Pandemic Partner With Benefits

Pandemic Partner With Benefits

Lucy Caldwell may be stuck in quarantine, but she has her priorities straight. Once she’s out of lockdown, she isn’t taking any chances. Dating is fun, but safety comes first, and Lucy has a plan…

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I shift my attention from messaging to doomscrolling. Sarah may have a point. I mean, what happens after we’re out of quarantine? Nothing. That’s what happens. Finding someone decent to go out with was already tough BP—Before Pandemic. Solito is a small Florida town with a disturbingly small selection of eligible men. Nearby Fireton isn’t much better. And now, we’re 146 days into a pandemic. Times have changed. Obviously, my criteria for judging compatibility has to change as well. What I need is a conscientious man who takes his pandemics seriously but isn’t a psycho. Someone I can feel safe being around. And can kiss. And hug. And have crazy hot sex with. Someone who is just as concerned as I am about the whole world situation.

The ad next to the latest daily new cases count flashes: “Masker! The New Dating App for the New Normal.” Online dating apps always seem so sketchy, but this one promises “matches for socially-distanced singles.” Those apps have never been for me, but now? What do I have to lose? The app has to be better than waiting for a cute delivery guy to show up. And there’ll never be a better time to be honest about what I really want. I click.

The sign-up screen displays. I quickly create my profile and whip out an intro before I can overthink it.


Pandemic partner with benefits wanted. Must be mask fanatic, committed to social distancing, determined to restrict contact with people in general, online shopper, Instacart patron, willing to spray alcohol on deliveries. Quality of benefits must be exceptional. The perfect partner will be kind, have a sense of humor, and be willing to provide me with vast amounts of attention, as needed. A love of indoor games and creative approaches to avoiding lockdown boredom are major pluses. A negative test is required prior to any meet if online communications are mutually satisfactory. No emotional commitments. Arrangement ends when avoiding society is no longer the only rational choice.


I add a selfie of me wearing a mask and click the POST button.


About Payton Harlie            

Payton Harlie is a writer. Who knew? After a lifetime of other unrelated work involving computers and offices without windows, Payton discovered she loves writing happy endings. Especially when they happen later in life. Now, she spends her time crafting romances full of heat, heart, and a bit of grit.