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Creating Intimacy During Social Distancing

Creating Intimacy During Social Distancing

April 10, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

When it comes to the Coronavirus Pandemic, another part of many people's lives that is facing adjustment is, well - dating - especially with social distancing becoming so important as a way to prevent the spread of illness. Couples are trying to make the best of the situation, creating intimacy where they can, whether through virtual means or ways that embrace the six-feet-apart mindset of social distancing. So what's the best way to keep a relationship going while trying to stay healthy? Let alone, is there even a way on how to date at a time like this? The answer might lie in those who regularly engage in that of a long-distance relationship.

At times like these, the challenges of a long-distance relationship are even more apparent. For example, if someone in the relationship gets sick, the other cannot just stop everything from coming over to make sure they are doing okay. With this said, the support for one another remains entirely virtual. Meaning that, unfortunately, you don't get the comfort of a hug at the end of a stressful day or a presence in the bed beside you if you happen to wake up with a nightmare brought on by too much anxiety. My partner and I are stuck in this situation as well - but it is best to keep the mindset of, "we're stuck where we are, but we are doing the best we can in these times."

What is interesting about this pandemic is that the current global crisis puts long-distance couples ahead of the curve on social distancing. You begin to learn that in times like these, when it comes to social distancing, that the closeness of relationships has everything to do with the effort that you put in or even the proximity as to which is created. When you can't be together, which — for long-distance couples — is most of the time, you will learn to nurture the relationship in other ways.

Beginner's Tips On Creating Intimacy

  • Create and maintain regular contact throughout the day:
    • Touching base with each other throughout the day becomes even more important during times of stress and fear. In keeping contact alive, aim for a phone call, text, or instant message in which you can reach out just to share how the day is going. From good morning texts to saying good night, connections are maintained with effort and intention and shows that you are thinking about the person throughout the day.
  • Do not be afraid to share your anxieties and help each other alleviate them:
    • It is important to remain open and transparent in your connection and contact throughout this time, even when it comes to your anxiety or stress. It is okay to feel vulnerable and not always feel okay with everything that is going on. Be open with your partner, even addressing how you are feeling and what you are thinking, while also letting them be open with you as well. Make sure to truly listen with intent, holding the space needed for each other's separate experiences. You will be surprised how well you can both help alleviate that stress and anxiety - sometimes it does just take a simple talk. My partner and I also take time to make for a stress-free entertainment where we can hang out, stream a show or movie together, and not talk for a little while. we also make an effort to make the other laugh or just simply bring a smile to each other's faces (which I must admit, my partner does a really amazing job at this). As important as it is to share our struggles, it’s also important to help each other relieve stress rather than adding to it.
  • Take some part of the day or week to Face-Time:
    • Or Skype. Or other video calls. Anyone in a long-distance relationship can tell you about the value of having face-to-face time no matter the distance. Get cozy, whether it will be talking over coffee or tea, as it can be a great way to catch up when socializing in person isn’t possible. While a voice on the line is nice, it’s even better when we can look someone in the eye, see their expression, and spend time with them.
  • Get Creative With Your Dates: 
    • When it comes to social distancing or even long-distance relationships in general, date nights are no longer going to be the norm. Instead, you are almost forced to get creative about the time you spend together as a couple For example, as mentioned before, movie night might look like streaming the same movie and Skyping while you and your partner text throughout it. The cute coffee-dates become a thing of having coffee together by video or phone. If you are trying to stimulate more of a conversation between yourself and your partner, try sharing songs or trading even TED talks where you can discuss why the are important to you or what you felt about the talk.
    • For those looking at making playlists together or sharing songs, music can be an easy way to tap into feelings that are hard to put into words. When you share this playlist with your loved one you might touch their own emotions. Either way, they’ll know you were thinking of them. If you want to go one better, invite them to help you put the playlist together.
  • Take Time To Build A Strong Sense of Self-Care:
    • Long-distance relationships and social distancing help in creating a natural boundary. Understand that you are not going to necessarily see your partner every day - you both have busy lives and things get a little crazy at times. So naturally, it is important to start prioritizing self-care. While important for everyone, is particularly essential when we have more time on our own than with our partners. Instead of sitting around being sad and lonely, start taking time to invest in the relationship with yourself - even as much as you do with your partner. Exercise, take time for your hobbies, find time to keep up your relationship with friends through similar means, and take time to enjoy time alone by practicing mindfulness. These kinds of boundaries can get a little more fluid with couples who see each other all the time. Then, making self-care time becomes a little more challenging, as clear boundaries have to be drawn so that each person gets regular time to themselves. 

When it comes to these times, every long-distance couple can tell you that being away from the people you love is hard, as it can bring in levels of complications to your relationship. But those of us in it who are committed to making it work can also tell you that it’s absolutely possible to have a strong, healthy relationship without being in the same place at the same time. I think that’s valuable to remember right now as we deal with what is a unique situation for many of us. 

Share with us what you and your partner like to do doing these times by following us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables and by dropping a comment and like. Also, be sure to check out our new articles published daily! -Patrick

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