Armageddon Dating: Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you’re doing it.
This covid “rolling lockdown” phenomenon is about furiously dating while – and when – one can. Apparently most popular among the more ripened singles over 30s, Armageddon Dating is driven by the feeling that the dating landscape – and the unrestricted opportunity to freely meet and interact others – may be set for irreversible change. Doomed even.
Whether spawned by fear, by FOMO, or by pragmatism, there is a vivid realisation that now is the time to act: either to experience as much as possible while one can or, conversely, to hasten the search for a soulmate. Perhaps another lockdown alone is too much to bear thinking about. Perhaps the thought that the breathless question, “Do you have protection?” will involve pulling out a ‘health passport’ is also a romance dampener.
I recently become aware that my relationship with nature has come to resemble Armageddon Dating.
Given the constant impending lockdowns, intermittent restrictions on beach and waterways access, I have been rapidly trying to spend time with new nature areas, while I can. Or, who knows, revisiting past nature flings a final time. This past January was therefore fun but a little exhausting.
If there was one positive outcome of the initial lockdowns, it was that many people had the opportunity to develop a (re)new(ed) relationship – and hopefully authentic appreciation of – one’s everyday place and green space.
This sense of place is critical to forming bonds and connections. Just like a long-term relationship with a person, a consistent deepening and attentive interaction with ‘place’ lifts layers to reveal new ‘sides’, new seasons, new species, even. Empathy is cultivated in ways not previously considered.
However, under the current circumstances, it became clear to me that there is a case to be made for a “polyamorous relationship with place”.
A polyamorous place relationship means that we do all we can to bond and love ‘our place’, i.e. a regularly visited ‘nature spot’. Local is lekker. But, if the opportunity presents itself, then we allow ourselves to delightfully revel in a superficial sensory-filled adventure with another, more foreign, nature area too.
Love your place more than anything but allow lust for an affectionate fling.
The above image is from a wild night out in the Karoo. And the significance of the rainbows? Armageddon Dating invites experimentation too!