I realize I am super late with this post, so please forgive me.
We have all found ourselves navigating a strange world since March 2020. Although I’m trying really hard to focus on the positive and continue to live a life that closely resembles The Before Times, it’s been tough on a lot of us – and perhaps even Gary.
If you have survived – and perhaps thrived – with your Gary throughout the pandemic, congrats! But if Gary is now a thing of the past – or you’re thinking of making Gary a thing of the past – this blog’s for you.
It finally happened – after searching high and low (perhaps online or in line at the grocery store), you landed yourself a Gary. Everything was going swimmingly, and then BAM! – COVID.
Who was once the person you couldn’t stand to be without morphed into someone you couldn’t stand, period. Living in cramped quarters can do that. Or perhaps restrictions forced you to be apart, and Gary permanently faded from sight, both literally and figuratively.
As I’ve said in previous blog posts, you are not obligated to stay with Gary just because you found him. But before you land a new one, here are some things to consider.
The pandemic has made a lot of us rethink many aspects of our lives, including our romantic relationships. I’m not suggesting you should beg (I accidentally typed ‘bed’ instead of ‘beg’ at first, but realized afterwards both words could actually work) Gary to have him back by your side if you’ve split, nor should you stay with someone you don’t want to be with anymore. But before you slam the door, perhaps take a moment to remember why he was a Gary in the first place, and why he’s no longer part of the club. Is it him, or is it you? Hearts and thoughts they fade (thank you, Pearl Jam), but are you certain it’s that and not just pandemic frustration?
Which brings me to another important point. I know the pandemic has made many people re-evaluate their life and how they want to live it. Maybe you decided it was time to quit your 9-5 job and launch that podcast you’d been fantasizing about for years. Or perhaps you started cooking your way through COVID, moved to France, and became a famous chef. And along with these life-altering choices, Gary didn’t fit in anymore. And that’s OK. Gary doesn’t have to be forever. But pay attention to why Gary is no more. Is it because you’ve grown apart and your life paths don’t run parallel anymore? Or is it because you’re angry about the state of the world and it’s taking a heavy toll? If it’s the latter, now’s the time when Gary might be needed more than ever.
I don’t know what the divorce rate has been since the start of the pandemic, but I know many relationships have not fared well during this time. Maybe they were bad to begin with and quarantine only amplified that.
If he was a Gary in The Before Times, ask yourself what changed in the New World Order (side note: when the pandemic first became a thing, I wanted to buy a NWO shirt and not take it off until it was over. Glad I didn’t follow through on that. Can you imagine the permasmell?). If you decide the Gary ship has sailed, that’s perfectly fine. But if there’s even an iota of possibility things can work out? Try not to make a permanent decision over a temporary situation.
The Gary Club: you’re either IN or you’re OUT.