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Genevive Chamblee: Finding Love in 2020
Friday, October 23rd, 2020

I know for many it’s spooky season, and most people are discussing horror and scary topics for Halloween. But honestly, hasn’t 2020 been scary enough without adding vampires, werewolves, and zombies to the mix? I mean, we’ve already had murder hornets, land hurricanes, and aliens or whatnot. Civil unrest lurks around every corner. Going to the grocery store is like entering a realm in The Matrix and trying to avoid Agent Smith, and staying at home feels like being trapped in Alcatraz.

Most of the world will agree that 2020 has not been phenomenal, and the majority of people have had their world’s thrown upside down in warp speed in a not so pleasant way. In fact, this year has left many people anxious and depressed. I believe one of the hardest adjustments that needed to be made was remaining at home mandates. For persons with families, remaining at home may not have been as lonely of an experience as persons who live alone. Even for extreme introverts who work from home, live alone, and value their privacy, not being able to go places likely dampened their mood, too. It’s like being a kid and being told not to touch something which makes the forbidden item even more desirable. And while it is easy to point out all the negative, it is more important to locate the good. When given lemons, make lemon drop martinis. (BTW, if you haven’t tried a lemon drop martini, it really should be on everyone’s bucket list in my opinion. But that’s not the point of this post.)

Since the pandemic began, I found myself watching less television. I would’ve thought my viewing would have increased. However, I found that I quickly ran out of material for binge-watching. But I did run across an interesting movie (unfortunately, I do not know the name of it because I didn’t catch it from the beginning) that was apparently filmed during the pandemic. It revolved around several couples coping with the stay-at-home city ordinances and how it affected their relationships. Well, that was the Hollywood (or wherever it was filmed) version, and it caused me to consider how people were coping with dating in the real world. So, I began doing some small-town investigation with my merry band of hobo friends, colleagues, and associates.

While dating during a pandemic certainly has its challenges, there are positives to be mentioned.

