girlfriend, Corine Chong, 19, since Singapore’s circuit breaker measures started on April 7. The physical separation has been especially tough for him as his love languages are physical touch and quality time.
He’s been looking forward to the end of the circuit breaker on June 1. Unfortunately, even as some social distancing rules are going to be relaxed in Phase 1 from June to early July, unmarried couples who live in different households are still not able to visit each other until further notice.
“I feel sad that it’s extended but I guess it’s to ensure that everyone is safe,” says Truman, who is currently serving his National Service.
Staying in Touch
Also feeling disappointed are Jolynn Lee, 19, and her boyfriend Jedi Diah, 23.
“My [phone’s] background is pictures of us and I always get reminded of him whenever I’m using my phone. I miss the feelings of excitement I got when I could spend time with him every weekend,” says Jolynn.
To stay connected, the young couple who met in school have been hanging out using video calls. They also play online games like Minecraft together.
Jedi has also used GrabFood to deliver cookies to Jolynn when she’s craving for a sugary snack – a sweet gesture indeed.
“It was really thoughtful of him to send the cookies and I’m glad we’re still together, supporting each other in these times,” says Jolynn.
For another young couple Althea Isis Giron, 19 and Adwin Ang, 20, the physical separation is no big deal. After all, they’ve been in a long-distance relationship since Adwin left for his internship in Silicon Valley last year.
Throughout his year-long internship, Adwin got to come back to Singapore only once in January. That’s when he last met Althea in the flesh.
On March 23, Adwin finally returned to Singapore for good when his internship was cut short by a week due to Covid-19.
He was immediately issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at Changi Airport. Fair enough, Adwin thought, as he could be a Covid-19 carrier and it’s best to be safe than sorry.
The couple started counting down to April 7, the day when Adwin was meant to be “freed” after his SHN expired.
It’s too bad, though, that the soaring number of infections in Singapore had led to the implementation of circuit breaker measures, starting on April 7.
The couple is taking all these changes in their stride as they “prioritise each other’s wellbeing”.
“We would rather wait a bit longer and meet each other safely than risk the welfare of our families. I think that itself is an act of love,” says Althea.
To keep their relationship going, Adwin and Althea continue to meet via video calls. They also make full use of their “alone time” to learn or try something new so that they will have more conversation topics.
“Whenever [Althea and I] call, we find new topics to talk about, exploring abstract ideas and dreams that are so improbable but yet so interesting,” says Adwin.
He also reassured that it’s normal for couples to argue with each other, whether they meet in person or not.
“If there are no arguments, then there is something wrong,” he said, adding that if couples are understanding towards each other, their relationships should be able to stay intact.