This One Thing May Spell All The Difference In Keeping Your Long-distance Relationship Strong
Surviving together, even if miles apart.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a big impact on different aspects of our lives: our health, our social life, our work or education, and of course, our romantic relationships as well. Before the lockdown, “constant communication” meant seeing each other once or twice a week, eating together, and going on dates. However, since the lockdown began, going on dates became impossible as people were advised to stay home. In the face of this hurdle, how do we keep the romance alive? Here, couples discuss the problems they went through and how they are surviving together, even if they are miles apart.
Alex and Bie, who have been in a relationship for almost two years, did not physically see each other for 8 months since March 2020. The distance was new to them because they always spent time together before the quarantine.
“We used to see each other 5 times a week. We would eat dinner together, work together, and even do sleepovers at times. [Being apart] was challenging at first, since doing everything together was part of our routine.” 27-year-old Alex shares.
And so, they did everything virtually. They kept in touch through Facetime and Facebook Messenger, and even played Call of Duty whenever they had free time. However, since their primary love language was physical touch, both of them found it tough to not have the opportunity to see and hug each other.
During the lockdown, Thea, 22, spent 7 months apart from Boden, 24, her partner of two years. She admits that the quarantine became one of the reasons why they would always fight.
“I get so annoyed with him usually when he says something off, that it even came to a point that I wanted to break up with him because I thought we had different wavelengths.”
However, Thea realized that the distance was testing their relationship, and that she was not ready to give up yet. “I’ll let this lockdown pass muna before I make [any] decision, [or] I might regret it in the future.” To keep in touch, Thea and Boden would often send each other’s families small gifts or food deliveries.
Luckily for Gabbie, 22 and Joshua, 25, they were apart for only 6 months. After three years together, Gabbie says their first few months apart during the lockdown was difficult because they had a lot of misunderstandings. The miscommunication was not easy to handle, especially since they could not see each other in person to resolve them. But they found new ways to talk it through.
“We make it a point to always check up on each other through constant messages throughout the day. Every night, we do video calls where we also watch a movie or series together on Netflix. As I often cook or bake, I also send him and his family the pastries and dishes that I make,” Gabbie shares.
Alex tells the story of when she finally saw Bie, “It honestly felt like a dream when we saw each other after 8 months. Suddenly it felt like we were on our first date again.” They grabbed a cup of coffee from their favorite hang-out spot and had lunch at a nice restaurant.
When it was time to go home, Alex got emotional. “I started crying because I knew I would miss Bie so much. One whole day wasn't enough to spend time and catch up.”
Thea is still having trouble communicating with Boden, but they are holding on. “We lack interaction especially now that I have online classes and he has to go to work,” she says. But they are taking it one day at a time.
As for Gabbie and Joshua, they are confident to say that the distance made their relationship stronger. “We were able to fight off feelings of uncertainty while being apart. Now, our trust with each other is also stronger that it feels like we can really surpass anything together.”
Alex learned the most important thing during the test of distance: reassurance.
“Every single day of the lockdown period, I learned a new way to show how I care and love her. Since giving hugs or surprise visits to cheer my partner up is not an option right now, I have to make sure that she feels loved. Constant reassurance is important especially now that we are apart.”
Technology played a huge part in these couples’ romantic journeys, and some would even say it saved them. We might not be able to see our partners, hug them, or tell them how much we appreciate them in person, but there are many other ways to express that they are cherished and cared for. After all, the distance might make us physically apart, but the love remains the same in our hearts.