2020 has been a weird year. We have stayed at home, watched Netflix series in record times, had pretty big milestones like graduation or birthdays celebrated in low key fashion. So of course, it was going to affect dating.

World health guidelines and restrictions in Ireland at present mean you can’t leave beyond 5km of your home and your county for non-essential travel. So, for many couples, this now means they’re facing some long-distance relationships for a while.

Long-distance is often met with the response ”it’s too tough”. If you and your partner are willing to put in the effort, you can make it work, even if it is hard. Here are some more tips that you can follow to maintain that long-distance rel.

Technology really is on your side here. Try to arrange a weekly Facetime or video call to catch up and spend some virtual time with your partner. It is more fun than texting and makes you feel like you’re right there beside them. To spice things up, you could even have a date night call, where you dress up and order some food for each other to eat. You can also play video games or have a few drinks to keep that fun alive!

Long, long before snap maps and instant messaging, there was this obscure thing called putting pen to paper and writing a good old-fashioned love letter. I know, it sounds crazy right!? There is something so lovely about seeing your loved one’s handwriting and reading whatever words they choose. You could also take this up a notch by sending their favourite sweets or a gift package to them. Boys, if you are reading… a hoodie with your scent on it goes a long way. Trust me.

Of course, given the chance, you would spend every day with each other. Now that you can’t it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom. Take this time to focus on things which you might usually neglect, like extra studying or exercising. It’s healthy to take a break from texting 24/7 and it gives you something else to talk about on those Facetime calls.

Staying at home means you’ve waaaay more time to think and plan.

Use this time to plan for future events you want to do with your partner and be excited about something together. Sure, a romantic trip to the Bahamas may be a way off yet, but there’s date nights at home and short weekend trips you can try to plan now.

It is a cliché for sure, but communication really is key here. There will be lots of tough days too. You will be sad, frustrated, maybe even angry at the thought of not seeing bae for so long. On these days, it is vital to talk about it. They probably feel the exact same way as you. Remember, it is the two of you versus long-distance/pandemic/world turned upside down, and not fighting against each other.

No one knows when this madness will be over or when life will return to some normality. All we can do is hope for the best.

But do not give up. If you truly love someone, no distance or virus will change that. And hey, just think of when you see them again – it’s going to be the best feeling ever.