Advice for Couples living apart

Get the most out of your long-distance quarantine relationship

Meta title: Key tips to keep the spark if you’re in a long-distance quarantine relationship - Durex

Meta description: Away from your partner and wondering how to make the most of quarantine? Don’t give into pandemic anxiety – use the time to find new meaning in your relationship.

Quarantine is hard especially when you’re doing it without your partner. Couples live apart for a multitude of reasons, but nothing makes the reality any easier – whatever stage your relationship is in. However, time away from each other can truly enrich your relationship; this solitary period is a chance to reignite the spark. For those away from bae, see this pandemic as an important phase of discovery, an opportunity to tease out the kinks and stimulate a deeper understanding. It’s about using the experience to your advantage and focusing on your significant other without any distraction. Welcome the experience of getting to know your partner on a deeper level.

1.Discover their hidden depths

We're all constantly evolving, and even when we think we’re schooled up on our partner’s likes and dislikes, there’s often more to uncover. Recommendations for playlists, programmes, podcasts and films are great ways to decipher each other’s preferences – and world views. If you’ve been together forever, think of a time before you knew them; what was the first album you bought, what movie couldn’t you live without? Lead them on a journey through your younger years. Share food recipes you’ve wanted to try and propose you cook together over a video call. Or, if you’re both curating a watch list, don’t choose TV shows you both agree on, instead, challenge one another and let your partner see another side to you.

2.Daily check-ins

It sounds simple but checking in with your partner throughout the day keeps that constant source of connection. Aim for quality time, though – set aside portions of the day to truly focus on one another. If catching-up over mid-morning coffee is typical for you, set aside twenty minutes in the morning for a video call. Maintaining these routines will help you to keep a sense of normality.

Regardless of the situation, positive energy is something we all benefit from, and this is even truer in a pandemic! End the day by telling your partner something you appreciate about them. Not only will it make them feel good, and strengthen your connection, but it’ll help you to work out what is it that you value in a partner. And ultimately, this is an important element of individual growth.

3.Set each other challenges

There’s nothing like a little competition to build anticipation for sex. If your relationship is fairly new, this is a great way to learn what gets them going. For those who have been together a little longer, competition shakes things up. Physical activity can help improve mental wellbeing and will allow you to unleash your partner’s competitive nature. Set aside some time daily to attend a virtual fitness class together. If you both like to read, take it in turns to recommend a book and hold a mini book club… you might want to aim for one book a week. After quarantine, framing the cover of your favourite book is a lovely way to remember your time together.

It’s always easier to achieve your goals with support, so let your significant other that person. We’re all familiar with ‘to-do’ lists, however, a nice way to celebrate the positive things you’ve achieved is by writing a ‘have-done’ list with your partner. This helps to reiterate the advances you’ve made (we can often be too hard on ourselves!) and binds your experiences together.

4.Go old school – write them a letter

Love letters: everyone deserves a handwritten statement of affection. We’ve all experienced the crumpled scrap of paper that grandparents get out at family occasions as evidence of their ‘courting’ years. Times may have moved on, but there’s something extremely personal about taking pen to paper and writing some words of appreciation to your partner. This exercise can also help you to express feelings that you may find difficult to voice face-to-face.

We live in a world consumed by technology and in quarantine, it’s all video calls, quizzes and messaging groups. But the beauty of a letter is that it lives on (if you plan on showing grandkids, keep it clean!), so your partner can read it over and over again. Letter writing may also help you to get your thoughts in order. Find a quiet area of the house and give yourself time to enjoy the experience. You never know, it might turn into a bit of a habit.

5.Take them by surprise

The art of seduction is often in the surprise – and that should never be underestimated. We all become accustomed to the same habits and rituals, whether you’ve been together for five minutes or fifty years. But a change in circumstance can provide the right climate for a relationship shake-up. If you’re a fairly new couple, use this as an opportunity to learn something about your date; ask each other five foodie questions and order them a take-out based on their answers – think of a fun forfeit for anyone who misses the mark or better yet, a treat for the whoever gets it right.

For those looking to take things up a notch, tantalise your partner by ordering them sex toys or lube and build anticipation of seeing them post-pandemic. There’s nothing more arousing than knowing your partner is miles away and turned on.

6.Prep for your physical meeting

We all love a sensual massage. It’s the perfect way to explore your partner’s body by touch – and your own. Why not surprise them with a seductive massage when you eventually meet by practicing your skills during the quarantine. And the best way to refine our technique is to do it on ourselves. Massage oilsare a great way to start this process; work out what feels good on you and then build from there.

Good sex and strong relationships start with self-love, so treat yourself to a little self-care.

When you’re well-versed in massage, you may want to move onto masturbation. Use this time to work out your preferences, and try different techniques, like edging (bringing yourself close to orgasm, and repeating the process). If you’re more informed about what it is that turns you on – something we all must revisit from time-to-time – it’ll be easier to direct your partner when you finally meet.

7.Make the future, sexy

Look past quarantine and build the anticipation of being physical with your partner. Keep spirits high by arranging activities to do post lockdown… and get excited for your second meet-cute. Use what you’ve learned about your bae during quarantine to plan a date that rocks their world. Turn fantasy into reality by making a to-do list of things to explore post-pandemic; maybe you want to take up salsa or turn your hand to pottery. Most importantly though, is acknowledging what you’ve built during the time apart. Think about the new traditions you’ve formed; it’s important not to lose grip of the closeness you’ve developed. Life can run away with us and we’ve got a great opportunity – so relax, enjoy and fill your time with each other.

It’s important that we follow the government’s advice and stay at home. When getting up close and personal online, making sure everyone in the relationship is comfortable and in control of the situation is of primary importance; consent means ensuring all parties know what you’re going to do with the content. It’s not okay for someone to pressure you into sending something you’re not comfortable with. Also, it’s not okay to record something without consent.

No one is pretending that quarantine is easy, and those braving it alone are feeling its full effects. However, while we have it, we can use this time to our advantage, and surface from lockdown having discovered something new about our relationships.