When the UK first went under lockdown on the 23rd of March, many of us weren't prepared for the ways in which our relationships might change irrevocably. Couples moved in hastily. Others lived apart. Some broke up. Others got closer. But now that lockdown is slowly easing in the UK – for now, at least – and single households are allowed to create a support bubble with another, separated couples across the UK are now coming together, physically rather than virtually, for the first time in months.
With that in mind, photographer Heather Glazzard spent the weekend biking round London taking pics of couples' first kiss since lockdown and asking them how it felt to finally be able to replace screen to screen contact with skin to skin.
CLARISSE AND AYOOLA
Clarisse: When we first saw each other, it felt like we had forgotten what each other looked like a bit and it was a bit surreal. Most of all, I’ve realised that being able to hug and physically be close brings me so much peace and serenity. I feel so excited that we can finally work on projects we talked about and planned during our time apart.
Ayoola: It's weird, because this is the longest we've been apart, so I had kinda forgotten little things she does. It's like going on a first date again – it bangs because you click so well. Can't stop slapping her ass too, lol.
OSCAR AND BRADLEY
Bradley: All I wanted to do is leave my tiny apartment and spend time with him, I would've taken anything other another FaceTime call. It's so cheesy to say but It honestly feels like I'm back where I belong, like I've found the missing link.
Oscar: We basically FaceTimed each other every night. It’s been the longest time that we’ve been apart since we basically spent everyday together before the quarantine.
TINA AND JACK
Tina: We tried new things together "apart" which helped us feel close. We got into running and yoga at the beginning of lockdown and have continued even as lockdown has eased. For me, our running and yoga improved alongside our lockdown relationship dynamics. It feels symbolic almost, and I think I’ll always think of us during lockdown when I run and practice yoga.
Jack: It was lovely seeing her during meet-ups. but it was hard not to hold her hand. We both knew the importance of maintaining the two metre distance. I think our chats during these socially distanced meet-ups kept me sane during the lockdown. It definitely gave me a sense of comfort and it’s always nice to see your partner’s face.
JAMIE AND SHAUN
Jamie and Shaun: In the time we weren’t together I think we really didn’t need to have that sort of constant communication going on. We tend to leave the phones out of the equation, so we have more to talk about when we reunite after the time apart. The time apart kind of let us have that independent space, to take a step back and appreciate the dynamic of what works well in our relationship and reminds me of why we started in the first place! You really feel heart-warmed to have that significant other by your side.
DAMIAN AND HAYTHAM
Damian: Being apart because of something we weren't in control of was extremely hard and trying. What has kept us going is that we consistently tried to be there and support each other whenever we can. It has really made me treasure any chance we can spend time with each other. Being with him really feels like a calm in the middle of a storm. I've always been a very physical person so just having that contact again means everything.
Haytham: To be physically together again is odd. It's almost like nothing changed but then again you haven't seen each other in months and there's a little awkwardness in holding or cuddling or kissing. The satisfaction of finally being able to affirm your love physically though is absolute bliss. It's the little things you miss the most, the casual hand holding or hair petting, that makes you realise how touch-starved you really are.
AMY AND SOPHIE
Amy and Sophie: Now we are physically back together again, it feels joyous, amazing, I can't believe it. The hairs on my arms are sticking up all the time. It's fantastic. Just can't describe it. It's like having a takeaway when you're starving and hungover. [Like] fish 'n' chips.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.