Navigating a Long Distance Relationship During Pandemic

Just as 2020 can’t stop spinning whimsically, on the contrary, our lives have taken sudden halts, and it has been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us who are trying to navigate through a long-distance relationship during this pandemic.

In the newly ascertained normal, travelling hasn’t been announced quite safe yet, so most of us are still not sure when can we resume our quarterly meets travelling halfway across the world to celebrate certain days with beau. Mental polaroids of perfect nights spent together, the last sunset that we watched together while sipping on tea on a quiet afternoon and a solidified optimism to make it through this terrible set to have been the saving grace of relationships. So we schedule certain zoom dates, and send surprise breakfast treats to still establish our presence and keep the perks going. And here’s a list of things that have so far worked out to keep the relationship intimate while sailing through this storm.

Embrace the uncertainty 

I know how it sounds. It is what it is. 

Yet, this works. For the first few weeks of the lockdown, when we planned and planned more but nothing worked, we felt this overwhelming helplessness which resulted in more frustration and fights. Have “the talk” and accept that meeting may not be in the picture for a while. Only then, we get to make the best out of what we have that is mutual support to go on another day.

Share that playlist 

A good song, a feel-good movie, or an entire season of Schitt’s Creek, find things to watch or listen together. Nothing feels more cathartic than sharing intellectual intimacy when the most sought kind of intimacy (read snuggles) is hard to get. Share an entire playlist for that gloomy monsoon afternoon or schedule video dates to watch a movie, even if both of you may just doze off in the middle.

Be present 

While working from bean bags and terrace benches, boundaries seem to blur away easily. I have caught myself too many times being on a call but hardly paying attention to what the other person was saying as I hurriedly typed a reply to my work mail. So, 45 minutes of a phone call later, I still hang up with a sense of emptiness. Better to be present. Finish that work email before ringing up. Be present in the conversation. Pay attention to the little things. 

Breakfast donuts and afternoon tea

Sending sudden treats and beverages is such a sweet gesture that would always make you feel a tad bit giddy. While swamped with deadlines last week, when I was about to just break down, I received a carton of my favourite elaichi tea from a nearby cafe and the afternoon just brightened magically. Keep the love brewing. 

Sometimes when I’d be finishing my long night shifts and watch the quiet hours give in to a beautiful sunrise, I end up typing a long email before the other one wakes up.

Talk the deep talks, share what you feel. Let that exquisite feeling of being seen settle in. Who knows, one day, we might just add this odd time to the closet of all crazy memoirs that we traversed through, together.

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