Allistair & Eric

Allistair & Eric
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“I skipped the work drinks, found a quiet corner, and called Eric to ask if he would be my boyfriend.” 

A long-distance relationship during Corona is different.  Trips are canceled. And then canceled again. Stress levels are higher. The uncertainty and unanswered questions can feel overwhelming. 

I met Allistair and Eric through the Love Is Not Tourism Facebook group, which I wrote all about a few days ago. They had shared their story with everyone there, so I asked them to contribute for our readers too. 

Their Summer Romance Turned Into Something More

“We met in Sydney, where I was living, in January 2019. He had just arrived a few days earlier to begin a year of traveling Australia with his cousins. In the meantime, I was getting ready to leave for Canada on my own working holiday visa. 

We dated for about a month and said a hard goodbye. Both of us had fallen harder than intended during what should have been a short summer romance. I had to leave on a work trip a few days before he was set to leave Sydney. So that was meant to be it. 

But after continuing to speak to each other every day while I was away, I knew I couldn’t let him go. So one night I skipped the work drinks and found a quiet corner to myself to call and ask if Eric would agree to be my boyfriend. His response:  “I need to think about it!” 

But after the longest hour of my life, he called me back and finally said yes!

When I finished my time in Canada, I came back to Sydney with the intention of applying for a visa in Belgium. I wanted to join Eric there for the summer. Then the pandemic shut down the borders and with them, our plans of seeing each other again.”

Their Long-Distance Relationship During Corona

“Australia seems to be doing pretty well with the virus. Life is in a weird blend of being almost back to normal. But there are reminders everywhere that we are not yet through this. Winter in Sydney is truly beautiful- crisp cold days, bright blue skies, and the most beautiful light from the lower sun. It’s very bittersweet being here by myself though.

I feel like one of the biggest things that makes this long-distance relationship possible at all is having a plan to meet up with each other semi-regularly. Having an end goal (however far into the future that might be) is another key aspect. 

I keep being forced to push back my move to Belgium. The uncertainty and constant disappointments that come with that are really hard to bear. 

But I also think we have become better at communication in this time. We’ve built the trust to speak our minds when something bothers us and we are much more intentional at showing love with words. 

Time zones can get tricky. We’re in a completely different energy state to each other when we speak. And even seasons have had an impact! It’s winter for me and I’d love nothing more than to sit under a blanket and watch a movie over the phone with him. But for Eric, it’s the middle of the day in a beautiful summer, so he wants to get outside.”

How They Feel Together When They’re Apart

“We’ve tried to make the best of things through the usual technological means: calling or video-chatting every day and watching TV shows or movies together. That only happens when we can line the time up just perfectly (it’s hard). 

One tip I’d share would be to send each other voice messages. It’s much more personal than a text message. 

Some days just hearing Eric’s voice has been the simple little thing I needed to boost my mood.”

How Other Couples Stay Connected Virtually

The best way to get advice is through personal experience. That’s why share these stories from couples around the globe who are braving Corona and growing their relationship despite it.

Edwina is also waiting for her partner, Sol, in Australia until the borders open. They show their love by surprising each other with Ubereats, flowers, and other gifts.

As the quarantine grows longer and longer, think about ways you can cheer up your partner to make the waiting less painful!

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