QuaranFLING – The New Normal, is an essay written by Marge Villaester and shared to The Ugly Writers under the new theme Terrible Ideas


QuaranFLING – The New Normal


I know we all started this pandemic thinking we would be back to our normal lives after a week or two. Until the quarantine got extended, and extended, and extended (repeat until fade)… Now we are almost on the 3rd month of staying inside our homes and practicing social distancing (a.k.a. not having any human interaction).

We did everything we could to survive the quarantine. We started exercising daily, learned how to bake, and tried signing up to dating applications for the first time. Most of us started entertaining random people who message us on our social media accounts, which is not a bad thing. One must survive through the boredom that the pandemic has cursed us with, right?

But what do you call this no strings attached flirting that we do virtually over the course of this pandemic? It is what millennials have coined as QuaranFLING. It’s basically casual flirting, but quarantine edition. It’s when you talk to someone all day, almost every day, with the thought on your mind that what you have would expire once the quarantine has been lifted. As if modern-day flirting isn’t already terrible as it is, they really had to add this to the already long list of sad concepts that modern dating started.

Some would say that this pandemic is the best time to practice your flirting skills. Because during the quarantine, there is no pressure to meet up with the person you are flirting with because of the existing quarantine guidelines. And personally, I think that finally meeting up with people is the scariest part of flirting.

Two weeks of detached meaningless flirting should be okay. After that, we could all go on with our lives as if nothing happened. After all, we only had to get past the quarantine boredom, didn’t we?

But getting involved in a quaranFLING is not for everyone. I’ve been seeing posts on Facebook groups like ‘Subtle Clown Traits,’ ‘Unsubtle Syota Searching,’ etc. about how people get their hearts broken over quarantine flings. As if modern dating isn’t terrible enough—having to be detached and “cool” and “open-minded”, they even had to put an expiry date to it.

The rules of quaranFLING are simple:
  1. Do not get attached, because he/she is just bored
  2. You are not allowed to be jealous, because he/she will DEFINITELY be talking (and flirting) with other people as well
  3. Expect that you would be ghosted after a week or two because he/she is going to find a much more interesting person to talk to
  4. Do not believe your quarantine feelings, you might just be bored too

Being in a quaranFLING means getting used to talking to a person and sharing bits of your life to each other, with the goal of alleviating each other’s boredom. But is it really possible not to get attached to a person you constantly talk to every day? Is it really possible not to fall for a person who you clicked with and actually enjoyed talking to? Do we even have a choice?

Personally, I think quaranFLING is a terrible concept (as most of the concepts of modern dating are), but it is important that we do some self-reflection before complaining about it. Because honestly, as much as I hate the concept, I am guilty of participating and enjoying it too. I, too, have been talking to some people just because I am bored, without any intention of escalating it into something more.

Sure, it gets annoying when you find somebody who seems to fit your idea of a person you want to be in a relationship with, and he/she is too caught up in the quaranFLING mindset to even think about committing. But one thing is for sure, if the person is right for you and if he/she really wants to be with you, no matter what messed up concept it is that you both had in mind in the beginning, it would be forgotten and conquered, and the two of you would end up together.

I know it’s hard to believe in the concept of true love and loyalty nowadays and I know how messed up the dating world has turned out to be. I don’t trust it too, if I’m being honest. But don’t let your fear of getting hurt get in the way of you experiencing the fun that comes along with it. There is no way for us to change how dating goes anymore, so we might as well just make the most out of it and hope that someday, someone would want to get out of this messed world with us and build another—one where we won’t have to fear of getting hurt anymore, one where our relationships won’t need to have an expiry date any longer.

So, to all of you who had or still have a quaranFLING, I wish you all the best. Truth be told, there is a high chance that you guys would not end up together after this pandemic, but the worst thing that could happen is that you’ve gained a new friend in each other and you both got rid of your quarantine boredom. And if it hurts, hit me up, drinks on me once quarantine gets lifted. Deal? 😉


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