Pandemic Stories | 2020 | England’s First Lockdown

The Government Lockdown Rules Stopped Me Seeing My Fiancée During the Pandemic in 2020

As two widowed parents living apart, we were not allowed to go near each other


Notes saying Stay Home, Be Safe, Keep Your Distance, Don’t Go Out!
Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Living apart

During the last 9 years, there have been numerous times when my “living apart together” relationship has not been officially recognised.

My car breakdown service covers a spouse/partner at no extra cost — but you both have to live at the same address.

So for all the years when Stephanie, my fiancée, used my second car, I had to pay for a separate breakdown service. It wasn’t a large amount, but it was annoying.

Car insurance was another example. When I added Stephanie as a named driver, they asked how we were related. But the only suitable choice in their list was “not related”.

After years of those kinds of experiences, I learned to stop worrying about other people’s opinions.

But I was not ready for how it would affect us in 2020.

First lockdown

Here in England, we went into national lockdown on the evening of 23 March 2020 — the day after Mother’s Day. This was just a few days after pubs and restaurants were ordered to close on 20 March.

From then on, we were only allowed out for a very limited number of purposes, such as medical appointments and grocery shopping.

That meant Stephanie was isolated in her house with her two children, and I was isolated in my house with my two children.

It was so frustrating!

If we had previously bought a larger house, it would not have broken any rules for the six of us to be together. But our “distributed” relationship meant we could not have any physical contact whatsoever.

Surprise gifts

In April, on day 9 of lockdown, a package arrived at my house. It was some Easter chocolate from Stephanie, with a lovely card telling me how much she missed me. It made me miss her even more.



Alan (AJ) Autistic Widower

Former electronics engineer & programmer in England, 50-something with a dry sense of humour. Sharing stories & opinions. Tip jar: