Real Footy podcast: ‘I think we left a couple on the table’

Three flags over five years; premiers in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Geelong's haul was an impressive one.

But did the Cats reach their full potential?

This week on the Real Footy podcast, Jimmy Bartel joins Michael Gleeson, Jake Niall and Caroline Wilson to talk about his brilliant AFL career, including the three premierships that Bartel believes got away.

We get the inside word on Mark Thompson's very brief instructions at quarter-time of the 2009 grand final that changed a game, and find out about the hardest game of football Bartel played.

Why was his favourite home and away season game a loss? What was the most "insane" goal he has seen up close? And why does he get asked more about a point than any goal he kicked?

Bartel also takes us inside GWS for a club perspective on the league shutdown. In his role as football director at the Giants, how does he view the AFL's handling of the situation? What is happening at clubs in terms of dealing with players and staff? And does he agree with Leigh Matthews' comments on the players' handling of pay cut negotiations last week?

Plus, the panel tosses up some options for dealing with lists next season. Should the draft age be lifted? Should there be a veterans list at each club for 2021? And in the shorter term, can a Brownlow Medal be awarded if the season isn't completed? And could we see the grand final played somewhere other than the MCG?

Footy might be on hold, but this podcast is not. Make sure you subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to get every episode as it drops.

Source: Read Full Article

Elton John living room concert: How to watch iHeart concert

Elton John was scheduled to tour all over the work this year with his new Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. However, due to his own health and the coronavirus, he was instead forced to cancel the tour. But what is the Living Room Concert for America and how can we watch it?

Elton John has decided to do a concert to raise funds to feed America and help its children.

Considering the singer was meant to be on tour this year, unfortunately he is not able to due to the coronavirus, and his own issues suffering with pneumonia.

However, the singer has not been idle, and instead he has opted to conduct an at-home gig with the help of some major stars, including Alicia Keys and Billie Eilish.

The gigs have this description: “The show will feature performances from artists including Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl, H.E.R., Mariah Carey, Sam Smith, and Tim McGraw, from their own living rooms.

“FOX and @iHeartRadio pay tribute to the front line health professionals and local heroes who are helping to fight the spread of COVID-19 with the iHeartRadio Living Room Concert For America, presented by FOX.”

How to watch the Elton John Living Room Concert for America

The gig is being shown on all FOX platforms at the moment, having starts at 9pm EST in the USA.

Of course, most FOX platforms are not available for UK viewers.

However, the show is being streamed online on YouTube, and will hopefully be available to watch after it has finished, though this has not been confirmed.

Source: Read Full Article

Britney Spears Reflects on 20 Years Since ‘Oops!…I Did It Again’ Release

The pop superstar takes to Instagram to share a photo of her wearing a red, PVC catsuit that was taken when she was filming the music video for the 2000 hit.

AceShowbizBritney Spears took to social media to reflect on 20 years since the release of her iconic 2000 hit “Oops!…I Did It Again”.

The star released the tune as the lead single from her second album of the same name, with the record peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and securing Britney a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

The release was accompanied by a music video featuring the singer wearing a red, PVC catsuit and, alongside stills from the shoot, she wrote on Instagram: “Oops!….how did 20 years go by so fast?!??! I can’t believe it.”

“I remember that red suit was so freaking hot …. but the dance was fun and it made the shoot fly by !!!!!” she continued. “And now we’re sitting in quarantine wishing we were on Mars….. of course I am just kidding !!!!! But seriously you have all shown so much support for this song and I thank you for it …. “

“sending love to you all,” she finished, adding a bunch of red heart emojis.

The “Toxic” star is fortunate to remember the shoot at all, with MTV reporting at the time she suffered a serious head injury after a camera fell on her. Following the incident, amid her mum Lynne Spears’ fears that she might have suffered a concussion, Britney required medical attention and received stitches, before resuming filming four hours later.

Source: Read Full Article

Money-saving ways to use your tea bags other than making a brew – The Sun

HAVING a cup of tea may be getting you and your loved ones through time spent indoors at the moment.

It’s true that a brew can lift your spirits in a time of crisis.

But did you know that the humble tea bag has several other uses?

Here are some tea-riffic money-saving ways to use them . . .

Shoe saver: Someone left smelly shoes lying about? Pop a couple of dry tea bags into the shoes and leave overnight or longer — they are great for soaking up moisture.

