Handling a Long Distance Relationship during COVID

Many of us have been forced into the world of dating through phone screens and Zoom dates. There are tons of ideas online of dates that are long-distance friendly, but not a lot are talking about the mental strain that comes from your significant other being hours, or even days, away. While I am definitely not a self proclaimed expert on dating, I can give some insight on how to make the road a little less bumpy.

I’m sure you’re expecting me to talk about how important communication is. Surprise! It’s important! This doesn’t just mean texting all day. It is critical to any relationship to be open and honest about boundaries and needs during the times we are in. It’s easy to want to Facetime your S.O. all day, but communicating your schedule and boundaries is a great way to not burn out your social and emotional battery fast. When thinking about this, planning your day can ensure you have time for work, rest, and time talking to them. 

This brings me to my next point of ensuring you still make time for them. Rather than playing the endless “we will call soon” game, take the time to actually plan out a “date” night. Like I mentioned before, there are a great deal of Facetime date ideas on the internet that include watch parties, online escape rooms, get-to-know-you games, and even craft nights. Schedule this out as if you were still in person to show that you and your S.O. value your time together. 

An issue I have struggled with is remembering that I have a social life outside of my relationship. Pre-COVID, it would be easy to take your S.O. along on fun night outs with your friends. But now, you can fall into a habit of having your only source of social interaction be your nightly Facetime calls. Remember that you can schedule friend “date” nights the same way mentioned before so that you continue to show love to your friends. Go for a masked stroll in the park or safely grab a bite to eat. Everyone could use extra support right now, and seeing our friends can help ease anxiety and depression symptoms we face while in quarantine. 

My last piece of advice would be to not give up. I know this sounds obvious and a little corny, but long distance relationships, even before COVID, are never easy. They take work, dedication, patience, and understanding to a different degree of your typical in person relationship. Things will get better. You will see them again. Soon enough, we will all be together again with our people.