Hi everyone! My name is Sam, and my boyfriend Donal and I met when I was abroad in London last year, whilst he was playing cricket in the Cambridgeshire league. Now the distance from London to Cambridge is 103 km, which proved to be tricky enough to manage. However, I’m from Perth originally, and Don comes from Brisbane. This made distance even more of a challenge when we both moved back to Australia!
Donal now lives back at home in Brisbane, and I am studying at the University of Melbourne. Due to border lockdowns we both somehow got lucky and are isolating together in Brisbane.
Dealing with distance most of our relationship, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on what works and are some cool things to do whilst you’re apart from your significant other. So, I’ve written some tips and pieces of advice to help you and your partner, or even a friend or relative, ride the wave of COVID-19 isolation together.
HOW TO: MAKE THE MOST OF BEING APART FROM YOUR PARTNER
As easy as this sounds, maintaining the “perfect” level of communication that is right for you and your partner can be quite difficult. It’s important to learn how much is too much for both you and your partner. In a world where social media is designed to keep us closer than ever, sometimes you need to remind yourself to give a little breathing space. Talk as often as you would if you weren’t apart, or if there were no isolation restrictions.
Allow each other that little bit of space – it’s important to remember and respect that isolation can be a stressful yet opportune time for families to reconnect, and this could be the case for your significant other.
A great way to surprise your s/o and remind them you’re thinking of them is to go a bit old-school and send them a note or letter! How often do we get mail these days? Opening the letterbox and seeing something from your partner is the perfect little way of reminding them that you care.
Similarly, and only if you can, it’s fun to deliver them their favourite food! With food delivery apps like UberEATS and Deliveroo still operating, this can also be the perfect way to not only surprise them, but do your bit and help support local businesses.
Focus on you!
Think on the bright side, this situation is a great opportunity to be able to focus on you. Keep busy, reorganise or clean your room, and spend quality time with family – these relationships are just as important too!
However, if binging on Netflix is your idea of “you-time”, a way to include your partner in the binge-fest is to download the Netflix Party extension on chrome. You can watch movies and shows at the same time, and message each other too. All in the same place!
I know these are extremely unprecedented times, and planning when you next see each other can be difficult. But a great way to make the next time you see each other that little bit more exciting (and easier!) is to make a list and decide what you’d like to do the next time you see them. We used to make a list of all the fun things we’d like to do when we see each other next and see how many we could tick off.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, or your relationship! I used to get so excited to see Don that I would put so much pressure on making sure that the next time I saw him was perfect. Don’t be unrealistic. Remember, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, and you’re both in the same boat.
I hope this helped just a little bit. I just want you to know that we all can do this!
It’s important to remember to stay connected and stay safe. And just know that this too shall pass.
Written by Sam Hackman, past Perth College Leadership Camp student and current Burn Bright community member.