Coping with Social Distancing from Your Significant Other
As a health coach, it’s my job to help others navigate their feelings with food, exercise, and general lifestyle habits. Unfortunately, there was no training on how to navigate feelings around keeping a thriving relationship during the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing.
While some people are cooped up inside with their partners, driving each other mad, others are the farthest apart they’ve ever been — also irritating each other like nothing else. My relationship is in the latter category. My boyfriend of two years and I aren’t able to see each other, with coronavirus and 50 miles between us pausing our usual weekend getaways. Here’s how it has affected us:
Our Quality Time Is More Creative
The good news? We’ve been forced to get creative with our quality time, which just so happens to be one of my main love languages. With fun Skype sessions and digital movie dates, we try to enjoy every second together. I can’t wait to come up with more ideas, all of which we can do over a video call, such as:
- Making dinner
- Working out
- Having a wine tasting
- Writing each other letters
- Planning new adventures for the future, like concerts, eating out, weekend trips, etc.
We Struggle to Communicate
Every long-distance couple knows the difficulty of communicating throughout the day. After a slew of arguments based on what we “thought” the other person meant, we realized texting is an awful way to discuss serious subjects. Have something important to talk about? Call.
It’s Harder to Comfort Each Other
About a month into quarantine, I had to unexpectedly put my dog down, and it was by far one of the worst days of my life. My boyfriend wasn’t able to comfort me in the way either of us wanted, and I had to ride the grief waves without him there to hold me. To make matters worse, he couldn’t read my body language when I wasn’t able to verbally express what I needed. Talk about communication confusion!
Our Convos Are Boring
These days there’s not much to do, so sometimes there’s very little — or nothing — to talk about. But we’re learning that quietness isn’t actually bad, especially during times like these. It’s really important to remove the pressure for the relationship to always be “on”; otherwise, resentment can build up. It’s okay if there’s nothing to chat about, and it’s okay if you simply don’t feel like it. Just want to video call to see each other’s faces? That’s cool.
This Is the Longest We’ve Ever Been Apart
Once this situation blows over, I have a feeling that gone are the days of “there’s nothing to do,” which makes me even more excited for future quality time together. Plus, we’ll be more appreciative of each other’s presence in general. Even though this is the longest we’ve ever been apart, I’m hopeful that it will make us stronger when we come back together. We’re learning so many important lessons.