Lockdown that Love: 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Long-distance Couples in Quarantine

It’s hard enough to be in a long-distance relationship, but what can an LDR couple do if the situation was unplanned? There are thousands of couples separated because they were traveling when the lockdowns and curfews being implemented around the world hit us hard. For many, there was simply no time or no means to get back home. If you’re a long-distance couple forced to be that way because of the quarantine situation around the world, what can you do to make things better?

Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts for long-distance couples forced to be separated by a lockdown or quarantine:

  1. Be there for each other: She’s probably frightened by the prospect of being alone at a time when the world seems to be falling apart. Be there for her by texting and emailing on a regular basis. Just a “thinking of you” every now and then can help calm her nerves. Girls, reassure your guy that you’re alright; don’t leave him biting his nails wondering if you’re safe all the time.
  2. Find close confidant(e)s for yourselves: Not every fear or worry needs to be shared with the one you love. Often, it only serves to make the situation worse because your better half knows that you’re going through the pain of isolation and there’s nothing they can do about it from where they are. For that reason, each of you needs a close friend or relative you can pour your heart out to. Men, don’t try to be macho and hide your feelings. It’s far better to vent out some of your frustration with a person you’re comfortable with.
  3. Engage in “together activities”: Make good use of the technology tools available to us. There are several online platforms where the two of you can spend time with each other doing the same activity, even if it’s as simple as playing online Sudoku, real-time online card games, virtual board games, and so on.
  4. Enjoy “me-time activities”: Being in different locations doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking minute on the phone with each other or tracking each other’s whereabouts. Reserve some time to be alone with your thoughts. You won’t be apart forever, so think about the life changes you might make once you and your lover or spouse have been reunited.
  5. Never, ever indulge in self-pity: It has been said that self-pity is the most destructive emotion in the world. How true that can be! It is a diving board that makes you plunge into the dangerously deep waters of depression. Admittedly, self-pity can be a soothing balm for a while, but it is nothing more than wasted minutes eventually sinking into endless hours, days, and weeks of intense melancholy. In short, it’s bad for you in any measure.

The best advice for long-distance couples who hadn’t planned on being apart is to go on living your lives as if you were together. Creating a semblance of normalcy in your daily routine offers many benefits, chief among them being that you will have the strength and fortitude you need to get through this tough time. Don’t ever forget that the most important thing is how both of you ‘feel’ about the situation. The more positive your outlook, the more it will help you deal with the angst and pain of separation as the world deals with the novel coronavirus threat and the uncertainty it has brought to all our lives.

God bless, be safe, and let’s get through this together!

We’ll leave you with these invaluable tips for every long-distance couple…

Surviving a Coronavirus-inflicted Long-distance Relationship

The year is 2020. It is the year of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the frightening affliction that is COVID-19. By now, it’s amply clear that most of the world was totally unprepared for such an attack on its human inhabitants, but we’re not here to criticize the world’s leaders for failing at the most basic duty of protecting the lives and health of the people who voted them into power. We’re not here to say that the 2009 Spanish Flu and 2017-2018 ILI (Influenza-like Illness caused by Influenza A and Influenza B viruses) outbreaks should have made us more prepared. We’re here to talk about the ripping apart of lives and how to survive the sheer isolation and increasing loneliness that social distancing is bringing to bear on our already-stressful existence. If you’re in a long-distance relationship forced by the lockdown situation around the world, you need the tools and means to help both of you through your time of distress.

Surviving a Forced Long-distance Relationship

Do we know how long the current status of social distancing and self-quarantine will last? Nobody does, and nobody will until there’s a viable vaccine candidate that is globally accessible. The best we can do, for now, is to be aware of the tools that will help us close the social distance inflicted on many, many couples who were traveling for work but were blindsided by travel restrictions and forced to remain separate for an indefinite period of time.

Fortunately, there’s already a roadmap for those couples who have been involuntarily put in this situation. Millions of couples the world over have been dealing with the issue of keeping a long-distance relationship alive and well, and we would do well to emulate some of those ideas and strategies to get through what can only be described as one of the most life-altering situations of this millennium.

If you’re separated from your spouse or partner due to the coronavirus outbreak and you can’t physically get to them, here’s a list of things you can do to keep in touch and give each other the courage and fortitude to overcome this seemingly insurmountable hurdle in your relationship.

