Love In The Time Of Social Distancing
Unless you live in Antarctica, you’re probably experiencing a huge upheaval in your life right now. All over the world, the spread of COVID-19 is bringing unprecedented changes to our work lives, social lives, and love lives. We’re being asked to practice social distancing.
Distance is hard for all of our relationships…but especially for our romantic ones. But social distancing doesn’t mean that you have to distance yourself emotionally from the people that you care about. Especially your sweetie.
If you and your lover don’t live together, and can’t get close because of social distancing, know that you’re not alone. These unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, but above all our human need to connect lives on. Here’s some tips on how to stay together, when you’re asked to stay apart.
Whether you have the privilege of working from home, or are unfortunately reeling from a dry spell in employment, most of Americans are homebound right now. So stay connected! Texting with your sweetheart through the workday is a great way to keep connected without over running over your bandwidth. Sending each other little loving messages throughout the day, can really break up emails.
My girlfriend and I also like to Facetime while we both quietly work from our laptops. Just knowing there’s someone there to share that coworker’s email with or go over that latest news update when it comes up, can help with feeling disconnected and bring you together while continuing to work.
Have some face to face time
Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and Zoom are all great ways to stay connected to your love. Studies show that tools like video chatting can help couples to connect not only emotionally, but non verbally when you’re not in the same place. Nothing will ever replace physical contact, but just being able to see your sweeties facial expressions really does go a long way. Half of our communication is with our faces and…I’m sure you miss seeing theirs! So break up those calls or texts with a little one on one time.
Instead of just saying “catch you when I catch you”, plan to have a date over skype! My honey and I have had at home dinner dates, orchestrated happy hours, and watched movies together, all while in different cities! Take a page out of the longdistance book, and make sure you treat your Skype time with your sweetie, like
If you can’t catch one another…
Try Marco Polo! Marco Polo is a great app that lets you leave video voicemails for your sweetie. So if you can’t video chat, but you want to let them know how you’re doing, consider leaving a fun little video to share your life and times instead. This is a great tool if you’re apart and have a time difference, or if you have a demanding work schedule. Knowing that your honey will get to see your face after a long day will make all the difference.
Plan Your E-Dates
Instead of just saying “catch you when I catch you”, plan to have a date over skype or another video chatting platform! My honey and I have had at home dinner dates, orchestrated happy hours, and watched movies together, all while in different cities! Take a page out of the long distance book, and make sure you treat your Skype time with your sweetie, like
Hang out with friends…online
Zoom isn’t just for business meetings, it’s also a great way to connect with your friends. We’re all feeling isolated right now, so maybe arrange a Zoom meet up with your nearest and dearest. Maybe even have a little double date with you and your partner’s favorite couple. Connecting with others, alone and as a couple, is a great way to continue to not only have social time, but continue to grow all of your relationships in this strange time.
Take up a couples project together
Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean you can’t work together. Taking up a project to accomplish together is a great way to feel like you’re accomplishing something as a couple, even when you’re apart. Make a two part art project, record a song, or build the same thing in the comfort of your own home. My girlfriend and I are painting little trading cards for one another while we’re apart, and when we can be together we’re going to frame them all together. Accomplishing something together won’t just boost your self esteem, but bring you closer together knowing your sweetie is doing the same thing in the comfort of their own home.
Talk it out
You are not alone. There are a lot of unknowns in the world right now, but I promise you. Wether or not you’re alone in this, isn’t one of them. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, let your partner know. Talking about how you’re feeling reduces the stress and can bring you closer together as a couple. Let your beau into your inner life, since you can’t share your physical life right now.
Remember that this is temporary. What our governments and communities are asking of us right now is very hard, but know that like most hard things it will be worth it. Social distancing saves lives, so remember that while you’re apart, you’re helping to bring us back to a world where you can sloppily make out on any street corner at any time. And remember that this too, shall pass.
Tessa Skara is a writer and comedian. She is bravely bicoastal. She loves all things queer, including, but not limited to sex. Follow her on Instagram @tessafuckinskara.