Everyone is slowly learning how to adjust to our new socially distant lifestyles, and as time goes on, we’re making it work. However, if you’ve recently started a new relationship either shortly before, or amidst all of this, you might be feeling some extra pressure. Beginning a new relationship is so exciting, and having to shift to exploring this coupling virtually can be a total bummer. It feels daunting and may seem like an overwhelming task, but I’m here to tell you it can be done and can be equally as exciting!
Whether your relationship has been strictly virtual so far, or it was very new before this and you’ve decided to remain socially distant from one another at this time, a little extra effort can go a long way to keeping your spark alive. When navigating your new relationship during this time, try focusing on these tips to set yourselves up for success.
1) Talk About Your Communication Styles & Needs
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has their own unique style of communication. Some people have a way with words and are avid texters, while some rely on face to face communication, and others may prefer the phone. Additionally, everyone has different expectations about communication, especially during a new relationship. How often do you expect to talk to your significant other? How quickly are you expecting a response from the other person? Will you call/video call each other spontaneously and expect an answer, or will it be scheduled? These are the types of questions that are important to ask one another so there’s no confusion about what both of you want and need.
Spend some time discussing your ideal method of communication and how often you would like to do so, but be prepared to also step out of your comfort zone and make compromises so you’re both able to get what you need from one another during this time. Communication is the foundation of many relationships, romantic or otherwise, so it’s incredibly important to be on the same page about how you will do this when you aren’t able to see each other face to face.
2) Dates are Important, Keep Them!
If you think you can’t still have a date night while adhering to social distancing recommendations then I’m here to tell you that you’re mistaken! It is totally doable (and fun) to continue planning dates with one another virtually, it just takes a bit of creativity and effort!
Need ideas? Here are ten virtual date ideas!
- Have a movie/show binge via Netflix Party
- Chat over virtual drinks
- Take one another on a Facetime walk around your favorite local area
- Share recipes and cook a meal ‘together’ over video
- Have a virtual double date with another couple and play a game or just chat
- Take an online class together
- Have a TikTok competition and send one another your best video
- Start a new book or podcast and have a virtual ‘book club’ date
- Get addicted to a new online game together
- Take turns asking each other randomized questions (use our conversation starters to get things going)
There’s absolutely no reason that a virtual date can’t be just as fun as a physical date. Schedule this time just like you would a regular date and remember to stay present and attentive during this time. Don’t be afraid to put a little extra effort into your pre-date self-care rituals as well.
3) Set Boundaries and Make Sure You Set Time Aside for Yourself
This goes along with discussing communication styles, but ensure you also set boundaries with your new boo. If you’re working from home during this time or going into work as an essential service worker, make sure your new partner is aware of your schedule and you both know when is a good time to contact one another. Even if you’re not working right now, it’s still important to take time for yourself and practice self-care. A short conversation about desired boundaries and how you see your days playing out can go a long way in a new relationship. Staying on the same page in terms of expectations can help avoid any unnecessary confusion and alleviate potential frustration or arguments.
Questions to ask: What is your typical daily routine? When do you like to take time for yourself? What is your work schedule? Do you like to chat on your work breaks or do you prefer to spend that time with yourself? Are you a morning or an evening person?
4) Don’t Be Afraid of the Mundane
Just like in any new relationship, you may be feeling pressure to keep things interesting and exciting. It often feels more comfortable to relax with one another when you can physically be together, but don’t be afraid to still keep things simple. Video calling one another or talking on the phone while you’re completing seemingly mundane tasks like cooking dinner, doing the dishes, or folding laundry can actually be incredibly comforting and an opportunity to bond with one another. Even if you don’t have much to say, don’t let the silence stress you out. Being ‘near’ someone virtually is the best thing we have right now, so don’t underestimate this gesture of closeness.
5) Stay Optimistic, Stay Open, & Check In on One Another
It’s no secret that there will be times in this new relationship that will be hard. Emotions are at an all-time high right now, and everyone is coping in their own ways. A healthy dose of optimism will do any relationship good right now, but especially a fresh one. While optimism is important, it’s even more important to remain very open and honest with one another and keep communicating how each day is going for you. Checking in to see how your SO is doing, even if it’s only a small message at the beginning of their day, can serve as a big positive boost in their day and remind them you’re there even when you can’t be physically there. We’re all human, and we have good days and bad days – don’t let any negativity you might be feeling get you down! There’s a reason they say love conquers all, right?
Keep these tips in mind while adjusting to the new status of your relationship and remember you can isolate without feeling isolated. Keep your head high and your communication strong, and you and your new SO can thrive. You got this!