Somerset simple life bonds Bex & Paul in lockdown love

Thursday, July 08th, 2021

Virtual dates and a shared love of life’s simple things sees Bex and Paul find love in a lockdown, after meeting on Muddy Matches.

‘…but you’ve been in a lockdown, how have you found love?’

If 80% muddy, Somerset-raised Bex had £1 for every time she’s heard this question since meeting her now boyfriend Paul in February this year, her plans to move in with her muddy match would be a whole lot closer to becoming reality.

It would, indeed, be one well fed piggy bank.

Truth is, whilst flocks of singletons have bemoaned their luck about lack of opportunity to date in a pandemic, the 40-something couple have made full use of video dinner dates and online chats to get to know each other thoroughly, and let their bond bloom, thoroughly. Virtually.  

In fact, such was their bonding through a screen that their first ‘real life meet’ was so mundane an occasion that the pair are reluctant to even consider it a ‘date’ as such.

And that’s just the way they want it.

“We decided to meet outside an Asda supermarket after I’d done my weekly grocery shop! How romantic” Bex quips. “Neither of us had dressed up for our first real life meet; we are both ‘what you see is what you get’. So, we went for a wander and sat socially distanced on a bench by the side of the canal.

“We chatted for ages about old Land Rovers, amongst other things.”

The pair, who first connected when Bex took the initiative to message after enjoying the humour in Paul’s Muddy Matches profile, didn’t feel the need to ‘try to impress’. The hard graft, to put it bluntly, had already been done, albeit remotely, whilst dating from a distance.

“It’s been more than possible to start a relationship during lockdown’ Bex tells us, preaching to the converted. “We took advantage of having been isolating to get to really know each other before we agreed to meet properly.

“We did quite a lot of video chats, and would try to plan on having our supper at the same time so we could have virtual “dinner dates” which ended up being fun and a nice way to get to know each other. We quickly found out we’ve both got a similar warped sense of humour, enjoying a bit of light-hearted banter and finding we shared interests when it comes to environment and eco issues. It was good to find someone that could string a sentence together and not have to resort to text speak! Above all, Paul is a genuine kind, lovely person.”

Now, 5 months on from their mutual match, and with the prospect of life returning to pre-COVID ways in many respects, do Bex and Paul envisage much change to their relationship?

“The restrictions being lifted haven’t really made much difference to what we do as a couple. In the absence of being able to go on proper dates we’ve done simple things that have ended up being far more fun – and ‘real’.

“We have bonded over daily routine tasks such as poo picking my ponies’ field together and Paul’s let me loose on his ride-on lawn mower a few times. We’ve done less ‘true dating’ and more just getting on with the normal mundanities of life.”

Mundane is not something you typically associate with the first 6 months of a new relationship when the honeymoon period is strong, but it clearly works for Bex and Paul.

Since meeting, Bex, who had a rural upbringing, including ‘lots of equestrian work’ with animals all around, and Paul have formed a support bubble; it proved a massive help when Bex was isolating and her daughter was away lambing.

Both have had to rebuild their lives after long term health issues, accidents and critical surgery too so are acutely aware how  important it is to appreciate the little things that life brings.

Lockdown, and the past year, has just sharpened the focus further.

Plans are afoot too to turn the bubble into something more permanent with Bex preparing to up sticks and move in with Paul full time. “We want to get the renovation completed on our home before I move and this is something we’ve both been working on, with help from family too. Paul lives on the same family smallholding where he grew up. It’s diversified but it’s very unconventional and I love it there. Just hoping my cats will like his cat when they finally meet.”

“Life doesn’t always take the path you would most like. But if lockdown has taught me anything it is that I didn’t want to be single forever!” Bex adds.

In Paul, and a shared love of the simple life, she may well have discovered her new path.