What Long Distance Relationships Can Teach Us About Staying Connected
Absence really can make the heart grow fonder
“Social distancing” is the phrase of the day. While there is an entire social distancing theory that explains what it actually means, we have adopted this phrase as something more accessible for our current social climate. As the world faces a global pandemic, we use social distancing as a mandate to keep us physically distanced from each other — stand at least six feet apart, avoid crowds and gatherings of more than 10 people, and stay away from major retail establishments that attract large amounts of people.
For people in romantic relationships that aren’t live-in, especially those who may show symptoms of Covid-19, this means having to distance yourself from the people closest to you for an indefinite time, wrought with uncertainty.
There are people who are used to this, though, and we can learn a lot from them.
People who are in successful long-distance relationships have had to adapt to not being in close proximity to their loves and keep their relationships going strong. They have learned to navigate distance and stay connected because for them love is worth the extra effort. According to a 2005 study, an estimated 14 million Americans were in long-distance relationships, with about 75% of college students and 3.5 million married couples having been long-distance partners. Social media and online dating apps have facilitated more romantic encounters between people who live more than 100 miles away from each other in the last decade, so we can assume that the number is higher now. In fact, 39% of couples report having met online, a significant increase from the 22% reporting the same in 2009.
There’s nothing wrong with scheduling “FaceTime and chill” with your lover and showing up in something sexy and alluring.
It’s also no surprise that another study found that 88% of people in long-distance relationships rely on technology to stay connected, which is what a lot of folks are turning to, even outside of intimate relationships. Texting and video calls may need to increase during this time…