So, I recently asked people what they've been struggling most with during quarantine, and although I received so many varied answers which I might touch upon later, one that repeated itself a considerable amount was "being apart from my significant other."
It's true, not all of us get to live with our partners. And not all of us are in long-distance relationships and get to laugh at the inexperienced. I honestly wouldn't call mine a long-distance relationship exactly, but it's been since the start of the year that we haven't seen each other. Long story, maybe for later. And there are several more months ahead of us before we get to see each other face to face. So, you could say I'm sort of qualified in the LDR field. And I hope I can give that some use.
So, here are a few ideas and tips that have helped me (and him) and that you can do with your significant other to keep the spark even when you're apart.
Switch it up. I agree with you: our phones are marvelous tools. Yet only texting all the time can be tiring and get repetitive. Change is good and exciting. You've maybe tried video calls and voice calls. What about emails? I'm sorry, what? "Emails are for work?" Honey, your relationship is one of your jobs and there's work involved. And if your significant other checks their inbox regularly, it might be the best feeling ever to see your name on a sender's place. Help keep romance alive by sending the good old-fashioned love letter or if you're quite the writer, you can even write a short story about what you would do if you were together.
You can switch it in format or you can switch it in language as well. Music is a universal language I'm sure all of us are fluent in. Send your lover some tunes or get real and send some messages in French or Italian. Why not?
Play games over video calls. You might think there are not a lot of options out there that have a remote multiplayer mode, but I'm here to tell you that that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. For us, it all started with solitaire. And that really doesn't make much sense, because solitaire is designed to be played alone, hence the name, duh. But I had grown a bit obsessed over it during my personal quarantine, so we had the idea of downloading the same solitaire app and time each other on who would finish the daily challenge first.
Then, we worked our way to Battleship, then online checkers. I also recently discovered Bunch, a super fun app that supports group video calls and has real-time gaming options. Pro tip: third-party games such as Minecraft and UNO are supported. However, our most recent game session and the loudest I've laughed in days was Pictionary using the Zoom whiteboard and a random word generator. You can also check my 11 Apps to Become a Quarantine Expert for more ideas.
Take a quiz. In Buzzfeed alone, there are trillions of quizzes. They get as random as Make Your Dream Sandwich And We'll Reveal When You'll Meet Your Soulmate. Completing a quiz is a fun way of getting to know each other better. Yes, even if they're silly quizzes. Actually, if you wanna get deep with your babe, you can learn more about each other by answering the 16 Personalities test, the Enneagram test, the Love Language test...
You can find a list of many other personality tests here.
Keep each other company. When we videocall our partners, it is usually with the purpose of establishing a conversation. However, if you think about it, when seeing each other in person, not nearly a big of a percentage of that time is used in talking. We don't talk 100% of the time when we spend time together, face to face. We do other things like have lunch, watch a movie, read, do homework, sing in the car, even be on our phones in silence. I honestly don't understand why people see that as something extremely negative. We sometimes learn more about a person in their silences than in their words.
Keeping each other company is part of being harmoniously together. Tell me: how much harmony would you have if you felt like you had to fill every void with a conversation topic? That's exhausting. Text your partner and tell them: "Hey, can I call you later and we can each do our thing? I have so many chores to do, but I don't want that to steal our together time. Maybe I can do my chores while you do homework? I just want you in the room." That's it. One another's presence will do wonders on both your stress levels.
Create a when-we-see-each-other doc. What keeps us moving forward? Hope for the future. Something to look forward to. Motivation. If you are in a long-distance relationship, you'll know that by the end of their visit to your city, you're already planning the next trip. "Hold your horses, that's overwhelming." Maybe, but long-distance couples know this works. It works because that way you know the approximate amount of time to wait until you see each other again. If there's nothing to expect, no plans, no nothing, then what is the purpose of the relationship?
So, don't worry, you'll see each other soon enough, but meanwhile, it is a good idea to start cooking your plans for when you do. Create a shared document where you list places you wanna check out together, activities that would be fun to do as a couple, even TikToks you wish to film together. Whatever sparks your motivation and helps you savor the moment of reunion. Some on our list are hiking, cooking pizza, and a picnic.
"Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory, your caresses, your tears... When free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?"
- Napoleon to Joséphine in a love letter