What Can Long-distance Couples (LDR Couples) Do to Fight the Virus? Long-distance Relationship Tips and Tools

  • Find the Right Communication Tool

video conferencing during coronavirus lockdown

Video conferencing tools like Zoom and ClickMeeting are currently overwhelmed with the sheer number of users that are using them at any given time. You can try alternatives like Skype, but bandwidths everywhere are bursting at the seams and you may not always get through. Instead, use good old telephones (land phones, not mobiles) to get through. It’s more expensive to call internationally, but you can buy international calling cards online to save on overseas phone calls. It’s worth a shot.

  • Mentally Connect with Each Other

The lockdown situation has given us the most valuable gift of all – time; so learn to make lemonade! Just because you’re apart from your beloved, it doesn’t mean you have to be mentally separate. Distance is a state of mind; two people can be in the same room and feel alone. By the same yardstick, two people on different continents can be together, mentally. From a practical standpoint, that could mean engaging in similar activities like reading the same book or pursuing similar hobbies. Such a strategy will bring you closer and put you on the same wavelength, and that helps a lot when you’re dealing with separation anxiety.

  • Find Virtual Spaces to Share with your Long-distance Lover

We live in the age of technology and information, so why not leverage that to our advantage? If you both have access to a VR headset, for example, you can engage in shared gameplay or create private virtual spaces. There are tons of virtual reality companies with apps for this very purpose. Consider apps like Facebook Spaces; all you need to do is create a Facebook Group for you and your long-distance partner and it will let you view the same photos and videos. VRChat, IMVU, and Second Life are all great alternatives to Facebook Spaces, or you can just browse the web and find one that suits your preferences.

  • LDR Couples Can Pray Together

 

The power of prayer can hardly be overstated in current times, and there has never been a better time to seek the blessings of a Higher Intelligence. Today’s generation has become so ultra-cynical that people find it hard to even use the word God in public without facing criticism and raised eyebrows. Forget all that and go back to the roots of spiritualism by sharing a few minutes of prayer time on a regular basis. It can be extremely healing and cathartic when you’re in need of some shared upliftment.

  • Multiplayer Gaming in a Remote Relationship

On the fun side of things, there are a lot of online multiplayer games that LDR couples can enjoy playing together. A game of long-distance Scrabble might be fun, or how about doing the same online crossword puzzle or playing the same Sudoku puzzle to see who finishes first? It’s fun and it will give you something to talk and laugh about for a long time. There are also several other co-op video games that you might enjoy playing as a couple. Some of the popular platforms for online multiplayer gaming include Pogo, Steam, etc. that you can explore. The idea is to have a blast together even if you can’t be together as a couple.

  • Maintain and Share Digital Journals

Jotting down your thoughts and experiences at the end of the day and sharing them with your spouse is a great way to deal with the mental distance that physical separation often brings. The very act of putting pen to paper is a stress-reliever in itself. And when you share that with the one you love, it can be a powerful connecting force. If you’re not comfortable voicing your innermost feelings, it’s okay. Just make notes about what you did during the day. Even journaling and sharing simple and mundane stuff will do amazing things to strengthen your relationship with each other.

  • Take an Online Course Together

Learning can be fun at any age. If you’re up to it, why not sign up for an online course that both of you will enjoy? Several websites today offer virtual learning environments that offer student-to-student interaction, which means you’re actually attending classes as a couple. Nothing fosters a sense of closeness as much as learning something new together and it can be a fantastic stress outlet at a time when the strain of isolation is tugging at the loose threads of your sanity.

  • Share your Calendars Online

 

how long distance couples can share their Google calendars with each other

To keep track of each others movements during the day, you can use digitally shareable calendars like Google Calendar. It allows the other person to see what you’re up to whenever they want. Some couples might find this to be intrusive on their privacy but don’t forget that you’re trying to do everything in your power to keep yourselves on each other’s minds as much as possible. Sharing your online calendar is a great start to that end.

  • Send a Long-distance Relationship Gift

friendship lamps for long-distance relationship gifting

If e-commerce services are operational at your location and that of your spouse or lover, you can consider sending a long-distance relationship gift like a friendship lamp. It’s basically a pair of lamps where one lamp lights up in a particular custom color when the other one is touched. It’s an extremely personal gift and one that your better half is sure to cherish. These relationship lamps will put you in tune with each other on a psychological level by offering an appealing way to tell your lover that you’re thinking of them at that very moment.

