Expats and students rushed back to their home countries, while couples in long-distance relationships had to cancel their flights to see each other.
The borders have been shut down since the middle of March in many continents. Some have been closed since January. Many international couples are separated as a result.
Some are trying out love from a distance, wondering how to manage this new difference. Other couples are used to living apart, but struggling with the uncertainty of not knowing when they’ll see each other again.
Personally, we (Filip and I) haven’t seen each other since January and the distance is getting brutal. With all the couples sending us their Corona love stories, we can publish them for everyone, and we’re benefitting and learning from all their long-distance survival hacks.
We want to share the best long-distance relationship tips we’ve received (so far) from our community.
Online Activities for Long-Distance Couples
Use technology for intimacy. Cameron and Tessa send each other explicit gifs and sext a lot. They suggested starting a private blog between the two of you. You can leave something there that will turn your partner on, in case you’re not in the mood or you’re asleep…because time zones.
Watch movies and read together. Jack and Annette are using the Netflix Party feature to connect their account and watch movies at the same time. You can chat during the movie while you’re streaming.
Our movie-watching system is to play the movie on our headphones but to keep the other person on the phone, using the speakerphone. Then we can make comments in real-time, interacting while we’re doing it.
Michael and Andrea read books aloud to each other, by taking turns reading chapters. It’s like a DIY audiobook, but much more interactive. If one of you doesn’t like reading, you can pick the partner who enjoys it and navigate it that way.
Organize group activities with your friends. You need the support of your friends during hard times. They probably need you too, so invite them for a Zoom party, online Dungeons and Dragons, or a weekly book club.
Do daily activities with your camera on. All of our contributors have mentioned the power of simple moments shared. Here are some ways they connect with each other online:
Eat Breakfast together
Work from home (being able to congratulate each other’s small successes is a big one)
Listen to Spotify playlists
Play online games
Fall asleep together
Cut your hair or shave your beard! A and B did this and recorded their dialogue for us to read. It’s really funny.
Buy gifts to surprise your partner. Ruth ordered something and had it delivered to Eric. She told us, “He wasn’t expecting it at all and it means a lot to do those little things every so often.”
How to Keep a Positive Attitude When You Can’t See Your Partner in Person
Play to your strengths. Kata and C are in the middle east and Ireland. They’re both acknowledging respective strengths and using them to complement the other’s weaknesses.
After weeks in quarantine, it’s hard to stay grounded when we constantly hear news of spreading cases and even deaths. On top of that, we’re not with the person who means a lot to us. C has a pragmatic take on things and helps Kata stabilize her emotions when she gets overwhelmed.
Kata reminds C to be grateful that he still has work. She’s grateful she still has her house to live in, even though it’s not where she wants to be. Stay close to those in your life who remind you to be thankful for what you have.
Don’t see long-distance as a threat. So many people aren’t even willing to try long-distance dating because of its challenges.
But Suzy and Kaz see the separation as a chance to develop their own interests and hobbies while supporting their partner in creative new ways. Suzy says, “Tell them how you’re doing, what you’re feeling, and express any concerns.”
Relationship coach Sonja advises her clients to see the opportunity to deepen your intimacy. Setting aside specific times each day to communicate and be honest with each other is the perfect situation for getting to know each other better. During video chats, share what inspired you that day and talk about funny things that happened.
Laugh it off. Both Ivana and Dani told us they make a point to laugh with their partners. Try not to take things so seriously. For a lot of people, making a joke about something helps you cope with it better.
Reassure one another. Learn your boyfriend or girlfriend’s needs. Abbey wrote that frequent contact and reassurance is really crucial for her, even if it’s just texting or sending silly photos.
Gina and Vitor have lived apart for many years so they struggled a lot with the question, “Is a long-distance relationship worth it?” Happily, they’ve decided it is, but that realization came when they both assured the other partner that they were all in.
Admit that Long-Distance Relationship Challenges are Real
Downplaying the situation won’t do any good. When there’s no definitive end date, it leaves a lot up in the air. For Branka and Marijana, they expressed the difficulties of being a Serbian-Croatian lesbian couple. Now they have long-distance struggles on top of that.
Krista is expecting a baby, not knowing if Anda will be able to join her for the birth of their son.
For many international couples, closing the distance was already hard because of visas, immigration policies, the cost of plane tickets, and work and study situations. Now many of us are dealing with new time zones, financial struggles, housing insecurity, and countless other struggles.
Reading stories submitted from our community and hearing their long-distance relationship advice helps everyone gain tangible skills to get through it.
We’re itching for more stories so if you’re in a similar situation we want to hear from you. We wish all long-distance couples humor, inspiration, fun, creativity, and a strong WIFI connection during quarantine!