This article examines the transformation of singledom during the COVID-19 pandemic, scrutinising the impact of rules and regulations governing proximity, touch and sex. I focus on government responses in Australia, situating the nation’s experience in a global context. National discussions were strangely sexless, presuming widespread coupledom and emphasising the lost, non-sexual intimacies of families and older people. I contrast this to broader theoretical claims of a ‘transformation of intimacy’ that posit a move to atomised relations across the Global North, including a growing tendency towards singledom. Yet assumptions of coupledom clearly persist in Australian policy and social life. I reflect on transformations of singledom and living alone during and prior to the pandemic, exposing tensions between theorisations, local realities, and the governance of sex and singledom.