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Rachel Barber, 38, found herself in that very scenario in March last year, forced to scramble back from travelling in New Zealand to her home she shared with ex David in London as Covid-19 forced borders across the world to close.
But things quickly changed for Rebecca, who was forced to navigate the dating scene while living with her ex - and after meeting the man of her dreams, Rebecca has gone from being a broken-hearted woman to excited expectant mother.
After a few months travelling around South East Asia and New Zealand, coronavirus cut Rebecca's sabbatical short, seeing the writer fly back to her home which she shared with her ex-boyfriend who she had been with for over five years previously. She was now prepared to spend the next few months living with her ex, with the pair agreeing to keep things civil while in lockdown.
But having gained a newfound confidence from her time away, Rebecca was ready to get back on the dating scene, and sampled the delights of online dating for the first time - going on dates with ex David sat next door.
"I wanted to keep my online dating quiet. While we had to live in the same place, I didn't want to create a bad atmosphere," she said.
"David and I had agreed there was no point going over why the relationship ended or getting into arguments, so we spent time doing normal things together - like having BBQs in the heatwave and watching Tiger King.
"As for the dating, I knew the odds were against me, starting over at my age.
"I had come to accept that I might not meet someone and start the family I'd always hoped for - and that was okay.
"But I didn't want to shut down all prospects, so two months into lockdown I signed up to dating apps for the first time in my life."
While Zoom chats and socially distanced park dates were the perfect introduction for Rebecca's foray into casual dating, by the summer, she decided to up the ante - and met 40-year-old Theo.
"When I first matched with Theo, we chatted for hours online. We had the same slightly odd sense of humour and a lot of shared experiences, the conversation felt natural," she said.
"I wasn't holding out much hope but when I hopped off my bike to meet him he looked like his pictures, hadn't lied about his height and had a warmth about him.
"We drank wine while swapping travelling tales."
Having since sold the flat she shared with David, Rebecca was living on her own again - with Theo then becoming her support bubble.
"We started things back up again slowly, mostly just sharing links to music we liked or funny memes," she explained.
"But at some point it switched and we started talking on a deeper level, sharing our vulnerabilities and fears. I spoke about my history of mental illness, and it never fazed him.
"We spent time at each other's places, made fancy dinners and drank cocktails. We even managed a weekend away in the New Forest when restrictions were briefly lifted."
From there, things moved quickly, with the pair moving in together in December after they had met each other's families on Zoom.
And in January, Rebecca discovered she was pregnant - something that her and Theo had discussed, but weren't expecting to happen so early on.
The baby is due in September, with friends and family thrilled for the happy couple.
"It was a surprise and a blessing," Rebecca said.
"After losing two babies in 2019 and thinking I may never have my own family, I feel incredibly lucky to have this second chance with someone special.
"I was upset the pandemic cut my travel dreams short, but it turned out to be the greatest gift."
Featured Image Credit: Jam Press
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