I don't know about everyone else but before the COVID-19 pandemic my S.O. and I had never discussed "how to maintain our relationship if the entire world gets shut down and we can't go on cute dates or spend any time together."
It just wasn't really something that had crossed either of our minds and unless you're really into end-of-the-world, apocalypse movie kind of conversations, I doubt you had put much thought into it either.
However, despite all of that, this is the point we are at in our lives and anyone who isn't able to see their significant others has definitely had to work a little ~extra~ to keep that spark going.
Whether your significant other is into words of affirmation or physical touch (it's a tough one but this is my boyfriend so I FEEL you), here are some ways you can show them the type of love they're looking for based on their love language throughout this crazy time in our lives.
Words of Affirmation
Let's be real here, if your S.O. is into words of affirmation, this is your time to SHINE. Romance has been reduced to what can be said over a virtual platform and, lucky for you, words are pretty much all we've got. You have probably already nailed the art of sending your S.O. romantic, uplifting messages, but this is the time to make them a little more frequent or a little more lengthy (I mean seriously what ELSE do you have to do?!?). If you want to get really crazy, you can even mail them a love letter expressing your undying love for them. Words of affirmation, your relationship is about to get so much stronger if you do this right!
This one is a bit tougher, but TOTALLY doable while we're at home. While time spent together in person is ideal, obviously this isn't an option right now. So utilize FaceTime (or Zoom, since we've all become quite familiar with it since the COVID-19 outbreak) as much as you can, whether it's a weekly date night where you both get dressed up and put some candles around your kitchen table, or just a 20-minute call every night at the same time (BONUS: this also might introduce a sense of normalcy for both of you in this crazy time!). There's even a Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party where you can watch a movie together and message each other during it, so curl up on your respective couches and watch the movie that your S.O. has been BEGGING you to watch with them! Get creative... bottom line is to show them you are making time for them in your life!
Yea, not going to lie, this is the TOUGHEST thing to maintain during social distancing. Honestly, I think it's worth it to try to do a little bit from each of the other categories to show your person that you love them from a distance, but there isn't much you can to do to replace a hug (although the cute little GIF of the penguin giving a "virtual hug" never gets old). Otherwise, just try to use your words and video chats to remind your S.O. of all of the things you're looking forward to once quarantine is over. Tell them about all of the back rubs you're going to give them, the first big bear hug you're looking forward to, and all of the love and snuggles that you wish you could be giving right now. Even though words are the furthest thing from physical touch there is, they're all you've got for the time being. Consider sending them a snuggly blanket or pillow for them to hold in your absence, and giving the people they're with a heads up that they might need a little more physical love while they're home. No matter what, just reassure them that this will be over soon and you'll be able to give them that nice big hug they've been waiting for ASAP.
Once again, this one could be a BIT tricky with social distancing, but do so to the best of your abilities! (Without breaking the bank, because let's be real I don't think ANY of us are making our normal salary right now). If you like to cook or bake, make them one of their favorites and drop it off at their house (or if you're a bit further away mail them something!). If you aren't as gifted in the culinary department, use Uber Eats or Grubhub to send them food from their favorite restaurant (extra points if you can support a local business — they're really struggling right now!). You can even make them a cute ~quarantine~ care package of all of the necessities- some hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a roll of toilet paper, get creative! If they're still super bummed out, you can work on planning some cute dates for the future with them (a lot of things are super cheap to book right now). Just remember to show them that even though you're miles apart, you still are thinking of them and all of their favorite things!
Acts of Service
Along the same lines of receiving gifts, this one can be a little bit tricky when you can't see the other person, but it's totally doable. Try to stay up to date on what they're doing and cater to their needs to the best of your ability. If they're struggling in their online classes, take a few minutes to work through some problems with them (even if you have NO idea what's going on, sometimes just having someone to talk things out with can make all of the difference). If their parents are making them do a lot of chores around the house, drop off a cool new dish sponge they can use or some paper plates to help them scratch doing the dishes altogether (the same thing applies here: if you're a little further away pack it up in a box and ship it). If they left their sweatshirt at your house, throw it in the wash and send them a photo of it all clean. You can even vacuum the TV room and send them a photo of it with a message about a future popcorn and movie night once quarantine is over! It's all about the little things with acts of service, so keep taking care of your S.O. from a distance to the best of your abilities!
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