conscious coupling

Quarantine Is the New Cuffing Season for Celebrities

Photo: Shawn Mendes/Instagram, Broadimage/Shutterstock and Cassie Rudolph/Instagram

Ah, quarantine. Love is in the air — even if that air might be a little musty because we’ve been stuck inside for two weeks. While many celebrities have pivoted to livestreamed performances and surreal Instagram videos to keep our attention while social distancing, some have doubled down on a tried-and-true attention grab: being in a relationship. New love has blossomed, old love has grown stronger, hot boyfriends have reemerged and PR relationships haven’t been stopped yet. For celebrities, quarantine is officially the new cuffing season.

It started with a certain trendsetter named Ben Affleck. The single, possibly ready to mingle movie star was seen with Ana de Armas, our breakout Knives Out protagonist, on vacation in Cuba. They’d recently finished working together on upcoming thriller Deep Water. As we began to practice social distancing over the next few days, they inched closer together. “They are definitely dating,” a source told People before they even had a chance to leave Cuba. As Los Angeles County issued recommendations against nonessential travel, they were coming back from another trip to Costa Rica. Now safely back in L.A., they’ve been taking their quarantine walks like the rest of us — except for kissing in view of the paparazzi.

As the pandemic progressed, social distancing is bringing other current couples closer. Speaking of cursed couples who like to take walks, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello have been using the quarantine to strengthen their business partnership, strolling around Cabello’s home of Miami with empty coffee cups. And close to Affleck and de Armas in Huntington Beach, The Bachelor’s Cassie Randolph has been caring for Colton Underwood, who announced he’d tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20. Their coupledom has become inescapable between Instagram updates on Colton’s condition and Colton’s own promo for his memoir, out March 31.

But the new couples have been the true stars of social distancing. Ariana Grande began posting Instagram Stories of her quarantining with a mystery man, who TMZ confirmed was a familiar-looking real-estate agent Dalton Gomez. According to the outlet’s sources, the couple has been together for months, even if we’re just now hearing about it. And why now, of all times, you may ask? Well if you have a partner during a pandemic, you’re likely going to want to quarantine with them, and if you’re a celebrity who prolifically posts, you’re going to show us your new partner eventually. Look at Demi Lovato and Young & The Restless actor Max Ehrich, recently confirmed as a couple by Us Weekly after dating for only a few weeks. Shacking up with your significant other during quarantine will definitely fast-track your budding relationship and our notice of it, especially if you forget to pack enough clothes.

All of this has come on top of a usual flow of celebrity couple news. Michelle Williams and Thomas Kail were recently spotted wearing rings, per both Us Weekly and People, leaving us to wonder if the Fosse/Verdon star once again had a secret wedding. Lady Gaga hasn’t let us forget that she’s dating a tech entrepreneur (and neither has the New York Times). And Kristin Chenoweth’s appearance on the revived Rosie O’Donnell Show sent the internet into a frenzy as everyone rediscovered her hot boyfriend Josh Bryant, who she has indeed been dating since 2018. It’s nice to know not everything is changing.

To the celebrity couples doing their thing during these trying times: We see you. (Trust us.) I’d say to get a room, but it seems like you already have that covered.

Quarantine Is the New Cuffing Season for Celebrities