Air freshener: You can also hang dry, fragrant bags in your car or wardrobe as an air freshener. You just need a strong fragrance, such as chai or herbal tea. Get rid of bad food odours in your fridge by leaving a couple of tea bags in a bowl at the back.

Beauty treat: Tired, stressed eyes? We are all feeling it right now, so try using two bags that have been cooled until just warm, and place over your eyes to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

This works out much cheaper than buying an eye mask from the shops and is more readily available right now. If you have herbal or fragrant tea bags you can also pop one in a running bath for an aromatic soak.

Plant saviour: As long as they do not contain plastic (several brands use plastic to seal their tea bags) you can use them for composting. To add nutrients to your garden, steep used bags in a watering can and sprinkle over soil. The water can also double up as fertiliser for potted plants.

No mugs here: In need of a different kind of beverage? With bars and clubs shut you may be missing a cheeky cocktail fix.

But tea bags can be used to get the party started indoors. Steep Earl Grey with gin, or mint tea with rum, to make DIY cocktails.

Not only will you enjoy a tasty treat, you will be saving around £7 on a bar-bought drink. Every cloud, right?

Top swap

FOR your loose-leaf tea, you will need a strainer. But don’t pay £6 for this one from John Lewis. Instead, buy one from eBay for £3.66.

SAVE: £2.34

Deal of the day

DESTRESS with a free trial on meditation app Headspace. NHS workers can get a free subscription to all the app’s courses, worth £7.99. See

Cheap treat

BUY one Simple Daily Detox product at Superdrug and get a second for half price, including the purifying charcoal sheet face mask.

SAVE: 50 per cent

Shop and save

WASH your clothes with Persil non-bio. A 38-wash bottle is half price, now £4 instead of £8, at Tesco.

SAVE: £4

Giselle's little helper

ARE you an engaged NHS worker whose wedding is meant to be this year?

Bridal store Pronovias wants to give you a free wedding dress. To be eligible, prove you are hospital-employed (from March 2020 at least) and your wedding date is before the end of 2020.

Details are at

Reader's saving tip

CLIVE WHITBY, of Basingstoke, Hants, says: “Keep your candles in the freezer until you are ready to use them. They burn much slower, meaning they will last much longer.”

  • Send your tips to and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.

Hot right now

BT is removing all caps on broadband packages, giving unlimited data. Great for staying in contact with loved ones.

Play now to win £50,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £50k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a

GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months.

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £50k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

  • T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs at

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

  • PRICES correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Source: Read Full Article

Football Manager 2020: The best wonderkids to sign for your club while on coronavirus lockdown – The Sun

FOOTBALL MANAGER has never been more popular than right now.

With the country in lockdown due to coronavirus, plenty of wannabe managers are turning or returning to the legendary game.

Football Manager’s director Miles Jacobson tweeted earlier in March to announce that a record number of people were playing at that moment as the game’s demand soared in the absence of live action.

He said: “#FM20 is currently being played by 84,063 of you via Steam, which is a new record. And likely to go up further today. Thank you for choosing our work to keep you entertained in this time of self-isolation in many countries around the world. Please keep safe everyone x”

Thousands of players are starting new saves, trying to take the likes of Forest Green Rovers and Morecambe from League Two to European glory in however many seasons it takes.

But for those wanting to build a world-dominating team as soon as possible, FM Scout has pulled together some of the best young players in the game with bags of potential.

All these talents are considered future stars and were aged 20 or younger on July 1, 2019…


Gianluigi Donnarumma, Maarten Vandevoordt, Manuel Gasparini

AC Milan stopper Donnarumma is already emerging into a serious talent and is seen as the long-term successor to Gianluigi Buffon's Italian throne. He's 20 but doesn't come cheap with a market value of £28.8million and £184,000-per-week wages.

Then we have two young teenagers. Vandevoordt became the youngest goalkeeper in Champions League history in December when the then-17-year-old lined up for Genk. He's available for around £500,000 and would demand just £3,900 per week.

And the young Udinise goalkeeper will be Gasparini for air as he rockets through the FM stratosphere in the next few seasons. At just 17, big things are expected for the teenager, worth £180k and with a wage of just £1,300 a week.


Trent Alexander-Arnold, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Max Aarons

Alexander-Arnold is already arguably the best right-back in the world despite only turning 21 in October 2019. He is a European champion, world champion and on the verge of becoming a Premier League champion – oh, and he is only the fourth Englishman to start a World Cup match. You'll really need to be prepared to splash the cash to land him, though: a £52.2m transfer fee and then £75,000 a week.

