Long Distance Love in An Isolated World

Feb 9, 2021 | Prenuptial Agreements, Uncategorized

Of course, the old adage says that “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, but anyone actually involved in a long-distance relationship (LDR) will most likely tell you that that isn’t always the case. Regardless of the strides that technology has made to ease communication, long-distance relationships can undoubtedly be exhausting and even feel isolating at times. Of course, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, virtually all of us can relate to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. While you may initially think that the limitations imposed by the pandemic may be easier on long-distance couples who are already used to the separation – quite the opposite is true. 

Yes, couples who have already been dealing with distance may be a bit more used to communicating via FaceTime. Additionally, long-distance couples may have had an advantage at the start of the pandemic, when so many couples (particularly those who don’t share a living space) suddenly had to become acquainted with not seeing their partner as often as they once had, and therefore adjust to new communication styles. In essence, a lot of people suddenly found themselves (unwillingly) in long-distance relationships in March 2020. That being said, those already in long-distance relationships are adjusting to and missing out on certain things too. 

International Love in An Isolated World

Particularly, binational couples have perhaps most blatantly had the toughest go of things in these “unprecedented times.” Immensely fluctuating flight costs and most critically, visa and travel restrictions, have all but halted the majority of international travel, particularly for Americans. Of course, where there is a will, there is a way, and many binational couples who weren’t allowed into one another’s country found creative ways around the restrictions. One Canadian woman who we spoke with even explained to us that she technically went on a first date in Mexico. After striking up an online relationship with an American man who lived just half an hour away from her near the Canadian border, the two realized they could not cross the American/Canadian border to meet up for a date. Both feeling confident in the relationship, they instead booked a trip together to Mexico, and have been content in their relationship since! 

Of course, as any viewers of 90 Day Fiancé Season 8 can tell you, these sort of international meet-ups don’t always go so swimmingly. The Mexico luxury resort quarantine between Egyptian-French beauty Amira and her American fiancé Andrew didn’t exactly go as planned. For background, Amira was granted her K-1 visa (allowing her entry in the U.S., and permanent residency if she marries within the allotted three month time window), but didn’t make it to the States before the coronavirus hit. As the validity of time left on her passport ticked away, Amira got more anxious to find a way to get to the United States. Going off of a hack he’d seen on an online forum, Andrew suggested that the two meet in Puerta Vallarta, quarantine for 14 days, then travel into the United States where Amira could put her visa to use, and the two could get hitched. 

Making for nail-biting reality television, poor Amira got detained in Mexico for three days, and had both her cellphone and passport confiscated. Once she finally was released and sent back on a plane to France, she noted that immigration authorities has marked the reason she was detained as “lack of a passport”, this was indicated on a sheet of paper alongside, what else but her returned passport. Long story short, this documented story made it particularly obvious that even supposed proven work-arounds are prone to failure while COVID-19 is still running rampant. Even in countries that have opened their borders, immigration appears hesitant to let non-natives in, making travel even riskier for those in international relationships desperately trying to see their significant others. 

Your LDR & The Quarantine Blues

Even in less extreme cases of distance, couples are finding the pandemic to be a heavy load on their relationship. As we’ve already spoken to, it’s no surprise that many of us are dealing with weighing feelings of isolation during the dark winter months of quarantine. Even with a supportive and loving partner, isolation can take its toll on mental health. After all, 40% of respondents in a poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on their mental health. While there is significantly more awareness surrounding mental health now in 2021 than there was even 10 years ago, there are still a lot of unknowns around the topic. Feelings of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety can amplify concerns that an individual has about their relationship. Distance can make it especially hard to address these sorts of feelings and concerns, especially if this is someone’s first time dealing with mental illness. Hopefully, you feel that your relationship can be a sort of safe space to talk about mental health. If one or both of you are struggling with your own mental health, or with figuring out how to best be your partner’s support, remember that there is absolutely no shame in seeking help from a licensed professional. In all reality, there isn’t a person alive who couldn’t benefit from therapy! 

Some Things To Consider

Whether you are just an hour away, a few states away, or half a world away, there are some basic things you can do to help your relationship thrive, even in the midst of all that is happening in the world. 

Avoid Texting

We know, the word “phone call” makes most millennials cringe. Even if you haven’t touched the call button since T9 texting came out, you’re going to want to embrace texting alternatives when it comes to your long-distance relationship. There are several issues with texting – the main one being how difficult it is to read tone. Ask anyone in a long-distance relationship, and they will probably tell you that they misinterpret the tone of texts from their partner several times a day. Quibbling over misunderstood texts all day and being buried in your phone all day is undeniably exhausting. Instead, try to limit texting and schedule time to talk on the phone or video call – just be sure to inform your partner that you’re planning to limit texting, or they could wonder why you’re suddenly ignoring their messages. 

Be Present

We get it, the 24/7 “always on” culture enabled by modern technology can be exhausting. We suggest that when the two of you do video chat, you try to put away all other electronics, and generally avoid distractions or multitasking. The more present you can be during the time that the two of you have “together”, the more valuable that time is to both of you. Plus, it demonstrates to your partner that you wholeheartedly are interested in how they’re feeling, what they have to say, etc. 

Get Creative

Surface level conversations don’t always cut it, especially when you’re missing one another. If you’re looking for a fun way to switch things up, there are plenty of products out there catered to keeping long distance couples emotionally connected. There is of course, the acclaimed “36 Questions That Lead to Love” by Modern Love in the New York Times. Additionally, there are a myriad of card games on the market meant to drive connection – whether it be between friends, new couples, married couples, or long-distance couples. {The AND} has a deck specifically for long-term couples. 

Your creativity doesn’t have to stop at a card game, either! If you enjoy cooking with your significant other, you could video chat while you both cook the same recipe and then enjoy it simultaneously, like a virtual dinner date. Alternatively, Netflix watch parties come in handy for couples who love to binge watch. Now that the world has gone virtual, there are more options than ever before for fun and unique ways to bond, even while distance has you separated. 

Above all, maintaining a long distance relationship is, like many things in life, a challenge to overcome. There will be good days and bad days, but the goal is likely that one day you will be able to live near, if not with, your long distance partner. The trials and tribulations of 2020 have helped us figure out who and what is most important to us. Chances are that your relationship, even if its tough to be apart now, is worth sticking out the tough times for. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for additional posts about relationships in the modern age, everything you need to know about prenuptial agreements, engagements, weddings, and so much more.  

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