Long Distance for Lockdown


Five ways to make dating in a pandemic fun.



For many couples, this lockdown has meant yet another spell of long-distance dating. I said goodbye to my boyfriend in early December before heading home for Christmas, thinking I’d be seeing him in a few weeks’ time. Two and a half months later, still no luck.


Like many other people, I never had any intention of being in a long-distance relationship before the pandemic hit. Being thrown into one unexpectedly – and not the kind where you can visit each other every few weekends – has been a steep learning curve. But the main thing I’ve realised is that it can actually still be a lot of fun, so long as you get creative about how you spend time together.


If the distance is starting to feel tough and you’re finding calling and telling them all about your lockdown days isn’t quite enough (how many times can you really talk about your daily walk?), here are five ideas to put the fun back into lockdown long-distance.

1. Swap messenger for mail


Anyone who has been watching Bridgerton will know that long-distance romances have been around for a lot longer than coronavirus. The original way to stay in touch? Letter writing.

When you can’t give someone a hug or just spend a lot of time with them, it can sometimes be hard to find ways to show your affection. In the age of instant messaging, going to that little bit of extra effort to write a letter and post it is a great way to remind someone you really care about them. You don’t have to be a literary genius – whatever you say, your partner will probably really appreciate the gesture. Even if you’re just telling them about your day or rambling about your favourite new album, a letter is always a lot more exciting to receive than a text.

2. Share your soundtracks


Okay, so you might not be able to go see live music or dance around the kitchen together, but you can still share the songs you love. One great way of doing this is to make a playlist of the songs that you’ve been obsessed with that week. Sharing the music that’s been the soundtrack to your week can be a fun way to feel a bit less far away from each other. Plus, by regularly swapping music you’ll probably get to discover some new favourites! If you haven’t been vibing with anything you’ve heard that week, plan a music date: grab a drink and use Spotify’s group session function to try out some new releases together.

3. Cook together


So, you might not be in the same kitchen… but what’s to stop you from trying the same recipe? Pick something new to make, and video call while you’re cooking. When you’ve made your culinary masterpieces, sit down to have dinner together. Planning to cook and have a meal together makes it feel like you’re having an actual date, not just facetiming for the millionth time. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make it that bit more special, why not try making a cocktail as well?

4. Watch a new series together


While you might not be able to curl up on the sofa with each other to watch Netflix anymore, you can still pick a series and watch it together. If you’re finding lockdown exhausting, trying out a new series is a great low-pressure way to spend time together. Use Teleparty to watch at the same time – it comes with a chat function, but it can be fun to video call at the same time. Plus, having a great new series will give you something fun to discuss if you want to avoid yet another conversation about coronavirus.

5. Surprise them


If this whole lockdown thing is starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, try planning a surprise for your partner. Post them a gift, or plan something fun you can do over a video call like a games night or an online gallery tour. Alternatively, get them tickets for something to look forward to once restrictions begin to lift. It’s a nice reminder that no matter how hard lockdown gets, it’s not forever.