How to handle a long-distance relationship during lockdown
Updated: 11 June 2020
With so many people travelling for work and pleasure, it wasn’t unusual, even before lockdown, for people to find themselves in a long-distance romantic relationship. During the pandemic however, couples who are perhaps living in the same city or even in the same household have now, through circumstances, found themselves in a situation where they cannot meet and are effectively in a long distance relationship.
In Gabriel Garcia’s book, “Love in the Time of Cholera”, the main protagonists find themselves separated and must communicate with each other through telegrams and letters. Fermina, the main character, likens the pain she feels from being apart from her love, Florentino, to an amputee who suffers pains and itches in the limb that is no longer there. Technology has released us from having to wait days or weeks for the post to hear from our loved ones. Facetime, Zoom calls and Whats’app all allow us to share information instantly.
But how best to maintain and even deepen connection within a new, relatively new or baeven established relationship with a significant other? How can the sense of disconnection and absence be lessened? Here’s some tips:
1. Set a time to talk
Depending on your schedules, figure out a time that suits you both to talk. The loss of routine during this time has consequences for our well being, so setting a consistent time to chat will help give form to your time and allow you both to have something to look forward to.
2. Make every call count
Whether you video call or just speak on the phone, give it your full attention. Try not to multitask. Put distractions away and put your focus on your loved one.
3. Find fun ways to have remote dates
Sharing experiences brings connection. Choose an activity you both enjoy, such as watching a film together, drinking the same wine, going through old photos. Even though you can’t be physically near your partner, you can be creative and not stick to a script of quick daily catch-up.
4. Start a project together
Another way to connect is to start a project. It will help focus your energy and give you something new to talk about. Start your own virtual bookclub, have debriefs on your favourite podcasts, or set a fitness goal to complete together.
5. Get creative
Find ways of creating or recreating romance in the relationship. A delivery of flowers, a care package with items you know the person will find fun or useful, a magazine or newspaper subscription. All of these things will let the other person know that you are thinking of them and will help to foster a sense of connection.
While the prospect of seeing your loved one may feel like a long way off just now, take solace that everything in this world is in constant motion. This situation will eventually change. Technology is on our side, and there are ways we can use it to make us feel connected.
If you would like more support with coping with being in a long distance relationship, feel free to get in touch with the helpful office staff at MyMind, who will be happy to help you find a suitable therapist: email@example.com
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