The Dating Diaries: How to survive a long-distance relationship

Let’s set the scene.

It’s August 17, 2021, having been Covid free for 170 days, New Zealand has found a Covid case in the community.

Blah blah blah you know the rest. 52 days later and we Jafas are reaping the not so pleasant rewards of Covid. The summer body? Don’t ask. The bank account? Hurting after Monday’s retail therapy. The Netflix watch list? Empty for once.

It’s the best time ever. Except that it’s very much not.

But I’m not here to talk about Covid. I’m sick of hearing about it, it’s about as annoying as being asked at every single family event why you’re still single.

I’m here today because after a zoom yesterday with a co-worker – who didn’t isolate with his girlfriend, he couldn’t help but drop her into convo every few minutes. The poor lad was missing his missus like crazy, and it got me thinking.

The Dating Diaries has covered a lot, we’ve talked about the man-child, dating in the workplace, what men and women think about during sex, but we haven’t talked about long-distance relationships.

So, a mere 24 hours before this column was due, I immersed myself in what long-distance relationship life is like and came across a few tips for those of you who found yourselves in an unexpected long-distance, aka LDR, (or short distance but still unable to see each other) relationship.

First things first, though. I have to drop the doom and gloom bomb first. I know you’re feeling fragile and maybe not ready to hear what your friends have been trying to tell you for months now about the partner who is just not right for you but the unexpected LDR is the perfect time for some reflection.

If half your problems have mysteriously disappeared because you haven’t seen your partner lately, it might be time to have a deep think about your relationship and how it does or doesn’t improve your life.

Okay, thank god that’s over. Now on to the fun stuff.

Technology is your favourite third wheel

Count your lucky stars Covid didn’t happen 15 years ago, because texting and calls were expensive, remember when your phone plan gave you 50 free texts? Imagine having that during a LDR? Not a chance baby.

With easy access to technology, LDRs are easier than ever. You’ve got Facetime, texting, calling, Snapchat etc and you can get pretty creative with it. It’s not just constant communication and hour-to-hour updates keeping your relationship alive, there are plenty of other exciting ways to ignite the flames. Do your research and make your phonethe best third wheel a LDR can have.

Recreate date night

Netflix and chill is a big no-no according to Cindy but when there’s a will, there’s a way. Watch your favourite show or movie at the same time and facetime or text so you don’t miss out on the (slightly annoying) commentary and million questions from your partner. If you want to earn major brownie points you can even send a little goodie bag of treats to their house – complete with something of yours they can wear or cuddle when they miss you.

Who said the lockdown had to kill romance?

More of an outside kind of couple? Well, you’re in luck because Cindy has said you’re allowed to have outside 2m spaced rendezvous now! Sure they’re socially distanced picnics with masks and strictly outside but at least you’ll see each other in person – and you can impress them with those bomb cooking skills you picked up over lockdown.

Make plans

If you haven’t had at least three nervy-b’s this lockdown, DM me your secret because I have had 10. With an indefinite lockdown looming over our heads, it’s easy to forget there actually is a Covid-free future somewhere ahead of us and, fingers crossed, it includes a summer vacay.

To keep your head above water, plan some exciting dates to go on when you’re reunited and give yourselves something to look forward to. They might be daydreams now but you’ll live them one day.

I can’t come up with any more than that, partly because I have never been in an LDR and partly because I’m grossing myself out with the lovey-dovey content but I do have one last tip for all you Dating Diaries punters enduring this lockdown without your one and only.

On the days a long-distance love might seem too hard, remember it’s not forever, and one day soon you’ll run into their arms and the adrenaline levels will be off the charts.

Until next week my loves.

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