A long distance relationship can be challenging even in the best of times – but it’s especially hard when you’re in quarantine. Couples live apart for a multitude of reasons, but nothing makes the reality any easier – no matter what stage your relationship is in, add on the stresses of our current pandemic, and you may find yourself asking: how do long distance relationships work these days?

The truth is, time away from each other can truly enrich your relationship, and this solitary period is a chance to reignite the spark. For those away from bae, try to view this pandemic as an important phase of discovery; an opportunity to tease out the kinks and stimulate a deeper understanding of one another. It’s about using the experience to your advantage and focusing on your significant other without any distractions. So, without further ado, we’ve rounded up some long distance relationship tips to help you make the most of this time.

1. Discover their hidden depths

We're all constantly evolving, and even when we think we’re schooled up on our partner’s likes and dislikes, there’s often more to uncover. Recommendations for playlists, shows, podcasts and films are great ways to explore each other’s preferences and world views during a long distance relationship. If you’ve been together forever, think of a time before you knew them; what was the first album you bought? What movie couldn’t you live without? Lead them on a journey through your younger years. Share food recipes you’ve wanted to try and propose you cook together over a video call. And if you’re both curating a watch list, don’t just choose shows you both agree on - instead, challenge one another to try something new, and let your partner see another side to you.

2. Daily check-ins

It sounds simple, but checking in with your partner throughout the day helps maintain that constant source of connection. Aim for quality over quantity; set aside portions of the day to truly focus on one another. If catching-up over mid-morning coffee is typical for you, set aside twenty minutes in the morning for a video call. Maintaining these routines will help you to keep a sense of normalcy.

There’s also plenty of opportunity to spice up these check-ins. If you’re trying to think of sexting ideas for long distance relationships, think back to some of your sexiest memories together in-person and share them with your partner.

Regardless of the situation, positive energy is something we all benefit from, and this is especially true during a pandemic! End the day by telling your partner something you appreciate about them. Not only will it make them feel good and strengthen your connection, but it’ll help you to understand what you value in a partner, which is an important element of individual growth.

3. Give each other challenges

There’s nothing like a little competition to build anticipation for sex in a long distance relationship. If your relationship is fairly new, this is a great way to learn what gets them going. For those who have been together a little longer, competition shakes things up. Physical activity can help improve mental well-being and will allow you to unleash your partner’s competitive nature. You could set aside some time each day to attend a virtual fitness class together, or if you both like to read, take turns recommending a book and hold a mini book club (maybe aim for one book a week). After quarantine, framing the cover of your favourite book is a lovely way to remember your time together.

It’s always easier to achieve your goals with support, so familiar with ‘to-do’ lists, however, a nice way to celebrate the positive things you’ve achieved is by writing a ‘have-done’ list with your partner. This helps to reiterate the growth you’ve achieved (we can often be too hard on ourselves!) and brings you closer together through your shared experiences.

4. Go old school – write them a letter

Love letters are one of the oldest long distance relationship tips in the book – and for good reason. Everyone deserves a handwritten statement of affection. We’ve all experienced the crumpled scrap of paper that grandparents show off at family occasions as evidence of their ‘courting’ years. Times may have moved on, but there’s something extremely personal about taking pen to paper and writing some words of appreciation to your partner. This exercise can also help you to express feelings that you may find difficult to voice face-to-face.

We live in a world consumed by technology, and in quarantine, it’s a constant stream of video calls, quizzes and messaging groups. But the beauty of a letter is that it lives on (if you plan on showing grandkids, keep it clean!), so your partner can read it over and over again. Letter writing may also help you to get your own thoughts in order. Find a quiet area of the house and give yourself time to enjoy the experience. You never know, it might turn into a positive new habit. And at the very least, this is one of those long distance relationship tips that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your partner’s face.

5. Take them by surprise

The art of seduction is often in the surprise – and that should never be underestimated. We all become accustomed to the same habits and rituals, whether you’ve been together for five minutes or fifty years. But a change in circumstance can provide the right climate for a relationship shake-up. If you’re just starting a long distance relationship, use this as an opportunity to learn something about your date; ask each other five foodie questions and order take-out based on their answers. Think of a flirty “punishment” for anyone who misses the mark, or better yet, a treat for whoever gets it right. With a little creativity, you’ll be able to come up with all sorts of sexy games for long distance relationships. For those looking to take things up a notch, tantalize your partner with some naughty long distance relationship gifts like sex toys or lube to build anticipation ahead of seeing them post-pandemic. There’s nothing more arousing than knowing your partner is turned on, even from miles away – which is why we love toys for long distance relationships, so  your partner can control your pleasure from a totally different place.

6. Prep for your physical reunion

We all love a sensual massage. It’s the perfect way to explore your partner’s body by touch – as well as your own. Why not surprise them with a seductive massage when you eventually meet, and start by practicing your skills during the quarantine? The best way to refine your technique is to practice on yourself. Massage oils are a great way to enhance this process; work out what feels good on yourself and then build from there. Good sex and strong relationships start with self-love, so treat yourself to a little self-care.

If you’re still wondering how to make a long distance relationship work, you may want to start with some masturbation. If you’re more informed about what it is that turns you on – something we all must revisit from time-to-time – it’ll be easier to guide your partner when you finally meet.

7. Make the future sexy

Long distance relationships are full of new beginnings. Look past quarantine and build the anticipation of being physical with your partner again. Keep spirits high by arranging activities to do post-lockdown… and get excited for your second meet. Use what you’ve learned about your bae during quarantine to plan a date that rocks their world.

Turn fantasy into reality by making a to-do list of things to explore post pandemic; maybe you want to take up salsa dancing or try your hand at pottery. Most importantly, acknowledge what you’ve built during this time apart. Think about the new traditions you’ve formed; it’s important not to lose grip of the closeness you’ve developed. Life can run away from us and this is a great opportunity to reconnect – so relax, enjoy and fill your time with each other.

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It’s important that we follow the government’s advice and stay at home. When getting up close and personal online, making sure everyone in the relationship is comfortable and in control of the situation is extremely important. Consent means ensuring all parties know what they’re getting into – especially in a long distance relationship -- and it’s not okay for someone to pressure you into anything you’re not comfortable with. Remember, it’s never okay to record or send something without consent.

No one is pretending that quarantine is easy, and those braving it alone are feeling its full effects. However, while we’re here, you can use this long distance relationship advice to come out of lockdown having discovered something new about our relationships.

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