long-distance-relationship

10 Ways To Build Connection When Social Distancing

Creative Ways To Create Connection When Apart

With social distancing in full effect (thank you COVID-19!) singles have been yearning for connection now more than ever. Panic has set in over the inability to be with loved ones, let alone touch them to be intimate. But here’s the deal: social distancing is not a new thing in relationships (hello long distance lovers!) and it is not an end-all-be-all. In 2019, 14 million couples reported that they were in long-distance relationships. Furthermore, 75% of all engaged couples reported being long-distance at some point in their relationship, and 10% of all marriages in the states began as long-distance relationships—BAM!

So, what’s the key to making these relationships work? LDR relationships require work and creativity… and big surprise, technology. According to the PEW Research Center, online usage has not only played an integral part of pairing a quarter of the population together and creating lasting relationships, it has proven that distance really does make the heart grow fonder.

Best virtual and long distance date ideas:

To help you lovelies out, I’ve included some of my fan favorite virtual date ideas (all of which I have personally used in my LDR) for creative ways to create connection when apart :

  1. Virtual dinner date: Each of you make your favorite meal and/or beverage and do a big reveal at the virtual date. This is a great conversation starter to share the backstory of your meals, while gaining insight on one another’s passions and unique qualities.
  2. Watch Netflix or a movie together: Netflix now offers the ability to watch your favorites together through their platform, but you can always do this old-school with a 3-2-1 click play! Watch your flick at the same time and have a chat about it after.
  3. Book club/Podcast club: Each of you pick a genre, and take turns. This is an opportunity to bond over mutual interest, and an easy segway into deeper conversation.
  4. Learn a new language: Because why not! For all my academic or multi-ethnic/multi-cultural couples out there!
  5. Dance party from across the street: This is great for LDR to do virtually or if we’re just practicing some social distancing. Maintaining a physical distance without the capacity to physically touch can be a big turn on, as it causes both to become more attuned to your sense of touch and sound. Dance for fun and laughter, or give a performance for yourself and your partner.
  6. Send love letters: Take it old-school and mail letters. It’s easy to type a text/emoji/ or email, so why not make the extra effort. There’s something sexy about making time to hand write a letter: real thought goes into what you’re going to say and seriously, who hand writes letter these days?! If you’re still into email, that’s fine, but write something thoughtful that truly expresses your personality.
  7. Send your partner a random flirty text: Couples build intimacy and connection mostly when they feel that are having fun. Be spontaneous—send them a text that shows you’re thinking of them. Give them words of affirmation: you’re so handsome, I saved a spot for you. (insert picture of your couch) Where are you?
  8. Role play: Why not have some fun while being stuck in a far-off land (aka your home). Get creative with it when writing your letters. Call your partner anonymously for a pleasant surprise.
  9. Work out together: For my competitive/health couples. Create a virtual shared activity and push one another as if this was a team workout.
  10. Mute the camera and play charades/guess what they said
  11. Commit to an act of service- send them groceries or a special treat to tell them you’re thinking of them.
  12. **For those who feel okay with in-person interaction** plan a social distance walk: Go for a stroll in a quiet neighborhood while keeping your distance and refraining from touching one another. While social distancing may be for safety, this has a double benefit of elevating sexual intimacy and connection. We create pleasure of seeing one another, tuning into each other’s body language, while also promoting sexual tension and excitement by choosing to not touch one another.

Develop Emotional Connection

The goal with any activity you choose is to prioritize time to connect with your partner. The key to successful dating in any situation is to get a fresh perspective in learning about the other person’s world. From there you find if and where you connect, and how to build off that connection in a way that feels relatively effortless (even if you are long distance). So, really, what better time to do that then right here, right now, social distancing and all. Go get’em!

And if you don’t have a partner to do these activities with just yet, all good things! Online dating is a perfect place to try these out! In fact, you can create a killer profile with my free eDate Toolkit here.

Jenna Ponaman

Jenna is an expert Relationship coach at Zen Matrix