How we keep the romance alive when self-isolating separately

From a young age, I have understood the definition of true love. How? From watching Titanic of course. Growing up in Italy probably helped as well. I received my first bunch of red roses at 8-years-old, every girl was referred to as “bella” and afternoons were spent poring over Romeo and Juliet (our assigned homework at 14).

You would think then that when COVID-19 arose, knowing my boyfriend and I would be self-isolating separately I jumped at the opportunity. There is a sense of carelessness and fun when dating someone new, particularly when it develops into a blossoming relationship. Albeit there can be some struggles. Through the mishaps and trials, we have tackled each one with grit and optimism. Coronavirus has looked slightly different however, this is how we have been keeping the romance alive during lockdown.

Writing love letters

Remember when Carrie complains to Big that he had never sent her a love email? Writing pen to paper now seems old-fashioned and dated, not for me though. Being a writer, I am meticulous about my letter writing kits, I have half a dozen. Unintentionally though they have been collecting dust and just sitting in my drawer. The day lockdown was announced in Britain, we had a conversation about how we would adapt to this new reality. We decided that writing weekly love letters to one another would be a staple during our self-isolation. Both partners have to show up in this new situation so if your beau isn’t so keen then ask them to suggest an alternative.

Facetime dates

Each evening we watch an episode of One Tree Hill together. We open Amazon Prime and FaceTime each other from our phones. There is method to our madness. We thought about a series that would last long enough and had the romance and drama to keep us both hooked. Judge if you will but Breaking Bad and Big Bang Theory just aren’t very me. After a long day of working this can be the conversation-starter we need. As much as it would be fun to discuss world politics and the current climate before bed, this is a lighthearted activity to relax us both.

Language lessons

Given that I speak six languages and my partner is foreign we recently decided that for week three of self-isolation we would spice things up. Every Thursday for 15 minutes I teach him Italian and then for the same amount of time he teaches me Swedish. We have found this to be a really fun way to advance our relationship and a great way to learn something new. We both have a passion for culture and travel so this was a no-brainer but your activities can different. Maybe you’re a yoga instructor and your partner an artist. Perhaps you could teach them an hour of yoga and then vice-versa.

Our list of questions

A while back a friend sent me a list of questions to turn to if I was experiencing a conversation rut with someone. Forever being a geek, *the girl in the library if you have attended one of my talks*, I wrote my own list of 100 questions. These 100 questions vary from: “If you could only live in one place where would it be?” to “What kind of husband would you aspire to be like?” This list may not work for everyone, my boyfriend and I are pretty serious. We both love stimulating conversations and intriguing questions but I completely understand if this is a bleak activity for some. If not, I would encourage anyone to try it out.

Day to day we call each other, send memes and photos too. We also discuss our travel plans for when this is over and the dates we will go on. Suddenly cinema dates don’t seem so boring. If you are struggling with separate self-isolation have a conversation first. Open up to your partner about your worries and concerns. This is a new reality for us all, and we all have to adapt to it but see it as an opportunity. I never knew how romantic my boyfriend is until I received his first love note. I also always thought he would be more into Brooke than Haley but that’s an entirely different conversation. Reach out to me in our private Facebook group The Smart Girl Tribe Society if you want to know about my question list or any of the above. Let me know in the comments activities you would suggest.

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