With the pandemic upon us, you might not be quarantined with a loved one. So you might wonder how to deal with social distancing from your partner.
Trust me, I am right there with you. The last time I saw my boyfriend was two weeks ago. This is by far the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other since we met. And to be blunt, it sucks. But, my boyfriend and I are as strong as ever. It isn’t easy, but we have figured out the best way to deal with social distancing from your partner.
I miss him like crazy, and even though we live relatively nearby each other, it feels like we’re in a long-distance relationship. Those who are lucky enough to be quarantined with their partners don’t have to face this lonely and confusing time without the person they love. But, many of us do.
Whether you are an essential worker *thank you for all you’re doing* who wants to ensure they don’t infect their partner or if you live apart, this time is not easy.
What has been getting me through social distancing from my partner *besides looking forward to finally seeing him* is reminding myself why I’m not. This is not about the government or following the law. It is about safety. It is about protecting ourselves, our families, and our fellow humans.
My mom is a nurse, working on the front lines during this pandemic. She is exposed regularly, and I live with her so it is likely I have been too. But, I may be asymptomatic meaning if I saw my boyfriend I could unknowingly infect him, and he may react much worse.
My brother who also lives with me is an essential worker and my boyfriend’s roommates are as well. This means we are both at a higher risk of exposure. If we visited one another there is a good chance one of us would infect the other.
I also live with my dad who is nearly 70-years-old with a number of pre-existing conditions. If he were to get sick, it is likely he would have to be in the ICU long-term. These are all risks that are not worth taking to selfishly go see my boyfriend or to have him over.
By reminding myself that I am protecting my fellow people – by flattening the curve and reducing the amount of COVID-19 cases at the hospitals so we don’t overwhelm the system, protecting my family, and protecting my boyfriend, these are the thoughts that keeps me going.
How to deal with social distancing from your partner
You know you have to social distance from your partner. It sucks and you miss them, and it just isn’t the same when you’re not sharing a bed or seeing them in person. But, this is a necessary step we must take.
With that, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Being apart doesn’t mean you’re not together in this. You can take steps to learn how to deal with social distancing from your partner.
#1 Stay hopeful. A positive attitude and hope are the things that will get us all through this time. Without that, we will crumble. To keep ourselves happy at home, we should have a good outlook.
#2 Create a routine. The experts are telling us to try to live our lives as normally as possible while working from home and self-isolating. That doesn’t just mean waking up at the same time each day.
Create a routine with your partner. My boyfriend texts me good morning first every morning and I text him goodnight every night. This ensures that we both have expectations for each other and are both putting in the effort. I know it seems simple, but getting that good morning text every day brightens my day. [Read: 20 reasons why a good morning text is so important for a relationship]
#3 Surprise each other. Just because you aren’t physically together doesn’t mean you can’t surprise each other. Write a love note out on a piece of paper and send your partner a photo of it. Wash and dry the pants they left at your house and send a photo of them nicely folded saying, “they’re waiting for you when this is all over.”
#4 Send gifts. You may not be able to make your famous pasta for them but you can send them little goodies just to brighten their day. Put together a care package of things they might be running out of that you have plenty of.
If you did your weekly trip to the grocery store and saw their favorite candy, add that in too. You can even do something naughty to keep the spark alive and send them condoms or a pair of your underwear.
#5 Exercise together. Whether you are doing workouts at home or going for walks daily, do it at the same time if possible. Talk on the phone while walking outside or video chat while doing a workout together.
You will release endorphins together and can even guide each other through the workout.
#6 Have dates. Just because you can’t go out to dinner together doesn’t mean you can’t have a date night. Once or twice a week, plan a video chat date. This shouldn’t be you walking around the house or folding laundry.
#7 Have something to look forward to. Plan something for once you can see each other. You may not be able to make reservations at the moment, but make a plan for something you can get excited for.
My boyfriend and I plan to go to the botanical gardens and have a picnic once things go back to normal.
#8 Check in on their health. We should be taking care of ourselves while social distancing. We don’t need to be neurotic about it because stress lowers your immune system, but checking in on each other shows you care and keeps one another in check.
#9 Do small things. When my boyfriend and I are together in person, we do small things for each other. Every time I go to his house I bring a snack I know he likes. And every time I cook dinner for him, he does the dishes.
We are keeping that going while social distancing. What works for us is sending each other cute animal videos on Instagram. We are both huge animal lovers and these videos really put a smile on our faces. For you, it might be a Star Wars meme or words of encouragement.