We don’t know how long the lockdown situation around the world will prevail. That’s why it is crucially important for long-distance couples to find ways and means to survive the angst of coronavirus-inflicted separation. But even after the world is somewhat back on its feet, these ideas for LDR couples will form a ready framework of activities for the next time you’re away from each other. For now, let’s make the most of the “us” in coronavirus.

Long Distance Relationship: How To Make it Work

Facing a potential long-distance relationship (or LDR, as opposed to a geographically-close relationship or GCR) with your lover or spouse is one of the hardest situations to be in because most people have mixed feelings about long-distance love. On the one hand, they’re saddened by the prospect of physical distance; on the other, they’re curious to see if their love for each other is strong enough to withstand the often brutal feelings of loneliness. Either way, it’s a problem that can be overcome like any other hurdle in a relationship. Sometimes, a little time apart can be a good thing, distance making hearts grow fonder and all that! The key is to understand the dynamics of a long-distance relationship, and this can only happen when you know what all relationships require in the form of nurturing and nourishment to stay alive and well.

Communication in a Long-distance Relationship

 

long distance relationship quote

This part of your relationship takes on greater significance in an LDR because communication is central to any kind of bonding between individuals. When you’re physically close, your words are complemented by touching, looks, gestures, facial expressions, specific mannerisms, and other nonverbal, body-language-type cues. That’s all gone in a long-distance relationship. FaceTiming is not the same thing, in case you were going to use that objection. Watching someone on a 2D screen isn’t the same as being able to hold their hands while you look deep into their eyes. As such, there are a number of things you need to be aware of on the communication front.

  • Don’t Force It

There’s no rule that says LDR couples should talk absolutely every day at a particular time. Set a more flexible schedule so there’s no pressure on either of you but also make sure you’re available when your partner needs you. Let the communication arise out of a need to share your day or your week with a loved one rather than become an obligatory ritual you engage in on a daily basis.

  • Be Clear About What You’re Saying

Verbal communication is not always the ideal form, and a lot of things get misread or misunderstood. Make sure your lover or partner clearly understands what you’re saying, even if you’re recounting a simple story of getting your garbage disposal fixed. People love hearing details because it brings them closer to you on a deeper psychological level. You need to be like a reporter obsessed with accuracy and details.

  • Don’t Just Use Video Calling

A lot of long-distance couples mistakenly assume that a video call once in a while is more than enough. Not true. Long-distance relationships are devoid of physical contact, as it is. Don’t take away even more from it by restricting your channels of communication. For example, why not send a surprise bouquet to your girlfriend using an online florist? Or make a special video at a place you used to frequent together. That’s powerful communication, too. The point is to figure out different ways to express yourself so the experience is kept enriched with new thrills and possibilities.

  • Don’t Go Overboard

Just because there are tools for video calls, instant messaging, social media, and other communication tools, it doesn’t mean both of you have to stay connected all the time. That’s exhausting, to say the least. In other words, don’t overload your remote lover with hourly updates on practically everything you did, said, heard, saw, or felt. They have a life too, so don’t make them obligated to keep following you on social media like a celebrity. Give them space and take some for yourself. As a warning note, a flexible schedule is good but make sure there’s some sort of a schedule or else you’ll see your shared time together start to dwindle, which is the last thing you want in an LDR.

Me Time and Boundaries in a Long-distance Relationship

All couples need to respect their partner’s boundaries whether they’re sleeping in the same bed or thousands of miles apart. There are certain questions you don’t ask, certain moments of your day you don’t share, certain thoughts that you don’t voice, and so on. This understanding generally comes over a long period of time in a normal relationship; LDRs are different because there are greater chances that privacy and the need for alone-time might be construed as secrecy and deceitfulness. That might sound uncomfortably like paranoia but humans are prone to that kind of thinking. The point is, dispel any seeds of doubt about your whereabouts or activities by being clear about needing time for yourself.

  • Be Clear About Personal Time

One of the biggest fears of any long-distance couple committed to a monogamous relationship is that their partner or spouse is cheating on them. Don’t complicate that by being unclear about your own privacy needs. If you need some me-time every week, tell your partner about it and trust that he or she will understand. Don’t go sneaking around avoiding her calls or being curt on a call just to get him to hang up. Those are the seeds of doubt you want to steer clear of planting.

