While most couples are dealing with the issue of having too much time together right now, others are suffering from the opposite relationship problem — for any number of reasons, they find themselves in two separate locations by the pandemic.
Whether you are in a relationship with someone on the front lines (medical professionals, first responders — even delivery people and grocery workers) and deliberately keeping your distance for safety reasons or the two of you find yourselves locked down in two completely different places, there are things you can do to maintain your connection despite the physical disconnect.
Get Creative with Video Chat
This is probably the most obvious one if both of you have the option, but there are lots of things you can do beyond merely scheduling times to talk. In other words, turn your video chat into a video date.
What about watching a movie together? Netflix has a new feature to help with this. Dinner and a movie? Decide what each of you are going to make ahead of time and video chat while you cook “together.” You can also take your significant other on walks with you via video and show each other what you’re looking at. Heck, you can even use video to play board or card games together!
Don’t Just Text — Talk
These days, we use our phones for a million different things. But right now, the original purpose might just be the most important.
While texting your partner is certainly a good way to keep in touch and send quick thoughts and appreciations, don’t forget the power of actually calling and talking to them. There’s something about hearing each other’s voices that you just can’t replicate by texting. Vocal inflections. Tones. Laughter.
There’s a reason “I just wanted to hear your voice” is such a cliche.
Learn to Be a Gamer
Whether you lived online games before the pandemic began or you don’t know the difference between Xbox Live and Words with Friends, there’s never been a better time to explore the world of long-distance gaming.
These days, the vast majority of video games out there have some kind of online multiplayer element, regardless of what you’re using to play them (i.e. a traditional video game system, computer, tablet, phone, etc.). And even though you can’t be in the same room, there’s something about competing against each other in a game (or even working together) that builds camaraderie and connectedness.
Feeling intimidated by this entire section? Don’t be. Playing a “video game” with your partner can be as simple as downloading the same app on your phone or Googling online poker and joining the same game.
Obviously, these are just a few suggestions. You can use any or none of them. The important part is that you find a way to keep that flame burning through these trying times.
Need more advice? Contact Norene Gonsiewsk and Tim Higdon to help solve any relationship problem you might have.