Surviving Long Distance

Surviving Long Distance

For almost all couples, going long distance is generally the last thing you want to do. Critic spoke to couples who moved in together for lockdown to avoid doing just that. But what if you weren’t ready, or able, to do that with your partner? Or what if your significant other is your best friend, who now lives with their parents on the other side of the country? For those who are struggling, here are some of the most simple but effective ways to stay connected.


Call them while you are busy

Setting up a facetime to talk about your day and feelings might seem like the most effective way to stay in touch, but from what Critic’s long-distance liaisons have said, it oftens turns into the most depressing part of their day. One person said it began to feel like they were “ripping off a bandaid too soon”.

Instead, you should make your long distance loved one a part of your daily routine. Put them on speaker while you study, or clean, or are watching some bullshit online. If you find you get nothing done while doing this, then revise your strategy. But having both of you chatting about what you are doing rather than how much you miss each other will definitely help the heartache. 


Create small meaningful gifts

Bust out those art supplies from your childhood bedroom you bought during your artsy phase. Use those painting TikToks you keep watching as inspiration. Now is the perfect time to create meaningful gifts for your partner that you can give to them once this is all over. Little handmade gifts carry so much sentimental weight that they can keep forever, and it doesn’t have to be anything too difficult. Write them little notes or letters, or keep a daily journal of things you did that day. Make them a collage using old magazines you have. Even become pen pals with them over email. If you live in the same city, walk by their house on your daily allocated walk and scream to their window as a romantic gesture. A really simple idea is to start a gallery with one another, where each day, you send the other person three different photos that describe your day. There doesn’t have to be context for it, but it encourages you to start taking photos you might not have otherwise taken, and share your day in a different light. 


Take advantage of apps and games

There are countless apps that you can use during this time to make things more fun. Netflix has one so you can watch movies together. Download some multiplayer games that you can play at the same time. Push those Minecraft beds together. Find each other on Habbo Hotel. Go on Club Penguin and flirt with a stranger so that your partner can walk in on you and go nuts, strengthening your bond, ala Blair and Chuck from Gossip Girl. Being able to feel like you’re both actually doing something while being together brings a different vibe to your conversations. There’s heaps of artists putting on live shows via Instagram at the moment, so you can even go to a concert together. Fuck it, have a fully glammed up date night over Skype. 


Communicate your feelings clearly

For many couples, long distance brings about anxiety, and even a little jealousy. Those feelings are exacerbated by a pandemic. No matter how you’re feeling, be sure to clearly and openly talk about it with your partner. It sounds cheesy, but it creates such a stronger bond between you both. Your feelings don't have to be about the relationship specifically, but anything that might be making you feel uneasy. Most times, if you are feeling a particular way, there’s a very high chance that they’re feeling the same way too. There’s no better sense of relief than when you bring up however you’re feeling with someone you care about, and get it all out into the open. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it feels so good once it’s done. 


Stay calm

The most important thing to remember right now is that this is only a temporary thing. While it seems like it is going to last forever, you can’t let yourself get caught up in it. It’s shit and it sucks, but there is an end in sight. For the time being, you can only really focus on what is happening currently. If you ever feel anxious about everything going on, be sure to tell your partner that. It’s hard to stay calm in a time like this, and it also seems very obvious to say it. But it’s easy to lose a sense of rationality when you’re stuck inside each day. Sometimes you just gotta be reminded that everything will be okay. If it feels like it’s getting too much, try discussing something unrelated to the situation at hand, as hard as that may seem. Be sure to utilize your time well, while also taking time out for both you and your partner to unwind. There is no golden amount of communication each couple should have since everyone is different, so find a regular routine that works for you both. Just remind yourself that it’s all going to be okay in the long run. 


Posted 12:10pm Friday 24th April 2020 by Henessey Griffiths.