COVID-19 has shattered a lot of lives, livelihoods and relationships. It’s also mended a few. When pursuit of the new becomes impossible, why not return to the old? That’s what a lot of broken couples are doing these days, says Spa! (Nov 3) – getting back together again.
Why should that be? A survey the magazine conducted of 100 people in that situation shows 47 answering, “Because getting in touch is easy.” You have the contact information; you phone or dash off a note: “Are you okay?” – and it takes off from there; not always, but sometimes. The second most frequent answer, given by 43 (multiple answers are permitted), is, “Because I wanted to have sex with someone.”
“Fumiya Kitsuki” (a pseudonym) is a 36-year-old systems engineer. He and his ex-girlfriend split up a year ago and hadn’t spoken since. Then one night she called: “How are you?” They made small talk, and then she admitted she had a problem. She was teleworking from home on an office computer, which didn’t seem to function properly. Could he help?
“Well,” he said, “not over the phone…”
“Could you come over?”
The problem was a minor one. Rather enjoying the situation, he made the adjustments take longer than necessary. The job done, she brought out some wine: “Here’s to you!” Then: “It’s late, you may as well stay over.”
“We now see each other once a week,” Kitsuki tells Spa!. For now, he says, there’s no talk of resuming their former relationship. It may happen, it may not.
“Yuichi Ozawa” is a 38-year-old delivery truck driver. His line of work is one of the few that are thriving. The virus is stimulating online shopping, and delivery is nonstop. Ozawa and his wife divorced a year ago. They just weren’t getting along.
A failed marriage is no fun, but being alone is a cheerless solution, Ozawa found. You come home from an exhausting day’s work – he describes his employer as a “black company,” his boss as a “power harasser,” and his overtime work as forced and unpaid – to a dark empty house and a convenience store bento for dinner. There must be a better way – or maybe not, when the search for companionship is thwarted at every turn by a raging pandemic.
One night in April he found a note in his Line message app mail box – from his ex-wife. “Are you okay?” She, it turned out, was not. The man she was living with was “no good. Can you put me up tonight?” She came over in tears. “I felt an upsurge of affection for her,” Ozawa tells Spa!. She went back next day to her “no-good” lover, but came again, and soon the ex-couple were spending two or three nights a week together. “You seem much gentler now than you used to be,” she told him.
In summer her situation took a turn for the worse. She’d been doing temporary office work but lost her job. “Can I come back?”
Nothing has been settled, but events seem headed in that direction. “I love her again,” says Ozawa. “I want to help her financially. I’m sick of living alone. If we can help each other, getting back together again may not be a bad choice.”© Japan Today