So if money is tight, Bologna's Tomiyasu may be a suitable alternative. Just a month younger than Trent, the Japan international is a fraction of the price, worth £5.8m and wanting just £15,100 in wages.

Looking for something closer to home but not quite the elite right-back? Then how about Aarons? The Norwich star, 19 at the start of the game, has shone over the past couple of years at Carrow Road and would set you back £18.7m and £20,000 in wages.


Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt, Alessandro Bastoni

Upamecano, 20, is one of the most sought-after defenders in the world right now with plenty of top clubs chasing his signature. There may have been figures quoted in excess of £70m last summer with Arsenal snooping around but £16.5m would be enough on FM20 as long as you are happy with his £39,800-a-week salary.

Next up is De Ligt – yes the former Ajax captain who brilliantly led his side to the Champions League semis last year and joined Juventus for £67.5m in the summer. The defender – who plays for Zebra Turin in the game due to Juve's exclusive deal with PES – won't come cheap, unsurprisingly: £34.6m up front and then a staggering £201,400 every single week.

But if you are wanting to save your pennies, Serie A rivals Inter have Bastoni – and they only value him at £13m with £9,200 wages. The Italian is only 20 but has tons of potential to become one of the world's best on the game.


Rayan Ait-Nouri, Noah Katterbach, Luca Pellegrini

You may not have heard of Ait-Nouri just yet – but if you Ait a few years you probably will… Beat the crowds and sweep up the 18-year-old French left-back from Angers for £1m and £4,000 a week. Bargain.

Katterbach was born in April 2001 and joined FC Koln's Under-8s before progressing through the ranks to make his first-team debut last October. At £3.7m and £1,700, he's another cheap option.

Finally is Pellegrini – no, not one of the three sons of the former Manchester City and West Ham boss Manuel. The youngster turned 21 in March and signed for 'Zebra Turin' last summer from Roma before rejoining Cagliari on loan. At £6.9m and £30,600, he is a fair bit more than the other left-backs but there is a reason the Italian champions snapped him up early.


Florentino Luis, Declan Rice, Sandro Tonali

Luis signed for Benfica way back in 2010 and is now starting to transform that potential into the real deal. He turned 20 in August but already had his league and European debuts under his belt, coming on for his first senior appearance in a 10-0 thumping. At just £9.2m and £5,000 a week, this looks to be a real steal.

Rice could leave his employers in a sticky situation if West Ham get fried and go down at the end of the season. But on FM, by offering the Hammers £21.8m and Rice £30,000 a week, you can make the 20-year-old the man to control your midfield for seasons to come.

Tonali offers another alternative. The Brescia man, still only 19, may be just £7.7m and after £7,700 a week but don't be fooled: this guy is a serious talent. Likened to a young Andrea Pirlo, he is well on his way to 100 club appearances and made his senior international debut under Roberto Mancici last year.


Sergio Gomez, Eduardo Camavinga, Ryan Gravenberch

With eight years in La Masia and then two at Borussia Dortmund by the age of 19, Gomez must be doing something right – and is arguably at the best place to develop his talent. But if you want him to join your club on FM, it shouldn't take too much persuading. The centre mid starts as an 18-year-old worth just £2.1m and demanding £13,200 in wages. Snap him up. Do it.

Camavinga is the second-youngest player in this list, starting the game at the tender age of 16. But signing him as soon as possible looks to be a wise move – already valued at £3.53m and on a weekly salary of £10,240, the French U21 international is on Zinedine Zidane's radar.

Ajax have produced their fair share of talented players over the years and Gravenberch could well be the next, surpassing Clarence Seedorf's record as the youngest player to appear in the Eredivisie for the Amsterdam club at 16 years and 130n days. He's 17 on the game until May 2020 and can be bought for just £3.3m on £1,500 a week.


Joao Felix, Kai Havertz, Phil Foden

We probably can't really call Felix an unearthed gem… he did sign for Atletico Madrid for an eye-watering £112m for crying out loud! FM haven't valued the Portuguese playmaker, 20 last November, as highly though – £28.47m to be precise with £161,850-a-week wages to go with it.

Havertz is on plenty of scouting radars across Europe with Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all very keen on the German star. He's 20 on the game but you must be willing to stump up £34.4m and £86,320 a week for the Bayer Leverkusen man.

