The COVID-19 pandemic has been a test for everyone in a variety of ways. One of the challenges people have faced is the hurdles surrounding social distancing. Humans are social creatures, and it is not natural for us to be apart from friends and family for so long. This is especially true for those who have been separated from their significant others during this crisis.
Whether it’s a new or long-term relationship, being apart from a romantic partner for an extended period is difficult, regardless of the circumstances. Not being able to see your loved one during this stressful time is bound to put up obstacles in your relationship.
Are you worried about keeping your relationship thriving during this hard, but finite period? There are several ways that you can promote and even strengthen your romance while you are away from each other.
Make a Commitment to Treat Each Other Kindly
While you may be hundreds of miles apart, and the stress of this unprecedented situation may make you feel on edge, make an effort to be kind to each other. This agreement can be a catalyst to remembering that, while it may not be ideal to be separated, you are both committed to coming out this situation stronger.
There are bound to be situations that cause you angst and sadness while you are social distancing. The key is to not take those feelings out on your partner. Doing that could cause an emotional distance to develop while you are not physically near each other.
Don’t Fight the Unknown
Since this situation has more questions than answers at this point, you both must accept the fact that there is a lot you may not know currently. For example, you may not know when the two of you can be together physically again.
Uncertainty is challenging for any relationship. So make sure that you are both open and can accept this ambiguity. It’s key to being able to face the situation together.
As a couple, there may have things you were hoping on doing together—concerts to attend, weddings to go to, but COVID-19 may wipe your slate entirely clean. It may not be pleasant to know that these things you had looked forward to are now in doubt, but accepting it and moving on together is a great way to make sure you both remain on the same page.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
Although there is never a good time for a pandemic, at least having it occur in today’s world means that you have plenty of tools to stay in touch with your partner. Phone calls and texting are great ways of staying in touch throughout this time. You mustn’t fall into the trap of doing these things with just each other. That could put unhealthy stress on your relationship that is already facing an unpleasant situation.
In addition to texting and phone calls, apps, such as FaceTime and Zoom, are great ways to see your partner’s face. This could help you feel more connected and give you the chance to see the body language and facial expressions you desperately miss from texting and talking on the phone.
Use the United States Postal Service to Stay Bonded
With all the incredible technological solutions available to us, we often forget that before the days of FaceTime and Zoom, the United States Postal Service was one of the ways people used to stay connected. Many of us remember the joy they felt to get a letter in the mail. There is a reason for that.
According to Wayne State University communications professor, Katheryn Maguire, getting a letter, or package, in the mail may evoke a feeling of intimacy because you have something that they physically touched. There is also a different level of commitment that goes into writing someone a letter or sending them a care package. It is an excellent way to show someone how much you care.
Make it a Point to Get Assistance if You Need It
This crisis is impacting the world in a plethora of ways. While you are trying to maintain your relationship, you may also be dealing with becoming unemployed or worrying about you, or a loved one, getting sick with this illness. There may also be the stress of navigating the work-from-home situation. It can be easy to see how someone could become overwhelmed and have trouble making their relationship work.
If you or your partner is struggling to connect, it is okay to admit that you might need some help getting through this rough patch. Checking in with a therapist may give you the outlet you need to focus better on making your relationship and life, smoother. Technology can make it easier to connect with a counselor and get the assistance you need.
Don’t Stop Making Plans for the Future
If there is one thing that is certain about this period it is that it won’t last forever. Eventually, you will be able to connect with your partner again. While it is important to accept the uncertainty surrounding this situation, it is also vital that you don’t stop planning for the future.
When you are chatting with your significant other, make sure that you talk about things that you’d like to do together once this crisis passes. Making these kinds of plans helps in a couple of ways. It can be a mental and emotional acknowledgment that you will both get through this together. There is also the boost that comes with talking about all the stuff you still want to do together.
Plan Date Nights
Just because you are physically separated doesn’t mean that you can’t make special time for each other. Go out on virtual dates to keep the spark going in your relationship. Show the other person that you are still willing to put in the extra effort.
Make plans to have a romantic dinner, watch a movie, or play a game together virtually. Even though you can’t be in the same place, you can take advantage of doing something you both like to do in a designated time for just the two of you.
Make sure there are no interruptions from work, phone calls, or texts. You may even want to dress up as a way of acknowledging that this is a big night for the both of you.
Hang in There
An optimistic perspective might say that if you can make a relationship work through a pandemic, there aren’t many challenges or obstacles you can’t overcome. There is no doubt that all relationships, even those lucky enough to be together during this time, are currently working under less than ideal conditions.
There is no reason not to think that, with some great communication and commitment, your relationship can’t emerge from this difficult time stronger and healthier than ever.