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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Love in the Time of Corona: How to Cope with Missing Your Significant Other

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Since the onset of COVID-19 and strict social distancing policies, many couples have been forced into long-distance relationships in order to remain safe and healthy in these uncertain times. Long-distance relationships are difficult for most people, even without the added stress of living through a pandemic, and finding ways to cope with missing someone can feel even more unattainable. 

No matter how long you’ve been with your S.O., being separated from them can feel hopelessly lonely and being separated from your partner during the stressful and uncertain times of Coronavirus can feel even more heartbreaking and isolating. But I want to tell you that everyone is feeling this way, and you are not alone. There are ways to deal with the pain of missing someone, and while they might not completely cure your loneliness, hopefully you’ll find ways to ease your mind and get through your days with more ease. 

In order to better understand why you’re missing your S.O. so much, one can look towards the science of romantic attachment. In an article by Elite Daily (linked here), Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist and relationship coach, breaks down what happens when you begin a relationship with someone and what causes feelings of love. Basically, as you begin to fall for someone, your brain releases high levels of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. As your body becomes more accustomed to higher levels of those “feel-good” hormones, it’s not long before your body develops a dependency or addiction. Thus, when you are away from your partner, your body starts slowing down these processes causing it to go through withdrawal, which can lead to heartache, stress, depression or anxiety. 

There’s also something to be said about missing the physical contact that only a romantic partner can provide. Increased physical contact has been linked with lower heart rates, lower blood pressure, and a decrease in stress hormones. Additionally, physical contact increases your levels of oxytocin, which is another one of our “feel-good” hormones. (To learn more about how physical contact is good for your mental health, click here). Missing the physical component of your relationship is completely normal and, as you can see, supported by science.

Well, now you know why you feel the way you do, but what can you do about it? Creative activities are a great place to start. Being creative releases dopamine, which is a natural antidepressant. I’ve found myself, as have many others, baking, coloring, listening to music, journaling and watching silly shows (hello New Girl!) to keep my mind off missing my boyfriend. I’ve gotten into crossword puzzles to ease my anxiety, so don’t be afraid to unleash your inner grandma! Even redecorating your room or personal space can be a healthy way to take your mind off things. 

Although it’s easy to give yourself a list of activities that are “supposed” to make you feel better, there are times when feelings of loneliness and sadness are inescapable. It’s normal for all of us, and you are not alone in this struggle. Reaching out to your partner and supporting each other during this time is crucial, as is being gentle with yourself. It’s important to remember that these uncertain times will pass, and as we all keep taking things as they come, give yourself a big hug, take a deep breath, and remember that you will get through this too.

Charlotte Krause is a senior studying to receive her bachelor’s in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at MSU. Her written works range from pieces on popular culture, including film reviews and curated recommendations, to articles about mental health and politics. Charlotte avidly believes that written works have the power to shape and create new lives, worlds, and identities and plans to continue contributing to the global cacophony of written works. Follow me @char_kra on Instagram!