Foden may leave his teens in May 2020 but already has two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cup triumphs to his name – oh, and he was player of the tournament as England won the 2017 U17 World Cup. His talent is freakish and he is destined for big things in the game – both in real life and on the computer. At £34.58m and £30,000 a week, that could prove to be well worth the investment.


Kylian Mbappe, Emanuel Vignato, Antony

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. Yes, Kylian Mbappe. World Cup winner and quite possibly the most valuable player in the world already. If money is no problem, though (kind of ruins the game, though, right?), then you may as well go all out and try and convince PSG to sell the star who turned 21 in December. The bad news is he is worth at least £86m – if not more. Even worse… his £378,400-a-week wages. Wow.

From one extreme to the other and Vignato, who starts the game aged 18, is being tipped by many for great things as well. The Bologna star switched allegiances from Brazil to Italy and for a £900,000 fee and £1,500 a week, he could switch allegiances to your team on FM.

Antony turned 20 in January but is definitely Brazilian. In his first nine appearances for the U23s, he scored five. The wide man plays for Sao Paulo but for £5.3m and £9,000 per week he could be yours.


Pedri, Jadon Sancho, Rodrygo

No, not the veteran Chelsea winger. That's Pedro. This is Pedri. Remember the name. He is the youngest player on this list and starts the game as a fresh-faced 16-year-old at Barcelona. Give it a few years, though, and you'll regret not snapping him up for his £800,000 market value for £4,600 a week.

You really have had your head buried in the sand if you haven't heard of Sancho – seriously, England's future could rest on this unreal talent's shoulders soon. He turned 20 in March but is already one of Bundesliga's standout players. There aren't many better than the ex-Manchester City youngster and for £43.5m with a salary of £99,400 per week, that might be enough to convince him to join.

Vinicius Junior was supposed to be the next best thing at Real Madrid but he has already been overtaken by his fellow Brazilian teenager Rodrygo – on FM Scout's list at least. The winger is worth £6m and on £71,100 at the start of the game so is certainly a very affordable option.


Mason Greenwood, Fiete Arp, Fabio Silva

Greenwood turned 18 in October and has been smashing in the goals since being given his break in the Manchester United side by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this term. But if you want to Mas him your own, he's worth a big £19.98m in transfer value… but has wages of just £3,500.

If you want score goals to your Arp's content, you could certainly do worse than the Bayern Munich striker who turned 20 in January. He may be only be worth £2.9m – his issues will be the major stumbling block because he's already on £86,320 a week.

Last but by no means least, is young Silva. He turns 17 a fortnight into the new game in the summer of 2019 after rejoining Porto from rivals Benfica. At 6ft 1in he is a real presence in the attacking box and will no doubt score plenty for your team. Get him early doors and he will still be worth just £1.44m and is on… wait for it… just £60 per week!

Source: Read Full Article

My wife used to sleep around but she has never once initiated sex with me – The Sun

DEAR DEIDRE: BEFORE we met my wife slept around, but in our 26 years of marriage she has never once initiated sex.

I find it so hurtful and it makes me feel worthless. I’m thinking of leaving.

Get in touch with Deidre today

Got a problem?

My team and I are working safely from home but we are here to help you as always.

Send an email to [email protected]

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter @deardeidre.

We met when we were in our early twenties. She had a reputation then for being “loose” but that didn’t bother me as she was warm and loving.

Now our kids have left home I thought we’d start having more fun but she never says she wants sex with me. It’s always down to me to make the first move.

DEIDRE SAYS: Her early sexual partners probably had little do to with longing for sex and more with looking for love.

She’s found that with you so stop feeling threatened and look at the strengths of what you share inside and outside the bedroom.

If your sex life feels a bit lacklustre, try the ideas in my e-leaflet 50 Ways To Add Fun To Sex.

Source: Read Full Article

We Just Got a Rare Glimpse of Kate Middleton's Home Office

Like others across the U.K. and the world, Kate Middleton is working from home amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While Prince Charles recovers in Scotland after testing positive for the virus, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are doing their part to model good social distancing behavior from their own home offices.

On March 28, Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a rare glimpse into their living quarters via an Instagram post urging followers to prioritize their mental health in these uncertain times. "Self-isolation and social distancing can pose huge challenges to our mental health—in recent weeks The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in regular contact with organisations and patronages to understand the issues they are facing during this difficult time," the caption read.

