Sustaining Your Relationship While Practicing Social Distancing

Biological anthropologist and chief science adviser for dating site “Match” Helen Fisher shared to CBS This Morning that the coronavirus pandemic is a good time for singles, and bad for couples.” It isn’t hard to understand why; singles can use dating apps to find dates and interact online, while couples, particularly those that live together, may experience issues from needing space and changing routines, and adjusting can easily spark arguments.

How about partners who live apart? It’s easy to imagine that they’re the ones who have it worst, given the social distancing protocols. If they’re already engaged, then it’s even more stressful, especially if the groom-to-be has already bought a stunning engagement ring in Salt Lake City or any other metropolitan area. Wedding plans have to be postponed, and bookings have to be rescheduled, possibly resulting in greater chaos when the quarantine finally gets lifted.

But no couple has to suffer at all amid this pandemic. You can still be there for each other through the following ways:


  1. Video Chat

No doubt that the best way to communicate during the pandemic is video chatting. You can enjoy the same movie over video chat, or cook a meal and eat together. You can exchange voice messages if texts won’t be enough to fill your distance.

  1. Make Things Feel as Normal as Possible

It’s certainly tough to be kept from seeing your partner, but we must put rationality over emotions in this crisis. Just because you can’t physically meet each other means that sustaining your relationship will be impossible already. Try to make things feel as normal as possible, and remind yourself that each passing day is a day closer to the quarantines possibly being lifted.

  1. Accept that Physical Contact Has to Wait

The lack of intimacy may be an issue to some couples, but digital communication doesn’t make that impossible, anyway, so if you’re both comfortable with it, talk about it, and agree on a way to attain it.

If you can’t somehow deal with your partner not being physically close to you, remind yourself that there will be lots of time for physical contact after the virus gets contained. As relationship expert Jess O’Reilly says, “We can survive without kissing.” Focus on how you’re helping stop the virus’s spread by staying at home, rather than instant gratification.

  1. Stay Level-Headed When Wedding Plans Need to be Changed

Having to change or postpone your wedding plans is disheartening, but again, it’s all for the greater good. If you’ll plan to push through with your wedding regardless, you can still make it pretty epic like the couples from around the world who got creative. Some donned face masks, others just proceeded with a civil ceremony, and one couple from Israel even got hitched in a grocery store since it’s the only place where gatherings of over ten people are allowed. These unexpected twists show that you can still make your wedding memorable despite the difficult circumstances.

  1. Be Optimistic

If you’re doing what’s right by staying at home and abiding by all the quarantine protocols, you help slow down the spread of the virus, which will reduce the probability of the quarantines being extended.

You and your partner should focus on the possible positive outcome of the current situation. If you survive this crisis, then it’s a sign that you can overcome other hardships, so just keep on finding ways to strengthen your bond, whether you’re 6 feet or miles apart.