  • Don’t Hide Stuff

Your me-time is extremely valuable and it’s nobody’s business to tell you what you can and cannot do. Even if you think your partner won’t respect your need for personal time, make it very clear from the outset. That way, you won’t need to lie about it or hide things from them later on. Honesty and trust are a huge part of any relationship, more so a remote relationship.

Spend Money on New Ways to Please your Long-distance Partner

 

quote for long distance relationship couples

The giving of gifts has always been a traditional way to express love from far away. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you need to depend on it more than ever. Our advice: keep yourself constantly in search mode, always looking for gifts of emotional value that you can either send to your lover or hold on to until you see them next. They don’t have to be expensive but they do have to be thoughtful. Sending a particular spice or condiment that’s not available at your partner’s location, for example, is not only a thoughtful gift but also one lets them know you care about their smaller needs as much as larger ones. That brings us to the first of our gifting ideas and gifting tips for long-distance relationships.

  • Thoughtful Gifts

A thoughtful gift idea is one that holds emotional value for the receiver as much as for the giver. This is probably the hardest type of gift for men to find; women seem more in-tune with this type of gifting, and it’s even been validated by scientific studies. Nevertheless, today’s fantastic spread of online shopping options for long-distance couples and overseas family members greatly reduces the stress of shopping for that perfect gift. It doesn’t necessarily make the decision any easier, but it does open up a lot of gifting possibilities that hadn’t struck you before.

Need Gifting Tips? See: 101 Gift Ideas for 2020 [Opens a new tab]

Keep one thing in mind at all times, though. It’s never about how much you spent to buy it; it’s about how much time you spent choosing it. It could be a simple video recording of you telling your girlfriend 10 reasons you love her, or just news that you went and visited his mom over the weekend.

  • Practical Gifts

Although practical gifts are certainly thoughtful, they deserve a category of their own. This type of gift goes beyond thoughtful and actually fills a need. It could be as simple as a subscription to Amazon Prime in the country where your husband works. Or, perhaps, your wife is serving her country in a far-away military base and would really appreciate a few good books from your library back home. Maybe an iPad stand is exactly what she needs because her arms are so tired from FaceTiming you every day!

The idea is to find something that makes their life more convenient because it shows that you care for them and about their well-being. Again, men might find it harder than women to choose the right gift for their girlfriend or wife; however, the mere act of searching for such a gift will help the man appreciate his woman’s needs.

  • Random and Unexpected Gifts

Not all gifts need to be thoughtful or practical. Sometimes, quirky surprise gifts are just as good. You can go corny and have selfie photo pillowcases sent to your boyfriend overseas. Or how about a wine and cheese gift basket delivered just in time for the weekend? Even a print of her favorite painting all framed and ready to hang might be a good idea. If you’re not on a budget, you might want to book some flight tickets so he can come home for the long weekend that’s coming up.

 

long distance relationship cute quote

The gift, of course, depends on what the receiver may or may not like, so be wary of splurging on things like jewelry unless you’re absolutely sure they’ll love it.

How About You?

We’ve seen three things that will help ease the pain of separation in a long-distance relationship: effective communication, respecting boundaries, and learning the art of gifting. But what about how you deal with your own emotions and feelings?

It’s not easy being away from a lover or a spouse for weeks or months on end, and it can send you into a deep depression if you don’t have someone to talk to. Find a confidant with whom you can share your fears and inner thoughts – someone you can spill your guts to without worrying about what they’ll think or say. This is a critical part of being in a long-distance relationship. Don’t distance yourself from your friends and family because you’re busy pining away for your overseas love. Go socialize and make new friends; your life doesn’t have to stop because your soulmate is not around.

Another form of emotional support is to start a new hobby or join a fun course. Not only does it help broaden your social circle but the distraction itself can be quite cathartic. In many cases, it acts as a damper for negative emotions, fears, and doubts that arise from being away from a loved one. Social interaction is a key facilitator of good mental health so, if you want to stay healthy, go do something with other people.

Conclusion: Making a Long Distance Relationship Work

Making a long-distance relationship work means doing all these things and taking care of your own needs through it all. The fear of entering into a long-distance relationship likely stems from the fact that most people are pushed into an LDR by circumstance, not by choice. It’s an unknown abyss to many of us because the only experience we have up to that point is from hearing horror stories of how he cheated on her while she was away or how she left him for someone else in his absence. Stop being scared away by myths and gossip. Another couple’s troubles have nothing to do with you. If your relationship is strong, you’ll work it out.

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