View this post on Instagram

Self-isolation and social distancing can pose huge challenges to our mental health — in recent weeks The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in regular contact with organisations and patronages to understand the issues they are facing during this difficult time. Last week ☎️ The Duke spoke to @mindcharity CEO Paul Farmer, and The Duchess spoke to Catherine Roche, CEO of @_place2be. Today Public Health England has published new guidance to help support people during the COVID-19 outbreak, and updated its world-leading Every Mind Matters platform, with specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the outbreak; take a look at our Story or visit the link in our bio 📱 to find out more. Speaking about the new guidance, The Duke and Duchess said: • “It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental well-being. • By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead”. • The Government has also announced a grant for @MindCharity to help fund their services for people struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

Of course, making sure people have the support they need right now is hugely important, but I'm not going to lie…it's also pretty thrilling to get a look inside their digs (check out William's printer)! The images may have been taken on the same day Middleton and William visited NHS first responders, as the duchess is wearing the same gorgeous dusty rose suit (no sweatpants and old hoodie moments for these two, it seems).

Let's be honest, Middleton's home office setup is just a wee bit fancier than ours. Still, we love the classic vibe she has going on, especially the book collection. A royal fan pointed out that the novels appear to be Penguin Classics clothbound editions and include titles like A Christmas Carol, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, and The Odyssey. Before the pandemic, the duchess was spotted out in Ireland shopping for books, so at least we know she's got plenty of reading material lying around.

The English major in me is highly impressed—and maybe this will be just the thing to inspire a little redecorating as we face down another week of isolation.

Source: Read Full Article

Inside Kim Kardashian West and Serena Williams' Low-Key Friendship

Many celebrity friendships have come out of Hollywood over the years.

While it’s common for people who are always in the spotlight to strike close bonds with fellow A-listers, lately, unexpected celebrity friendships have been coming out of the woodwork.

From Martha Stewart’s surprisingly chummy friendship with Snoop Dogg to Kevin Hart’s bromance with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Hollywood has definitely been at the center of many of the industries’ unlikeliest pairs.

But two people we would never have expected to strike up an extremely close bond with one another are Kim Kardashian West and Serena Williams. So how did these two celebs meet, and are they still close friends today?

Kardashian West and Williams have been friends since 2002

Kardashian West may have a ton of celebrity acquaintances she often rubs elbows with while attending star-studded events, but there are only a few A-listers the reality star considers to be her closest friends.

Aside from KKW mogul’s famous sisters — who she considers to be her besties — and her BFF La La Anthony, Kardashian West is also close pals with professional tennis player Serena Williams and has been for years.

So how exactly did Kardashian and Williams come to be the best of friends they are today?

Well, it turns out that the pair became friends while the reality star was working for the tennis champion.

Long before Kardashian became a megastar; she was employed by the rich and famous, organizing and cleaning out different celebrities’ closets.

One of her bosses happened to be Williams, and though their relationship most likely started out professional, it soon morphed into a bond that has proven to be unbreakable.

Though the A-listers rarely flaunt their friendship, there have been times they’ve given people a glimpse into their special bond, which still takes some by surprise.

The pair’s friendship just works

Although Williams and Kardashian West come from two different worlds, they actually have a lot more in common than many people would think.

In addition to being two of the most famous celebrities in the entertainment industry, they’ve both achieved a larger than life status all on their own.

Since they both know what it’s like to put in work to achieve their dreams, the celebs most likely bonded over that during the early days of their friendship.

The stars also endured much of their young adult lives in the public eye, which not many people can say they’ve done.

While there are a few things these stars have in common, they continue to be polar opposites in life. But instead of letting that hinder their friendship, their differences only made them closer.

“I wish people could see her [Williams] silly side,” Kardashian West shared with Vogue back in 2017. “She is obsessed with karaoke, which personally is my biggest fear in life. I remember a dinner in San Francisco before a DNC fund-raiser. Serena sang, Obama sang, Kanye sang. It was legendary. She gives herself those moments—it’s how she recharges. Serena’s the girl you can call and say anything to. She’ll never judge you, and she’s never too busy for you. Oh, and she can keep any secret.”

Today, Williams and Kardashian West are still good friends and often get together for playdates with their kids and for Hollywood events.

While they continue to keep their friendshipon the down-low, it definitely seems like these two are going to remain friends for many years to come.

Source: Read Full Article

Top five books to help restore calm

Now is the perfect time to catch up on the best books, films, television shows and podcasts you might have missed. Here are five books that might bring a bit of calm to your day.

Jill Stark’s book might provide the toolkit you need to get through these tough times.

