Due to the spread of COVID-19 and government mandated lockdowns, people all around the world have been forced to distance themselves from loved ones, whether this be family members, friends, or partners. Unfortunately, this time of social distancing and isolation can lead to turmoil in any kind of relationship and can even be detrimental. Whether you’re currently in a long distance relationship or just purely missing human interaction, I am here to offer some tips on how to keep your love life alive, despite the distance.
Before I continue with this post, please just keep in mind that I am in no way, shape or form a “Love Doctor” and I too have no idea what the fudge is going on or what the true meaning of “love” even is, BUT these are just a few helpful things I’ve learned along the way.
All of my life, I feel like I have been involved in some form of a “long distance relationship”, whether it is between a family member, friend, or even a love interest. At the ripe age of three, my parents filed for a divorce, forcing me to learn early on how to keep connected to loved ones, despite living in separate households. As I grew older and began forming relationships (platonic and love), I discovered the importance of communication, as I realized no one can be at arms length 24/7, due to inevitable- contradicting schedules and lifestyles.
This past fall semester, I studied abroad in London and had the absolute best experience of a lifetime. I remember before I boarded my flight, my mom jokingly warned me not to fall in love while I was across the pond, as long distance can be a b*tch. Of course being the rebellious, hopeless-romantic I am, that is exactly what I did. I’m talking the first spanking weekend I was there I went out to a bar and met the most amazing, Australian guy. We proceeded to exchange numbers & socials and talked to each other everyday. With almost every weekend spent together, our relationship grew stronger and stronger, causing us to fall in love pretty quickly. As our time abroad came to an end, we mutually decided to give long distance a shot, as we knew what we had was too good to give up. Over the course of the past five months, we have endured our fair share of ups and downs just like any other relationship. Though I would be lying if I said being in a long distance relationship was a piece of cake, it is definitely manageable and worth every second if you and your loved one are willing to be patient.
Being a very affectionate partner and friend, I completely understand how difficult it is to be unable to see and hangout face to face with your loved ones (especially when it is government mandated), so here are my three ~crucial~ tips on how to survive social isolation, while still expressing your love from a distance:
- COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Alright this one may seem like a no-brainer, but it is so easy to overlook while in the middle of a stressful situation (such as a fight or even a world-wide pandemic). In long distance relationships, your only form of communication is really either over the phone, through social media, or handwritten letters. This lack of in-person communication, inevitably causes for words to sometimes be misunderstood and for “tones” to be incorrectly interpreted. I know personally, my boyfriend and I run into this issue a lot, as when we get into a disagreement we begin to text things we wouldn’t usually say face to face and the meanings of our messages become misconceived. This is where the importance of communication comes in, as picking up the phone and calling/face timing each other to talk things out can greatly help the situation and clear up any confusions.
2. BE PATIENT WITH EACH OTHER
Okay this may seem like another obvious solution, but just trust me this and communication go hand and hand together. We are currently in a time where we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. This concept of the “unknown”, affects everyone in different ways and can be very difficult for those forced to change their everyday lifestyle. It is crucial to be patient with your partner/loved one at this time, as the feelings you are personally having may be drastically different from theirs. You must put into consideration that their new routines may cause them to have more stress/anxiety and it is completely normal to just take some time to yourself. Whatever the circumstance, just make sure you are checking in with them and expressing the important value of ya’ll’s relationship, as social distancing can feel so lonely.
3. MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER
Though you and your loved one may be unable to see each other in person at this moment, it is still very important that you make time for each other. This can be anything from just setting up a date and time that ya’ll can both face time or call each other or even to make a plan to do something together (virtually or six feet apart). One of my favorite things to do with my boyfriend is to set a day where we can both face time each other and have a virtual “date”. This usually includes either us making the same meal as each other and sitting down, as if we were on an actual dinner date or watching movies together through the new Netflix Party extension. We also have games on our phones such as Words with Friends and Fun Run, that allows us to connect and play against each other, despite the 10,000 mile gap between us and the 15 hour time difference. Right now I believe everyone is feeling a bit scared and confused, so it is important to reach out and make time for our loved ones to ensure them that they are not alone.
Loving from a distance can be difficult, but if you and your loved ones are willing to clearly communicate with each other, show patience, and put aside time for each other, then anything is possible!