How to be 'Together Apart’
Covid-19 has forced many relationships to be long-distance and forced loved ones to be separated for longer than ever.
It has been a real challenge. Those who are longing for that physical closeness with one another, that hug, that kiss, that embrace, that sexual intimacy, have to go without. Those who want to be able to take care of their loved ones again, can’t. Caring for those who are sick, reached old age, or just in general. Those who want to spend quality time with each other, have fun, hang out, play, travel, make meaningful memories, have to wait patiently until they are reunited again. The distance that Covid-19 is creating for so many of us, is really getting to us!
One thing that is good to remember is:
How can we make sure we continue to feel close? It is about doing the right ‘things’ together apart. So, what are these ‘things’ we need to be doing in order to make sure we feel close and connected and continue to feel that way.
These ‘things’ fall under 4 categories. I call these the 4 Co’s!
The 4 Co’s are:
This is all about finding ways of comforting your loved one (s) and yourself during your time apart.
You can still find ways to comfort each other and to give support. Making sure you are there for them if they want to talk, cry, or are going through something important. You can still comfort them from afar.
It is also about finding ways to comfort yourself and making sure you stay healthy mentally and physically. It can be helpful to look at your own mindset and self-talk. Having the right mindset can go a long way. Instead of saying; ‘This will never end! We won’t be able to make it through this. I will never see you again’, tell yourself and your partner: ‘This is an opportunity for growth. If we get through this, we will get through everything. Our love is strong, we will be OK!’
Also give yourself permission to enjoy your time apart. Each partner can look at things they can do to stay happy and healthy during this time. It is OK to be OK, in actual fact it is better to be OK than not OK. Not just for your partner but also for you. Take responsibility for your own OK-ness. It will benefit you as a couple.
- Have a growth mindset, by seeing this time apart as an opportunity for growth. If you can withstand this, you can withstand anything!
- Be “there” for each other, although you can’t actually be “there”. Respond to your partner when they need you!
- Enjoy your time apart - make the most of it and don’t feel guilty about it. Stay happy and healthy. Have meaningful connections with other family members/friends. Spend time on self-care and growth, so when you meet again you are the best possible version of yourself.
This is all about finding ways to show that you are considering each other during your time apart. Finding ways to let them know you love and care for them, you are thinking of them, you value them. You respect their time, their boundaries and most of all you respect them. You consider what is important to them, you consider what it is they need and when, you consider THEM. You reassure them of your love for them, by staying in touch, calling, writing, zooming. Express your love verbally, or by sending them lovely things. Remember when they have important things on, remember their birthdays, remember them. Celebrate the big and small things together apart. Take time out of your day to consider what is important to them and make sure you show them your consideration(s)!
- Set up ground rules. Be clear on what you both need/expect. Discuss how much or little you both would like to communicate.
- You are going to need both ‘update’-calls and ‘date’-calls! Understand they are different. ‘Update’-calls: Share your daily life with one and other. Your day, your ups and downs, family/friends’ gossip. ‘Date’-calls: set a date and time, organise what shared activity you are going to do. (For example; On a zoom call you might like to eat a meal together/take a walk in the park/watch a Netflix show/go online shopping, play a game, solve a word puzzle/fall asleep together)
- Celebrate each other and special occasions
- Create your together-apart-rituals
Is about finding ways to stay and feel connected during your time apart. Woo-ing them off their feet, still doing activities together, making decisions together, sharing your day with one another. Having sensual, sexual, and intimate encounters. Expressing your desire for them, your longing for them and your attraction to them. Play with your sexual energy, as a continuous dance via loving and sexy communication. Try to be creative in finding ways to spend time together.
- Do the same things apart - read the same books, watch the same movies, do a similar activity/hobby/sport and share your thoughts at a later time
- Share the same experience at the same time! For example: Set up a time where you video call each other while you go online shopping together, play a game together, take them with you while you are going for your morning walk and show them what it is you see!
- Be creative. In the type of communication you use (text, zoom, postcards, letters, emails, pics), in the gifts you send over, in the activities that you do together.
- Reminisce of past times together
- Keep the sexual spark alive - your desire is like a glue that keeps you longing for each other...
It is all about finding ways to show your long-term commitment to each other! Dream and talk about the moment you will see each other again, make exciting plans for the future. Talk about your life vision. Plan a future trip and discuss what places you are going to visit. Start a long-term project together, that will take time to complete and will all come together in the next months or years. It is about having things to look forward to, having things to hold on to, feeling that you are committed to a future with each other. These things can serve as the motivators to keep going until you are reunited again.
- Start a project together - something to look forward to and work towards
- Dream and make plans for your future
- Make an online collage together of your shared life vision
Keep loving, yourself and others!