Getting Your Relationship Through Social Distancing

So, it seems like coronavirus has officially taken the fun out of everything. Not only are we all holed up at home, with the day’s excitement coming in the form of someone not realizing their webcam is on during virtual lecture, but we also can’t go out or see anyone outside our homes. For most of us, that means that for the foreseeable future, there will be no more date nights, formals, study dates, nights out, sleepovers, dinners, or random encounters between classes with significant others. Whether you and your partner are self-isolating on the same campus or in different countries, it is extremely important to public health that both of you practice social distancing and stay inside. Even if, sadly, that might mean you aren’t going to see each other for a while.

No one knows quite how long we will need to practice social distancing, but the general consensus seems to be: a while. Because we don’t know how long the current situation is going to last, it’s important that you treat this period of self-isolation as the new reality for your relationship. It won’t last forever, but it may last long enough to put a strain on your relationship if you don’t put in the effort to communicate and spend time together. You likely know better than anyone the best ways to show your partner you miss and appreciate them. Still, it can be hard to know where to start in such an unfamiliar format. I can’t claim to be an expert in socially distanced dating either, but hopefully, these tips can serve as a jumping off point for this new, strange world of romance.

1. Stay in touch!

Check in with your partner as often as you’re both comfortable with. It’s easy to feel like you’re drifting apart if you don’t talk as much as you did in the good old pre-COVID-19 days. That could mean texting from the moment you wake up to telling each other good night, sending each other quarantine-related tweets, or exchanging a few “How was your day?” texts before bed.

2. But make sure you’re communicating in real life, too

Phone and video calls feel a lot more personal than a text message does. They don’t have to be every day, but hearing your partner’s voice will help you to feel closer to them. Plus, if you’re going to have any arguments or serious conversations, it’s always better to have those in person. Or, um, as close to in person as you can get.


3. Virtual dates!

Almost as good as the real thing. Challenge them to a Game Pigeon game night, help each other study for your digitally-proctored assessments, order each other Postmates, introduce them to your pet, work on Duolingo vocab words, or just set aside an hour each week to FaceTime.

4. Movie nights

Use an app like Netflix Party or Kast to watch a TV show, movie, YouTube video, or true crime documentary at the same time. It’s never been easier to trade conspiracy theories about who the killer REALLY is.