The School of Life
This beautifully-written compendium boasts some of the best life advice you'll ever receive.

Dr Steve Ellen and Catherine Deveny
Essential reading for those struggling – or caring for someone – with mental illness.

When You're Not OK
Jill Stark
Quick-reference toolkit offering first aid for body, mind and soul.

Fast Asleep
Dr Michael Mosley
Getting a good night's rest is more important than ever.

The Consolations of Philosophy
Alain de Botton
A classic, and rightly so. Repeat readings are always rewarded.

Source: Read Full Article

I'm self-isolating with someone I've only been dating for 2 months — here's everything I've learned so far

Business Insider

  • I've been self-isolating for the past two weeks with someone I began dating in late January as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Jake and I decided to live together at his apartment when it became clear the only other option would be to not see each other at all for the foreseeable future, since we live on opposite sides of London.
  • While there are some downsides, such as not being able to go on dates like a regular new couple, overall it has brought us closer together and improved our relationship.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you had told me at the start of this year that I would soon be living in quarantine with a guy I had only known for two months due to a pandemic that had left the UK (and many other parts of the world) on lockdown, well, I wouldn't have believed you.

But that's somehow where I have found myself, after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson closed all bars and restaurants and introduced strict social distancing measures to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Living in London means I can now only leave the house in "exceptional circumstances," like buying essential food or exercising (which we can only do once a day), and we can no longer go outside in groups of more than two.

Jake and I went on our first date in late January after matching on Tinder the week before, and while we knew we were serious about each other pretty early on, we had no intention of rushing things. But the increasingly strict coronavirus measures have forced us to speed things up a lot — namely, moving in together for the foreseeable future. 

He lives in west London and I live an hour-long tube ride away in east London. As the pandemic worsened and stricter social distancing rules were introduced, it just wasn't feasible (or safe) for either of us to keep commuting such a long distance. So we decided to self-isolate together at his place two weeks ago.

Things would have been completely different in the 'real' world

I've never lived with a partner before (and certainly had zero intention of doing so with someone I'd only been dating for two months), but faced with the prospect of either living together or not being able to see each other at all for weeks or even months, the choice was obvious, even for such a new relationship.

It's also worth noting that our relationship is so new that I had to specifically take a photo of us for this story, since none existed before now.

Of course, it wasn't an ideal situation, and we had some concerns at the start — were we moving too fast?

Well, yes, but there wasn't a whole lot we could do about that one.

Would we get sick of each other? Would we even still like each other once the mystery that comes with a new relationship (i.e. only presenting the very best version of yourself) had disappeared?

Thankfully, it turns out that I needn't have worried about any of those things. 

We've learned a lot about each other in a very short space of time

I've discovered that Jake is a great cook, always takes the trash out, and never complains about my inability to do either of those things.

We also have a lot of fun together given the circumstances — having to stay indoors about 98% of the time means movie nights, drinking wine on the couch, and going for walks together are about the extent of what we can do on dates these days. 

Sometimes I feel a little sad that we're missing out on doing all the regular things new couples get to do — and that we used to — like getting dressed up and going out for dinner together, or the excitement of planning the next time we get to see each other.

But it's also been nice to go through such a strange time together instead of alone, and we've gotten to know each other a lot better in the space of a couple of months than we ever would have in the real world.

We're also both lucky that we work in digital media and can easily work from home — but I never envisioned when we first met in a bar on a Saturday evening in east London two months ago that we would now be working two feet apart in his apartment, discussing the weekly grocery list, and doing our laundry together. 

Working from home together in such a small space has taken some getting used to.
Kiara Keane/Insider

We're quickly getting used to our new way of dating

We're both very independent, but that becomes tricky when you're living and working together with a new partner in a small one-bedroom apartment.

We've gone from seeing each other a couple of times a week to spending all day, every day together, and our "time apart" now usually consists of one of us walking to the store to buy groceries while the other one stays at home. 

Because of that, we've had to make a conscious effort to not skip straight to the "acting like an old married couple" phase — some things like chatting about laundry and groceries are obviously unavoidable, but we try to plan fun activities like having drinks with our friends over Zoom or Google Hangouts, or making a nice dinner together as much as we can. 

It's obviously not how I would have chosen for things to play out for us, but I've really enjoyed living together these past few weeks given the incredibly uncertain times we're all facing.

It's definitely brought us closer together, too — but I'm still looking forward to the next time we can actually go out to the pub together, like the good old days of two months ago.

Source: Read Full Article