There are many reasons why someone may be separated from a loved one right now. Perhaps one of you is a high-risk individual or working on the frontlines, therefore, have chosen to play it safe and isolate alone. Maybe the relationship is still in its first legs, and you haven’t moved in together yet. Perhaps you decided it best to quarantine with family, or your relationship has always been long distance, and due to flight cancellations, you are unsure of when you will be able to reunite.
Whatever the reason, there are many individuals spending time away from their partners and feeling the strain.
It will be tough, though not impossible. In this light, I thought to make a list of my top five ways to stay connected during lockdown.
1. Have dates on Zoom or Houseparty!
In our group chat, my friends and I were discussing how much we missed each other. We had planned to meet up for brunch; however, with the UK being under lockdown this plan folded. Just as we were about to cancel it, Rachel suggested we do it on Zoom instead. Initially, the thought of getting dressed up, making food and drinking together seemed ridiculous at first however we soon all agreed it was the next best thing.
With being in the house all the time, getting dressed up would make the event feel more special. Even though we can’t be there in physicality, there is no reason to cancel the plans — we have to freestyle and come up with an alternative.
In the same light, those who are away from loved ones can do the same. Get dressed up, make dinner and give yourself a big glass of wine and have a date on whatever your chosen platform is. Now is the time for being creative and make plans to look forward to after all!
2. Try phone sex/ get naughty over Facetime
The risk of infection with COVID-19 starts as soon as someone gets within six feet of you, so having sex may be difficult right now if you are living away from your partner. People have discussed the prospect of having a ‘COVID sex-buddy’ however according to doctors this is inadvisable for various reasons (risk from transportation to and fro households and limited data on viral immunity after testing positive for the virus).
Therefore we have to look at other means to spice up things. So why not try phone sex/ FaceTime? Granted, it won’t be the same, but it’s the next best thing beyond masturbation. For those whose living arrangements don’t allow much privacy, maybe send pictures? If you are concerned about privacy, I’d suggest using an application where the images delete themselves after being viewed like Snapchat or Instagram.
3. Write love letters/ notes to each other
Many of us are unable to show compassion physically so now is the time to use history as a guide. This isn’t the first time loved-ones have been separated after all, so maybe try writing each other love letters/notes? Luckily, it is 2020 so don’t have to post them— send them via email, for example.
You don’t need to be a professional writer or poet to put paper to pen, after all, it’s the thought that carries it anyway. Step outside your comfort box and try it. You may be surprised at how much closer you become.
4. Buy each other virtual gifts
Now is the time to be spending money on gift cards. I recently bought a family member a Netflix membership after I found out they would be unable to go to work for a while.
Sure, I can’t supply them with work, but I can do what I can to make their transition more bearable. You don’t necessarily need to pay their rent — start small. Drop them something over PayPal, buy them a months membership on their favourite sites. Show them you care by taking care of a need. You don’t need to be physically there for that.
5. Plan for the future
With the future being so uncertain, it may seem pointless to plan for it; however, that is precisely the reason why we must do it.
Now is the time for hope, so plan a trip when this is over. You don’t need to buy the tickets but definitley verbally set it in stone. Though it may seem like we are in trouble, every season comes to an end. There is a rainbow after this storm, so plans for better days. Bring in some joy; we need it.
Humans are social creatures by default. Most of what we do involves venturing out and meeting new people, so being at home may feel difficult, especially for those who are extroverted by nature and are craving intimacy. However, it is possible to foster connection and maintain relationships during this time but we have to get creative and I hope through reading this, you will have some ideas on how to keep the fire alive.
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