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Because of the pandemic, so many couples are finding themselves thrust into a long-distance relationship. The way we express love to our significant others has changed, well it was forced to be changed. We can’t drive to their house on a whim just to spend a few hours together. We can’t go out to a restaurant or a movie theater. We can’t spend holidays, anniversaries, birthdays together. Okay, enough can’ts. No more negative thinking. Let’s focus on what we can do in a relationship while we also happen to be in a global pandemic. We can FaceTime or zoom. We can send little care packages to our significant others just so they know we’re thinking of them and missing their company. We can send food to their door. 

There are so many things we CAN do even if those things are limited. We can work on conflicts in our relationship. You can have healthy conversations without fueling each other’s emotions through the physicality of being in person. We can explore individuality. The more we love ourselves and who we are as individuals, the more we can love our partner. Now, being in a long-distance relationship myself has been no easy experience. I miss my partner more and more each day. But the thing that fuels my love for not only him but my relationship as a whole is the fact that we’ll be together again soon. We’ve used this time to truly become best friends. We know each other on a deeper level because of the time we spent apart. I know that sounds crazy. How could you possibly be able to learn everything about someone that you’re not constantly with? Well, it’s easy. Arrange those special times to talk. To truly listen to each other. Because you’re not constantly together it’s easier to value that time you DO have together. By truly listening and having those deeply personal and meaningful conversations, albeit over the phone or FaceTime, you will know your partner like the back of your hand. I know I do. Then when you’re together again, it feels like you were never apart, because you just fit. Like two hands clasping together, you fit. 

One of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy and communicative relationship in long-distance, if not the most important part, is making your partner feel loved and you receiving love from your partner. In one of my past articles I wrote about love languages, check that out to understand certain ways you can express love. This article might appease people with quality time as a love language. If you miss spending time with your partner, whether that time is walking at the park, watching movies, eating dinners, your love language is most likely quality time. One way to fuel that quality time love language is through virtual date nights. I know these date nights are something my partner and I both love in our relationship. Setting aside all other thoughts and truly devoting that time to your partner and your relationship. Virtual date nights are our only option at the moment when it comes to quality time. Whether that date is ordering their favorite food to be delivered at their door and eating together, or watching a movie on Netflix together, or even reading books to each other, these could all be virtual date nights. Explore what sounds exciting to you and your partner. Be open to new date night options you might not have explored prior to being in a long-distance relationship. 

It’s so much more than a Netflix party when you’re with someone you love. 

So, if you and your partner are looking for a quiet date night full of relaxation and calm conversation, you need to check out Teleparty. Before it was Teleparty, it was Netflix Party. Teleparty is a Google Chrome extension, easy to download, that allows you and your partner to watch the same movie at the same time while chatting back and forth during the film, perfect for discussing the plot of the story or for just telling your partner you miss them. Having the chat be included in the Teleparty system, allows you to send in-time messages back and forth without having to worry about going back and forth from iMessage to Teleparty. It’s all in one! Just get comfy, get your favorite snack, put your favorite pajamas on and tell your partner to do the same, and curl up for a movie on Netflix, Hulu or Disney+. You have so many films to choose from. So one night do your favorite movie and the next night do your partner’s. Or every night of the week, choose a movie from a different genre. Make it exciting so it’s not just sitting down on your bed watching a movie with your significant other without being able to see each other. Find the good in the situation. So whether you want to watch Frozen, Tiger King or Dirty Dancing, Teleparty is the way to go. 

Host a virtual game night with your favorite games and your favorite person. 

We all love Jeopardy, Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune, so why not make a little game night for you and your significant other! Play some trivia with questions only they would know the answer to. So not just questions like “what’s my favorite color” or “what’s my favorite tv show” although those are fun and great conversation starters, your partner knows those answers and won’t have to think about answering. Give them questions that they really have to think about. “What’s my favorite thing to do when I’m sad and want to get out of those negative feelings?” “What’s my favorite aspect of our relationship?” One trend surfacing the relationship between social media chains is playing Kahoot! with your partner. Kahoot! is an online game-based platform originally designed for kids that couples and friend groups have turned into a great way to play games together from any corner of the world. Just go to https://kahoot.it/, type in the game pin and your nickname and get ready to play with your significant other. You can create a game from scratch, with questions created specifically for you and your significant other or you can choose from thousands of Kahoots premade by creators around the world. So ask your partner questions that make them reflect on your relationship and patiently await their answers. Arrange a special date night where you each make a Kahoot! for each other to answer. This could be a really fun way to think back on fond memories; where you met, places you’ve gone to together, that one night when you stayed up a bit too late talking about random things you’ve never talked to anyone else about. Use this as a time to reflect on the strengthening parts of your relationship and use it as a way to grow together even more. 

Listen to your favorite songs together while reflecting on what each song means to you and your relationship. 

Music is a huge part of my relationship with my partner. Because we both are musicians, we love to send each other new songs to listen to, songs that remind us of each other or songs that we think the other will vibe with. If you are a Spotify user, this date night idea is for you. Spotify recently added a new feature called, Group Session. When participating in a Group Session, you and up to five other people will be able to listen to the same songs, albums, playlists, at the same time. My boyfriend and I recently discovered this feature while talking about Bruno Mars and his new collaborative album coming out soon with Anderson.Paak. We were able to listen to any artist we wanted to at the tap of a button. Either he or I could pick the next song and/or set up the queue. This is a great way to connect to that musical partner of yours and also explore some new music. Maybe on a Monday, you can plan a Spotify group session for that coming Friday, giving you an entire week to come up with a playlist with songs that embody the feeling your partner gives you. Come up with a playlist of ten or so songs that remind you of them or specific memories you have together and then play it for them and get their reaction. This will make your partner feel loved and truly valued in this relationship through the beautiful art form of music. 

While the pandemic is still raging on, you and your partner might find it increasingly difficult to be away from each other. I’ll be completely honest with you, there are good days and there are bad days. There are days when being away from your partner absolutely destroys you and there are other days when you are so unbelievably in love with them that the distance seems like the smallest feat. The longer you are separated by distance, the easier it is to not see the positives, but trust me, by making that special time for each other, by arranging that FaceTime date or a game night, the time will go faster and before you know it, you will be back together feeling even more grateful for your strong relationship than you were before the distance. The time will go fast, I promise, only if you continue to make time for not only your partner but for yourself. Explore different ways to express love in order to keep your relationship flourishing and growing through such an emotionally draining time. Be that rock for each other. Arrange a date night! Have that Netflix party! Do whatever makes you two feel happy, loved, cared for and most of all supported.

Meguire Hennes is a Her Campus Editorial Intern and a senior at Montclair State University. She is majoring in Fashion Studies. Meguire is excited to share her knowledge of pop culture, music, today's fashion and beauty trends, self love/mental health, astrology, and musical theatre. When not writing or in class, Meguire can be found living her best Carrie Bradshaw life in NYC, singing 70s/80s classic rock a little too loud in the shower, or watching her favorite rom-coms over and over again. Coming from a small town in Wisconsin, she's excited to see what adventures await her in the big city!
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