Disclaimer: Caitlin and Maddy here. We know this is coming from a privileged background. We have just seen the 6pm news, and we’re stressed. This is purely a positive hype piece because we’re both about to get sacked and this makes us happy. We hope it makes you happy too. Stay safe. 

Cast your eyes back to New Years Eve. If you were like us, you drunkenly screamed at the girls “2020 will be different!” Yes, it will be different. And by different, we mean an absolute fucking shit house.

Being single in the pre-COVID, technologically-advanced landscape of the 21st century had its ups and downs. We made it work, but it wasn’t without its challenges. However, thanks to the disaster that is a worldwide pandemic, now is arguably the worst possible time to be flying solo. A ball without a chain. A Jeffree Star without a Nate. Breaking the shackles. Independently owned and operated. Depressed. 

To be honest, not since the Spanish Flu of 1918 has it been such a bad time to be single. We are exhausted. We are bored. The world is falling apart, and so are we. Sure, we are young, hot, funny. But what good is that when you’re stuck inside with your mum? (She’s also single, and we will be CC’ing this straight to her inbox). 

Luckily, we have been brewing a Boys 2.0 for a while now. Alas, this was not the way we wanted it to be (we were picturing some international travel and exotic Swedish boys) but what can we say – we’re adapting. 

If you’re in a relationship, no offense but fuck off and don’t talk to us ever again. You’ll probably be with child in nine months, and we don’t want to hear about it. But if not, we’re here to help. There aren’t many options out there, but we sourced far and wide to scrape together five potential pandemic partners.

Let’s begin. 

The Boy in the Centrelink Line
TLDR: These boys are battling unemployment and looking good while doing it. 

There’s no sense of community quite like the kilometre-long line up outside your local Centrelink at 8am. And for us, it’s the perfect time to find a Pandemic Boyfriend™. With the clubs closed, these lines are officially your best bet to meet boys IRL. We all know everyone in hospo is young and hot, so why can’t we all get laid after being laid off? 

I’m yet to actually meet a real life one, but I have a fantasy I’d like to share with everyone… I’m standing in the unemployment line, clutching my essential documents (birth certificate, passport, license) thinking if I’ll ever be able to sell another burger again. That’s when I see him. I’m going to call him Dan. He’s 6’8 and his head rises above everyone else’s. He’s hot, but sad. Distressed, but sexy. I wonder if he’ll use his first pay-out to get a Nintendo Switch so we can play Animal Crossing together? I hope he’s funny. I need to get closer. I cut the line because democracy is dead and only love will flourish. 

This boy is the ultimate win in a pandemic. If we’re both unemployed that means he can devote all his attention to me. Everyone always says you should marry your equal. Nothing screams true love (or equality) quite like mutual bankruptcy. You will never argue over whose turn it is to pay the bill, because neither of you can afford to leave the house! Luckily, mum panic bought all the veggie sausages from Coles and agreed to let Dan bunk in with the family for a while- if he promises to fix the TV downstairs. 

The Pandemic Rebound Boy
TLDR: You swore you would never talk to him again. But that was before. 

You gave this boy the flick in 2017. Your friends said you were batting well below average (let’s not talk about bats right now). However, that was then, and this is now. You’ve sat down and pondered your options. Things are grim. Suddenly, even the most pathetic hook-ups are seemingly viable. And honestly, it’s not your fault he was so into Hillsong.

“Jack? I know I blocked you and called you short, but I miss you. Wanna come over and have dinner with my mum? (She’s got sanister at the door).”

I recently matched with this boy on Tinder. We met in the Valley a few weeks ago (I miss clubs) and I kissed him despite him smelling like truffle mayo (let’s not forget times have been desperate PRE-pandemic). I thought it was goodbye. A one-off. A see-ya-later. 

Flash forward to our glorious Tinder match: He’s 25. We’re in a pandemic. It’s back on. Suddenly all those fishing pics on his profile are weirdly appealing? He’s a hunter. A survivor. This is exactly the kind of vibe I want to be surrounded by during the apocalypse. And it’s lucky I’m pescatarian.

The forefront problem of the rebound boy is keeping him interested enough to see him again in October. How do I keep this going for six long months? Video chats have always been one of my favourite modes of communication… is it time to grow up and enter the world of online fun? We’ll see how desperate I get for attention.

The Panic Swiper
TLDR: Everything is closed, except his dms.

These boys are purely your pandemic play thing. The cockroaches of the apocalypse. Nothing will kill them. And I’m totally in love with it! Forget panic buying, they’re joining in on the panic swiping. These boys are the Shakespeares of our generation, weaving carefully crafted romantic messages that really tug on the heart strings. I recently received “insert funny message here” and I thought that was just beautiful. 

While online dating in these uncertain times, you have to ensure you’re providing your best content. Everyone is flocking to the apps, sticking their fingers in the pie and as a result, competition is at an all-time high. Update your profile, throw in a pic of your asshole. Anything to stay relevant. 

You’ve got to remember that you can be anyone you want online. Tell them you know Mallrat, that you run marathons, or your dad owns a JetSki. They’ll be spinning similar shit, but at least the conversation will be interesting, and there’s never been a better time to change your entire personality. You could tell them you’ve fucked the entire Brisbane Bullets basketball team for all we care. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter – this is just something to pass the time. (Just between us, it’s nice to see that boys will finally have to rely on their personality. I don’t care about your rock-hard arms, I want an 800-word poem about my eyes in my inbox by 5pm. Thank you.) 

