Managing Long Distance Relationships During Lockdown

These are trying times. Make or break. Relationships are enormously tested. But, you can pass the test.

A long-distance relationship is a challenge on its own, but a long-distance relationship during a lockdown due to a pandemic is even worse. Not only are you longing for your better half, but you are also worrying about your safety and the safety of your loved ones. To top it off, you are also working from home, be it as a student or in the work field. And even if you’re not working, being at home and not being able to go out as usual is quite frustrating. You could try and find hobbies to keep yourself busy with, but no hobby could really fill the void of being apart from your loved one. However, the silver lining is that there are ways to manage a long-distance relationship during the lockdown and these could possibly lead to a stronger relationship. These are trying times after all and, “that which does not kill us, makes us stronger,” just as the German philosopher, Nietzsche, once said. You might be alone but that doesn’t mean you’re lonely. 

 

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First and foremost, communication is as vital as your vitamins are to help you through the pandemic. Erin Sahlstein Parcell, a family and marital communication expert at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, notes that, “what has been repeatedly shown is that communication and negotiation are essential for good quality long distance relationships." Constantly communicating or communicating when you can, is important for the relationship to work even more now than before. It’s important to check up on each other and to keep in touch. I have never been more grateful for technology than I am now. It keeps you connected regardless of the circumstances. Don’t underestimate the power of a video call during these times. There’s just something about seeing your loved one, even through a screen, that makes you feel connected to them. Even if it’s literally for 10 minutes, it is oh so satisfying.

 

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Communication doesn’t necessarily guarantee all things rosy. You need to be mindful at this time, all the time, of yourself. Because you are apart, it is also easier to pick fights over the pettiest things. Reassure one another every now and then. 

As mentioned, it is an overwhelming time, and we’re all dealing with it in different ways, so be sensitive to your partner. You might know them, but you don’t really know how they deal with pandemics and lockdowns because these are a first for us, unless you were both alive during the Spanish flu in 1918. 

Believe in your partner. It might be an uncertain time, but that doesn’t mean there might or will be uncertainties surrounding you and your loved one. It is so easy to get derailed from believing in your partner and relationship when you are apart and especially for this long, because you don’t get to see them, and you don’t really know what they are up. Believing in your partner and the relationship is not only important for the relationship, but for your sanity too.

Look to the future. It might be a bit hard to do so, especially if you’re an anxious person, but it will calm you down and give you hope for the relationship. Raquel Peel of The Conversation says you should, “make plans with your partner for after the crisis is over." Do accept the reality but, “also acknowledge this is not permanent." She further says that, “planning can help keep you positive and motivated to stay safe."

 

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In as much as you might miss your partner, grab this opportunity to work on yourself. You are still an individual outside of the relationship. Peel also advises that you can, “use this time to practice healthier habits such as eating well, sleeping, exercising, practicing mindfulness." You, however, don’t have to be working out since that’s what most people are doing, or mastering a new skill or taking up an online course if you don’t want to or feel like it. You just need to take this time and learn about yourself and work on you - whatever that means to you.