6 Feet Apart And Still So Close: Maintaining Relationships Through The Pandemic

Dating and maintaining friendships in the time of social distancing comes with even more challenges than usual. From safer-at-home orders making it difficult to meet people to new relationships forced through sudden long distance, it is a truly unique situation. Before the shelter-in-place order, being on campus meant seeing your significant other and friends on a regular basis. There was an implicit, or even explicit, expectation about how frequently you would see friends and dates. But, as the world has moved to remote learning and working from home, we have all had to get a little more creative to maintain all types of relationships. From Zoom calls to catch up with large groups to hours-long FaceTime calls with your closest friends, our social world has moved straight into our laptops and phones. However, video chats and phone calls can get a little tiresome and repetitive, so to break up the boredom, here are a few different things we can all try.

To bond with larger groups of friends and family, Zoom is convenient for allowing the most people on your screen at once. Currently, I have been Zoom calling my extended family once a week and most student organizations use Zoom calls for meetings as well. For larger groups, you can do physical activities like Pilates and yoga that can help get everyone moving and keep more people engaged, while things like Netflix Party can entertain big groups without the overwhelming crowd on a Zoom call. For smaller groups of friends, escape rooms can provide a thought activity that entertains people and gets everyone talking.

When it’s just you and your significant other, FaceTime is key. Technology is and should your friend. We are lucky to live in a time where we can easily call someone and see their face whenever we want. Emotions can get lost in translation when we can’t see facial expressions and hear tones, so it is really important to maintain that face-to-face contact whenever possible. Since quarantine means you can’t see your significant other in person, FaceTime is the next best thing.  

Cameron Smith-Girl Smile Happy Nature Garden Packpack Hat Tshirt

If you live close enough to your significant other and just cannot go one second longer without seeing them, you can try going on a responsible social distancing date. The key here is to be responsible! You must abide by the official social distancing standard and stay 6 feet apart, as well as wear masks to keep both of you safe. These dates work best outside. You can go on a walk or a hike or even try what this one couple did in NYC.  Using a 6 foot long folding table, they sat at opposite ends and each ate separately but could speak across the distance. Stay safe!

You can travel the world from your computer, in both smaller and larger groups. There are virtual museums, zoos, theme park tours and so much more from all over the world just a click away. You can check out the Louvre, The Getty, the San Diego Zoo and Walt Disney World from the comfort of your own screen. It can be an excuse to reminisce about visiting these places with friends once upon a time or you can dress up and have a fancy virtual date night with your special someone. 

long distance relationship

We are all going through rough times now, so it’s important to lean on each other! You are not alone, and we will all get through this together. We should take this time to be grateful and appreciate each wonderful person in our lives, and remember that this is an opportunity to really get inventive and try new things in your relationships. In the long run, it’s getting through these difficult times that will make the moments you spend with your loved ones even more special.