  • “I don’t know” is a thing of the past. Let me illustrate this with an example I’m sure most can relate to. Imagine spending the day with a group of your closest friends. It’s dinner time, and you’re all hungry. You ask the others what they want to eat. It’s a round of “I don’t care,” “it doesn’t matter,” “anything,” and “I don’t know.” Therefore, you throw out some suggestions. Friend One doesn’t like food X, and Friend Two got food poisoning the last time he/she was at Restaurant A. Friend Three is vegan and won’t eat at Restaurant B because all their dishes have meat or meat products. Restaurant C is too far out of the way for Friend Four who is driving, and no one wants to go to Restaurant D because it doesn’t have a bar. This one is too expensive. That one has bad seating. And the list goes on. After an hour of debate and frustration, your group ends up going to the first restaurant suggested. The pandemic restrictions reduced the number of options which simplified a lot of decision making.
  • Creative Planning. Traditional dates of going out allows the environment to do a lot of the work. For example, it’s pretty difficult mucking up a date at an amusement park (although I’m sure it’s possible). One gets on the rides, eat greasy foods, and play rigged games that they can never win. They aren’t inventing the fun. Rather, they are enjoying the environment that has been created for them. The best example I can give one that reflects on my childhood. Growing up, my parents would send me outside to play. This required me to invent ways to entertain myself. I looked around me and found something to do. That might have been skipping rocks across the bayou or catching crawdads. Or maybe it was braiding blades of grass into necklaces and bracelets. Any activity that I engaged in, I created. It wasn’t waiting for me. The pandemic is causing people to invent virtual dates. For example, some people set up cameras in their kitchens and cook a meal together. Others watch the same movie from their individual homes while Facetiming.
  • Saving money. Dates can be expensive, but not most pandemic dates. Many people dress up and sit in front of their computers for dates. During this time, for many, every penny saved is important. One does not need to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Some of the best dates are ones that cost zero bucks.
  • Being comfortable in one’s own skin. Speaking of getting dressed up, another trend that seemed to come out of the pandemic is the enjoyment of getting dressed up for something. Many people spent weeks wearing nothing but pajamas or joggers. Men gave themselves haircuts. Women didn’t bother with makeup. Having a date gave people reason to gussy up. But even when stay-at-home restrictions were lifted, many people continued to embrace this new sense of “naturalism.” That confidence comes out in dating. People aren’t putting on as many airs. It’s an “accept me as I am” attitude, which is beautiful because it means people are showing their authentic selves.
  • Improved communication. Virtual dates are all about communication. There isn’t anything there to distract. But it’s more than that. In this current environment, more people are finding their voice. People who have been reluctant to speak what they feel are more open. A colleague was discussing her dating experience. She has a tendency to not say anything when a man hurts her feelings, and she has put up with a lot in the past. The last man she dated ghosted her after their first sleepover. She texted him a couple of times before she realized what was happening. Previously, she would’ve spent weeks crying over it and wondering what she had done wrong. This time, she phoned him and told him that she deserved better than not having an answer to what had gone wrong with the relationship. After that, she seemed to get over the relationship a lot faster than previous ones. Another friend stated how the pandemic has made him more aware of what he’s looking for in a relationship. He stated that dating shouldn’t be an interview, but he knows which questions are important for him to ask early to determine if he wants to continue dating. He stated that during the pandemic he has gained a deeper understanding of himself and his part in his previous failed relationships. He is using this information to better his future dating experiences.
  • Beyond skin deep. I find this to be funny, but so many people have said this to me I had to include it. “Everyone looks the same,” one friend said to me. “They must have a personality because I don’t know what they look like beneath the masks.” A male associate stated that, prior to the pandemic, he placed a higher weight on physical beauty. “Eyes attracted me, but now it’s ears.” The reason this made me chuckle is because I have always had the Randy Travis’ Forever and Ever, Amen physical beauty fades; love shouldn’t. I think sometimes people fear aging, not because they fear nearing the end of life but because they fear being unloved. They fear, once their youth is gone, so is their value and relevance. Well, if beauty is all that one has to offer, that’s scary. But apparently, it takes a pandemic forcing people to cover up with masks for this to resonate for some people.
  • “I’m ready.” I think I have heard this from more male companions than female companions. It’s the realization that they have reached a point where they are finally ready to settle down with someone and make a commitment. A friend who was an avowed bachelor stated that the pandemic made him aware he had an empty space in his life. When he was able to go out with friends, he did not see vacant spots in his life. However, being alone in his home and seeing his friends in video chat with their families hit him in a different way. “My job shut down, and my night life dried up when all the local establishments closed. I would call my friends, and they would all be busy doing something with their families, or they would send me funny videos of them doing something goofy they’d do as a group. And I’d be alone for days with no real interaction. I began jogging in my neighborhood just so I could have human contact from six-feet away. I’m not saying I’m running to the altar tomorrow, but I will start taking relationships more seriously.”
  • Time management. A divorced friend stated that she had to relearn how to manage her time. She spent the days at home in Zoom meetings and helping her children with virtual school. She still had her daily household duties to tend. When it came to dating, she wasn’t leaving her children with a sitter to go out for the evening. “He had to see my dirty house and kids yelling in the background from the other room. He got a real view of what my life was like and an idea if he wanted to stick around and be a part of the craziness. It would make me so anxious,” she said. She continued with, “But I also had to learn to get my act together so that I would have my kids in bed and house cleaned before my dates. I began making schedules of when chores were to be done and by whom. I color coded things and used containers to organize my closets and shelves. I designed a homework area and enforced bedtimes. Doing these things not only helped simplify my life but made dating easier as well.”

That’s all I have. How has your pandemic experience been? Have you found any of these items to be true? What did you agree or disagree with? Let me know your thoughts and comments below. If you like this type content consider giving this post a like and follow.

And also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my sports romance Locker Room Love series.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him. Grab your copy of Ice Gladiators at or

Missed the first two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit

Defending the Net can be ordered at Crossing the line could cost the game.

Locker Room Love is a steamy standalone gay romance/ MM romance series revolving around professional hockey players. Set primarily in the Cajun and Creole bayous of south Louisiana, these love stories have a diverse cast of characters. These sexy athletes are discovering their own voice and the best romance of their lives, even if that isn’t their intention. Find tales of friends to lovers, enemies to loves, billionaires, bad boys, forbidden romance, first times, gay for you, and more. These alpha males are guaranteed to work up a sweat and melt the ice.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays (with bonus posts sometimes on Mondays), and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. I discuss all things Creole, Cajun, recipes, trivia, psychology, mental health, self-help, beauty, writing tips and, of course, romance. There’s a little something for everyone.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Keep safe.

