It’s normal for your emotions to be a mixed bag if the coronavirus is keeping you away from your partner. You might feel annoyed and frustrated because all you want to do is be with them, but social distancing is making that impossible for awhile. Maybe you decided to quarantine with your separate families in different cities, or you’re closeby but quarantining individually after traveling. Along with general anxiety about the pandemic, you might be worried about when you’ll get to see your partner next. And even if you’re lucky enough to be quarantining with a roommate you don’t hate, your best friends from college, or your family, it’s still OK to feel lonely when you’re away from the person you love.
Sami Wunder, an international dating and relationship coach, says that being vulnerable with your partner is key when you’re confronting this pandemic’s emotional strain on your relationship. “To keep the connection strong, remember that being vulnerable is important,” Wunder tells Elite Daily. “Don’t pretend to be happy and upbeat if you’re not feeling that way. Share your truth with your partner.”
Here’s some more advice from Wunder on dealing with the grief of your relationship abruptly becoming long-distance due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up About Your Feelings
Checking in with yourself and your partner about how you two are feeling is important, but so is actually accepting your feelings and not living in denial. No matter if you’re feeling sad, disappointed, helpless, or powerless, Wunder says there’s nothing wrong with feeling however you feel.
“Those suppressed feelings will end up coming out, which won’t be great for your relationship,” she says. “Embrace those feelings and be OK feeling the way you feel. And decide what you want to do with those feelings.”
Talk To Your SO About Your Respective Attitudes
There are two approaches you and your partner can take: One where you allow yourselves to feel sad, and then move on from that sadness together, or one where you mutually chose to stay as positive as you can. “That could be both you and your partner openly speaking about your feelings and agreeing it’s something to face together, and then moving on from that,” Wunder says. “[Or] you can both choose to look on the brighter side. Recognize that you both have devices to stay connected, you can even get innovative with how you are dating each other.”
Get Creative With Technology
“No, you might not be able to have date nights in person,” Wunder says. “But you can enjoy a glass of wine together, have a coffee together, even cook together on Skype.” Now is the perfect time to plan some long-distance dates and see what Netflix Party is all about.
You can also use technology to temper your sexual frustration while the coronavirus outbreak is keeping you two apart. “This is a great time to spice things up, try some hot texting,” Wunder says. “Get things going in the ‘physical’ department.” If you and your partner are both consenting, why not give FaceTime sex a try?
Find Comfort In The Shared Struggle
Along with emotional check-ins and a dirty text or two, Wunder recommends thinking about the global scale of the pandemic as a (surprising) source of comfort. “It’s not personal to you. It’s a challenge that the whole world is going through right now,” she offers. “There is solace to be found in the fact it’s a challenge being faced by millions of couples out there.” As alone as you and your partner might feel, remember you are far from it.
Cherish Your Time Apart
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so take the time apart to focus on your self-care and your own emotional and mental health. Read books. Do something that lifts you up. Stay connected with your friends and family,” Wunder recommends. “Don’t get hyper-focused on your partner.” Attraction, she explains, will be cultivated from both the “closeness” of phone calls and FaceTimes, as well as from your time apart.
Remember This Can Make Your Bond Stronger
Lastly, Wunder suggests taking up the perspective that your relationship can become stronger in the face of social distancing. “When this is all over, you both will have emerged through a few months of not meeting in person,” she says. “If your relationship can survive that, it will certainly be able to survive and weather other storms.” But, she adds, you truly have to believe in this “to feel the comfort of this.”
Being separated from your partner because of the coronavirus outbreak can drum up all sorts of emotions: irritation, powerlessness, grief, all of the above. But let yourself feel what you’re feeling and open up to your partner about it. Because together, you can make a game-plan for how you’ll cope as a couple. Trust that you two can get through it.
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