By: Stefnie Howley
COVID-19 has caused havoc in every aspect of life, and relationships are no exception. While some couples are getting used to being with their partner 24/7 (buh-bye privacy!), others are adjusting to the exact opposite.
As a Certified Dating Expert at Match, I can provide lots of advice on dealing with separation from a significant other. But my best tips come from firsthand experience.
When I first met my husband, he was in the Navy and I was working for a company that had me traveling a minimum of 16 days every month. For the first two years, we spent more time apart than together. Here’s what I learned:
1. Communication is key. It may sound cliché, but communication is now more important than ever. Lucky for you, there are also more ways to communicate than ever. In addition to the good ole-fashioned call, email and text, you can send videos and photos, or just hop on FaceTime or Skype.
Another important note: Don’t jump to conclusions if the person doesn’t respond right away, or in the way you were expecting. This is where knowing your partner’s communication style can also help. Some have no trouble spilling their heart via text, while others need to be face-to-face to feel comfortable.
2. Set expectations. Speaking of communication, it’s important to be clear on your expectations for it. Maybe you establish that one of you always calls or texts before bed, or first thing in the morning. Or maybe you establish a system where if you call two times in a row, it’s an emergency. Whatever it is, don’t make it a guessing game.
3. Know each other’s love language. Heard of the 5 Love Languages? If not, this would be a fun quiz for you and your partner to do together. Knowing whether someone craves words of affirmation, gifts or acts of service is an easy way to ensure you’re showing the love they’re looking for from far away.
4. Get creative. Despite your current distance, there are still plenty of ways to feel connected. And we’re not just talking about hopping on FaceTime. Buy the same puzzle and have a race to see who can finish first. Try a new recipe and have a cook-off in your respective kitchens. Exchange playlists to keep each other company. You can even go old school by sending a handwritten card or letter. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a bit.
Need more tips, or have a specific question about #DatingWhileDistancing? Ask one of our certified Dating Experts, and see what other advice they’re sharing with fellow singles today.