Genevive Chamblee: Is reality television altering the way people think about or view romance?
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Is reality television altering the way people think about or view romance?

Today’s post starts with a question that may have a frightening answer—at least, for me it may. Before I dive headfirst into this abyss of a rabbit blackhole, let me begin with a brief explanation of what brought this question to mind. Throughout the week, I’m busy with work, but on Sunday evenings, I have some time to relax. It is then that I enjoy engorging my mind on junk tv that doesn’t require me to think too much to get a good chuckle. Several years ago, my television watching began to change—first out of curiosity, then out of choice, and then because out of limited choice. The cable company changed and affordable cable came in a reduced package. Initially, I began watching reality tv to see what it was all about. What was the hype? I enjoyed the elimination challenge shows, the ones where individuals were given some outrageous (but accomplishable) task that needed to be solved by the end of short deadlines, the most. At the time, there still was a variety of sitcoms and dramas. But that began to change. Reality tv went from a novelty to the norm, with no genre being left unscathed until they saturated daytime and prime time.

Not that reality tv was ever a reality, I did enjoy that some elements seemed unscripted and genuine. I felt that I was gaining a sneak peek in someone else’s more exciting life. But the more I watched, the more draining and depressing they felt. Then one day, it dawned on me, this “reality” stuff is all (or the majority) of what millennials may know and respond and what older generations are being forced to adapt to.

I’m about to reveal my age when I say this next because I truly feel old now. I remember when computer dating held a stigma. Now, it’s the status quo. Young physically flawless women are lined on the tv in droves to compete for the affection of a single man and are destroyed to tears after an episode or two when he does not pick them from the liter. Are they truly convinced they are in love? And why would a woman do this? I asked a female friend this who pointed out something startling. She asked me if I’d been to any bars of clubs lately. My answer was no. Then, she asked me why. My jaw dropped as I began answering. In this area where I was sitting, there are no bars. The closest thing to a bar is a restaurant (e.g., Buffalo Wild Wings or Applebee’s) that serves alcohol. A group may go there just for drinks, but more likely, people go mainly for the food. As far as clubs, there are a few, but they are all geared towards the “don’t know I’m not twenty anymore” crowd. What I mean is the target audience is the local college scene. Who shows up are pervs and cougars hoping to pounce on young, tender, inexperienced meat and mothers squeezed into their teenage daughter’s clothes? Fights are almost a constant, and as a result, many of the venues look like Harpo’s place in The Color Purple. Mostly, the college students do not go there, preferring private house parties or fraternity/sorority soirees. However, even if they wanted to go clubbing, many could not afford the jacked-up admission fee that does not include the cost of drinks.

The business professional types largely stay at home, as in the Bible Belt, it is looked upon negatively to be seen in any establishment that serves alcohol, and many surrounding counties are dry. Their recreational excursions revolve around church events. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking church functions. However, the old adage, “meet a nice boy in church” appears mythical. Everyone in church is already coupled-up.

That leaves malls and grocery stores for meeting people. Gone are those days, too. Malls are the graveyards of dying retailers with the few that remain open having few venues and limited stock. It is a sad state that more people are not invested in keeping brick and mortars around and pumping breath into local communities. Let me stop and say that I am a huge supporter of mom and pop stores and buying local. I have been heavily criticized for my position with some citing it as being political. I see it as residents being able to support their families and a check and balance system against blatant monopolies. I do not view anything political about a person wanting to put food on the table, a roof over their head, and non-designer clothes on their backs. If this view upsets people, I do not make any apologies about holding it, but mom and pop stores are one of the cornerstones of this country, which appear to be fading out of existence. In my teen years, malls were booming and place for anyone who was anybody to be on the weekends. But a trip to the mall here is a very different experience.

Instead of stylish display windows, they are covered with paper. An occasional cellphone chime has replaced constant chatter, footsteps, and speaker music. Kiosks have been replaced by vending machines. One would have better luck panning for gold than finding a mate in a mall in this area. Outlet malls once were the diamonds. Now, even those are closing.

