Opting for the often exciting life-style choice of working overseas isn’t without its drawbacks.

I never wanted a long-distance relationship. Neither did my partner. They’re preternaturally difficult and I have a poor track record. But, despite being 1500 km apart, monthly business trips, comparable timezones, and discount airlines made it barely tolerable. Along came COVID-19.

March was out of the question. My flight in April was cancelled, and a few weeks ago my May flight got cancelled. Depending on where you are, after almost 3 months of isolation, some aspects of the quarantine are finally ending. Limited international flights will resume in June and expand through July and beyond.

But none of this means our relationship was quarantined. I’ve been contemplating this post for some time, but a recent BBC morsel made me pull the trigger. This is for all you star-crossed lovers out there.

Some ideas based on how we’ve been passing the time:

  • Use Skype, WhatsApp (or any other service) to video call each other
    • While doing “mundane” activities like cooking, chores, going to bed, etc. it almost feels like you’re doing it together
  • Sending pictures and text/voice messages more than normal
  • Use Uber Eats (or similar regional option) to order food for each other and have dinner together (candle optional)
  • Watch the same movie or TV show
    • YouTube, share a Netflix account, or one of the countless competitors
    • Investigate support software (e.g. “youtube party”, “netflix party”) allowing you to synchronize video streams, etc.
    • Take the opportunity to share each other’s favorites, classics from childhood, etc.
  • Online video games (or board/card games- where possible), sending each other challenges, etc.
  • Shared music playlist
    • YouTube Music, Spotify, and others allow collaborative playlists.
    • NB- many commercial services have restrictions regarding “family” plans and people in different countries.
    • There’s also several options to broadcast the music you’re listening to, but this is one-sided sharing.

Hopefully this quarantine will turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But, it’s reminded me that many other couples go through a similar situation if work/school takes them elsewhere.

Anyone else come up with other good ways to stay connected with your significant other?