Love amid other drugs: Surviving a long-distance relationship – sex and relationships

The world is grappling with the widespread consequences of novel coronavirus and couples in long distance relationships are not spared either. As relationships face this litmus test, mental health and relationship experts chalk out some fundamentals to keep the tensions low and romance high.

  • Poetic Justice: “Long distance is tough. One can only survive it if one is comfortable with the life that they are living. You need not be dependent on your partner for emotional and physical support all the time. It’s important to stay connected and keep updating your partner. I make sure that my first call in the morning and last call of the night is to him. I have also found an emotional outlet in poetry as words have the power to heal. It’s very old school, but I keep the romance alive through my poems,” shares a Delhi-based freelance musician on condition of anonymity. Her boyfriend of seven years lives and works in Mumbai.
  • Happy thoughts: “We don’t know the future as travel rules are impacted. Virtual reality is our reality now. Technology is our best friend now. My first thought was when do we get to meet? I was planning to go meet him in August for his birthday but everything is put on hold now. We manage to call and text and are extremely dependent on internet. You can’t sit back and worry as it will affect your immunity negatively. We need to keep our happy hormones high. I tell him to eat well and keep himself happy,” says Delhi-based lawyer Arnab Biswas whose boyfriend of three years, Ashraf Khan recently moved to Dubai.

Bengaluru-based psychiatrist Dr Venkatesh Babu GM, says that in order to have a healthy long distance relationship, it is necessary to resolve issues at the earliest. “Lack of communication, unresolved fights and blame games are not healthy. By putting in efforts, regular chats can actually turn out to be a much needed date,” he says.

With time on your hands, the grim situation offers a chance to look deeper into behavioural patterns. “Use this time to introspect. You have time to analyse if all those fights and arguments are worth it. Don’t propagate negative thoughts or pay heed to rumours. Uplift each other, keep a positive attitude and don’t lose patience,” says psychologist Dr Anil Sethi.

Relationship expert Shivani Sadhu says that the first step towards any remedial action is to accept the situation. “Fear is one of the major triggers for a relationship failing. Avoid setting any rules and go with the flow,” she advises, adding that flexibility is the key. “Adapt and improvise. Make video calls fun by making dinner together or watching a movie together. It’s never late to flirt and act like newbies. Chat like you are chatting to a stranger and flirt with each other,” she suggests.

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