The state of grocery stores is similar. Few “grocers” are opened. Most are large chain supermarkets or mega department stores that sell food. Patrons who frequent them are nose-deep in text messaging and are interested in getting out as quickly as possible. Chitchat detains them, and they don’t like that. They are annoyed by the crowds, waits in line, and having to self-check.

In my desperate attempt to think of some hub for meeting, I considered parks, spas, and gyms. Well, there are no spas, so I can cross that off immediately. Gyms are a beast of a different nature. There are basically two kinds in the area—male and female. I don’t think it’s the owners’ intention that they are that way, though. I know that is not how they are advertised. However, if you look into the windows, it rare to see mixed crowds.

There are several parks, but they are all small. The largest one is surrounded by a small walk track (eight laps equals a mile). It gets a lot of traffic for all ages. However, most walkers have earbuds stuffed in their ears as they exercise, likely to drown out the screaming kids that dart across the path on the way to the swings. The thing about the parks is they seem to be all or nothing. Either they are crowded with barely enough room for people to exercise or desolate. There’s not much seating, and the park is divided into three sections. One section has no parking and no paths. The landscape is very uneven and few people go there.

Even when there are city-sponsored events, that area is unused, except for parking. The largest section has a sprinkle of benches and has what is called an “amphitheater” that runs along the outskirt. Even the newly developed dog park is utilized. Only two parks have lights. The first park is used for little league soccer. Those lights are only turned on for games. The other park, the largest one—the one with the three sections, only has one area with lights. In short, unless there is a hosted event, the park is not ideal for meeting new people. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone here claimed to have met their significant other at one of these parks.

After dissecting my current living area, it became clear to me: I’m not in Kansas (or in my case, Louisiana) anymore. My investigative nose got a bug, and I began to question how people found spouses/partners here. What I quickly learned is that most couples are natives to the area, meaning they’ve always known each other, or, at least, have known each other since grade school. A few stated that they met their love interest in college (and there are several colleges nearby) and have been married for years or they are currently enrolled in college. The single scene for adults really does not exist.

But wait. I bet you’re thinking about dating apps. Hmm. I remember when those used to be stereotyped. Now, they’re the norm. But even those are a letdown. In small regions, there are few compatible matches in close proximity. A potential love connection may be a hundred miles away, a.k.a., long-distance relationship.

And that leads to reality tv for people to get their romantic fix. Watching these as the only examples of romance, one begins to normalize it as dating reality. Patience is thrown out with the bathtub, baby, and all the diapers. Insta-love is the belief du jour. Actually, it’s not even insta-love. Forget dinner and a movie or even the three-date rule. There’s one reality tv program that participants meet each other at the altar (or wherever) seconds before getting married. Women wait in droves to get selected as the chosen one to be wined and dined on frozen television dinners by a pool. Not to knock anyone’s hustle, but what real woman (or man for that matter) would put up with that. Well, apparently a lot. However, it is being exposed frequently that many of the persons on reality tv are actors with scripts, which is fine. Or it would be fine. But how about calling a spade a spade as the old folks say? Instead of calling it reality tv where viewers expect some portions of dialogue and circumstances to be a quarter of a centimeter true, say it’s a drama, sitcom, or some work of fiction.

I know I never expected reality television to be “real,” but on some of these “dating” shows, I did hold out hope that what I was seeing was true love—that maybe the situation or setting may have been manipulated but the feelings were real. Now, even my faith in that is shook, as some networks are brassily supporting cheating and adulty. Lies and deceptions are being upheld as reality standards that should be accepted by some networks. Now, I say some and not all. And I’m not pinpointing or singling out any one particular television production.

In all fairness, anyone watching television should not be using television as their only source for a moral compass. However, it does cause one to wonder with the seeming evaporation of romance in many smaller communities and the use of the word “reality”, how are people defining romance?

What are your thoughts on romance? Do you feel that the definition of romance is changing? What do you think is romantic? Have your thoughts of romance changed? I’d like to hear your opinions. Please leave a comment and let me know your opinion. Also, let me know if you like this type of content and would like to see more of these kinds of posts.


Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to or to Amazon at

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page ( along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click and signup today.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.