“Are you living apart and feeling disconnected?”
Stay with me and I’ll show you how to…
- find what works and what doesn’t for you
- be creative and have fun
- appreciate the importance of anticipation
We are all together in this very unusual situation. Different Countries, with different rules and restrictions, and yet we are all facing similar circumstances in our intimate relationships whether we are quarantined with or separate from those we love. Whether you’re a few feet apart and separated by a door, wall, or window, or miles away from each other, you will probably be experiencing the same things. Social distancing and the sense of being disconnected can bring up all kinds of feelings, and so we are each presented with a choice. Do we feel down, sad, and then start sliding down that slippery slope of hopelessness and despair, and possibly self-sabotage of what we have together with our frustration? Or do we start each day thinking, “ I’m going to make the most of this, take advantage of this time we’re given, and see if I can find a way to make myself feel better and see if our relationship can grow and get stronger”?
Now, this may have been forced upon us, but it is very similar in many ways to people who choose, or find their relationships, stretched over long distances. Now, I know some people have very strong opinions about long-distance relationships. (“Oh, I’d never do long distance.”) But what happens if you find yourself in one because his work transferred him, or there is a quarantine that was enforced before you could be together again?
This is the perfect time to develop our coping skills on how to become flexible and experience something new — to create a whole new relationship. Does this mean you won’t ever feel jealous, or have questions about trust? No, of course not. But long-distance relationships definitely fast-track a lot of these feelings. I tell my clients, “Don’t be distracted by the long distance. If a relationship is going to survive, it’ll survive despite the long distance.”
I’m reminded of one of my clients who loved her long-distance relationship years before Corona. She met her partner online. He hailed from a different country, culture, race, and time zone. Would you see it as a challenge or an exciting and exhilarating opportunity?
Interestingly, they had spent almost two years only speaking on the phone, without video. Their choice. So, during that time, they both developed great listening ears. They could tell instantly if there was a change in mood or something had happened, or needed to be said. And because they were each other’s Great Listening Ear, they were each other’s go-to person — even at an enormous distance. They loved the longing for seeing each other — the excitement of the anticipation of seeing each other — but they were also extremely conscious of the doubts and extra dose of trust that is needed in a long-distance relationship. They learned that the hard way.
It started when she had messaged upon waking, as they always did. She showered, got ready for work, and… no reply. Nothing. By lunchtime, still no reply. At the end of the day, she got home. Still nothing. And of course, by bedtime, she was panicking. Her imagination was all over the place. She barely slept and spent much of the night on the internet and calling all the hospitals around his home. By morning, stomach pains had turned into panic attacks, a heart attack, and an emergency room visit and meds. Four days went by and still no message from him. By this time, she couldn’t get out of bed. Her family was really concerned for her. Day five, he messaged and said his father had become really ill and he had to go stay with him. It was deep in the country, out of range for phones, and definitely no Internet.
Now, did this break them? Did everything she went through, and his lack of thoughtfulness about messaging her prior to going off the grid make her throw in the towel? Would you throw in the towel at this point? Would it be too stressful? Why would you put yourself through that?
Well, in fact, it confirmed how she felt about him. She realized she loved him. So, they set some rules and boundaries. They increased their methods of keeping in touch. They gave each other family phone numbers and work numbers; and they even shared medical information about each other and important documents such as passport details, driver’s licenses, etc. They shared their wishes with their families and how to contact the other should something happen to one. They anticipated and planned through multiple scenarios. And they also made sure that no more than four hours, even during the busy workday, would go by without at least an emoji being sent — no words needed — to let the other know, “All is Well.” They found solutions and it worked for them. And so this is what each of you need to do. Find what works for YOU!
In addition to their tips, here are five more:
- Discuss if you both need more time and ways to communicate. Maybe add some flirty texts or short videos expressing feelings. What has worked in the past and what hasn’t? It’s important to avoid cycling back to what doesn’t work. We’re looking for success and improvement!
- Share 3 meals together. FaceTime preparing the same meal. Take time to dress and get ready. Then, sit at a table and eat together. Maybe make it candlelight!
- Play a relationship game together.
- Sit down facing each other, then reach out with two hands to the screen, as if holding hands.
- Take turns finishing this phrase: “I appreciate you because…” This can get quite emotional, so hold on tight! You may be surprised how things develop once you get past the Top 5!
- Appreciate the power of Sincere Declarations of Love.
- Dig deep to find one you have yet to express, or haven’t relayed for a while.
- Write them on a piece of paper and hold them up in silence, so your partner can read them.
- Create together a Sexy Zest Bottle: “The Elixir for Hot and Steamy Love Making.”
Mmm… can you imagine a little sip or shot of all the good stuff that makes you feel good??!! Get creative. Think about how you’re going to do this. Here are some ideas:
- Each of you needs a jar/container
- Add the same Post-Its with the following on them:
- Take turns deciding sexy things you both do that you like. Hey! Get creative and add photos, garments, or… well… you decide.
- Take turns talking about hopes and dreams you both have.
- Then discuss what to do with this Sexy Zest Bottle when you physically meet again.