Heads up gang, there are some strict guidelines that must be mentioned when it comes to The Panic Swiper. If he asks you for over for casual sex – RED FLAG. If you can’t shake hands with strangers, you definitely can’t swap saliva. This still counts if Tinder is saying he’s only one kilometer away. He may even offer to physically run to your house. It’s animalistic, admirable, brave, and hot. But it’s just not on. 

We’re hoping to treat this period like our own personal season of The Bachelorette. Which boys will be able to endure the marathon that is Coronavirus 2020 and fight for our virtual love? What else is there to do? We hear cooking is very therapeutic. 

The Boy in your University’s Zoom Tutorial 
TLDR: I’d like to keep the videos ON please.

He’s the boy that used to be your primary motivation to go into uni each day. You were patiently waiting for the perfect time to strike. Little did you know that the last time you caught his eye in your Advanced Grammar course was your sliding doors moment. Or so you thought…

Introducing Zoom: the popular online conferencing app being used to facilitate online learning (and love). Now is the time to seduce Ryan via webcam. I’m wearing a push up bra for the first time in weeks and I’ve combed my eyebrows. The quality of my camera might be blurry, but I’m putting in effort. 

I’ve spent the first fifteen minutes of class staring intensely at a blank screen where his beautiful face should be. Are you there, Ryan? It’s me, desperate. Showing off that moustache is a community service that he is denying WRIT7000. He must be late. He’s probably out buying groceries for his grandma, or volunteering in a soup kitchen for the homeless. 

I’m about to give up when his name pops up on the sidebar. Relief (virtually) washes over all the girls in the tute. But it doesn’t last long – he selfishly chooses to keep his video off. He’s there, but not really. 

To make matters worse: he can still see me. I spend the entire tute in a state of panic, staring at myself. I’m not used to web-camming for educational purposes. Do I look cute with my head rested on my hand like this? What about my hair tucked behind one ear? Shit, what was my lecturer saying?! I still don’t understand conjunctions.

Your key to winning over this one? Persistence. No hope can be lost. God knows what’s going on in his personal life. You don’t really know this guy. You only see him for an hour and a half every Wednesday evening. You’re probably not even on his mind. That’s what he wants you to think. 

And please, Ryan, if you’ve got a girlfriend, don’t tell me now. Let me know at the end of the semester after I’ve spent 12 weeks entertaining the idea of us together. It’s the only thing keeping me together at this point.

The Boy Who Works in ‘Essential Services’ 
TLDR: He still makes the perfect latte, despite a pandemic and imminent unemployment on his mind.

This goes out to the soldiers working on the front line – our local cafe. Has anyone else noticed that the baristas are looking hotter than usual? Brunch has always been very important to us, and as a result we believe the cafe down the road is the most unrecognised and overlooked essential service (bar health care workers – keep up the good work). 

Your ability to still make the perfect iced latte is blowing me away, Cam. A true sign that he’s into you is if he remembers your order/offers you a free extra shot/manages to spell your name correctly on the lid. There’s one boy at my cafe whose grasp lingers a few seconds too long whenever I hand over my loyalty card. I hope one day he never lets go.

There’s never been a better time, or excuse, to return every day to the same coffee shop. Support your local business, stimulate the economy, fall in love. We suggest rocking up to your local cafe in the sluttiest thing you own. You’re probably the only thing that’s going to make him happy today (and vice versa), so you may as well go all out. 

Watch out for the boys who are under the naive impression that they’re an essential service when they clearly aren’t. Oi Mark, if you’re not caffeinating me or saving lives, just give up and join the Centrelink line like the rest of us. You are not a hero.

The Online Personal Trainer
TLDR: This boy is a simple one-sided virtual interaction, but it’s a source of happiness in this lonely world – plus he’s hot.

Personal trainers get a tough rap, but we’re here to stand up for them and their amazing arms. If Declan can inspire me to voluntarily pull out a yoga mat in my living room and sweat for 45 minutes, he must be doing something right. These boys can’t actually talk back because it is all pre-recorded. When you think about it, he’s kind of perfect.

The Online Personal Trainer is a wealth of positivity and complements. “You look great! Yes, only 34 more reps!!! You’re the hottest girl I’ve ever seen!! I wish I could lick the sweat off your face!” Honestly we’re losing our minds. He may not know I exist, but after the next six months of 8×10 burpee reps he won’t be able to resist me. 

Don’t forget that sometimes it’s okay to just sit on the couch with a bag of chips, press play, and watch Declan put in the hard yards for you. Again, he can’t actually see you. 

The World is Your Oyster  

Gang, if there’s one thing to take away from all this it’s that adversity breeds success. Love during Covid is all about your mindset. You may have lost a lot, but think about everything you’ve gained. Would you previously have ever thought to scan the Centrelink line for The One? We don’t think so. Who knew a pandemic could hold so many amazing possibilities? We’ve given you the foundations, now go make it happen. 

Signing off,

Maddy & Caitlin. 

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