How to keep your relationship spark alive when isolating away from your partner

man facetiming woman in isolation
Daily FaceTime just not cutting it? We're here to help. Photo credit: Getty.

We've reached the third week of New Zealand's COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, which means that hopefully, the end is in sight.

But for many, this marks yet another week away from that special someone, whether that be their life partner, someone they recently started dating, or even just their very best friend. 

If you're away from your boo during lockdown, a daily video chat might just not be cutting it anymore. We've put together some ways you can rekindle the spark while you can't light it physically, whether you're on the other side of the city, or isolating on a different island. 

Have regular 'date nights'

Just because you can't go out for dinner right now, doesn't mean you can't make an average night special. While you're probably video calling in your most casual loungewear each day, it's time to put a little effort in for a date night. Get dressed up, brush your hair, and come 'together' (through technology) for a few hours without the interruptions of family, flatmates or television. Set up picnics on your respective bedroom floors, or gather wine, popcorn and snacks and have a movie night. Just make sure you push 'start' on the movie at the same time from your respective homes, otherwise that sound delay is going to get pretty annoying. 

Exercise together

If you're isolating with your partner in an intimate bubble of two, exercise is a great way to get a little space - whether it be a walk around the block or a yoga session in the next room. But if you're apart for the whole lockdown, working out together is a great way to keep the mind, body and relationship strong. It's easy: just choose an online workout class together, prop your phone up so you can see each other on a video call and get moving. We'd recommend some HIIT or strength work so you can motivate each other when you might otherwise give up. Even turn it into a competition if you're THAT type of couple. 

Send an unexpected delivery

Keep this one for a very special occasion as NZ post workers are under the pump right now, but sending an unexpected gift through the available online services is a great way to let that special someone know you're thinking of them. Online beauty retailer Mecca has a plethora of skincare and makeup available online, so put together a kit of facemasks, relaxing body creams and bath stuff for that person in your life who needs a little self-care. Or if your isolated partner is terrible at facing the supermarket, Service Foods Home is an online food retailer based in Auckland. You could put together a delivery full of fresh produce, some top quality meat and some delicious treats - because food is basically the only thing getting us through right now. 

Plan exciting things for the future

It can be easy to get caught up in the uncertain present but remember these crazy times will end. The Prime Minister announced plans for level 3 on Thursday and while you might not be able to pop over to your loved one's place or go out for dinner, it's a reminder that the current state of affairs will improve. Start planning some fun things to do once lockdown is over. Sure, international travel might be out for a while, but there are plenty of amazing spots within Aotearoa you can take a roadie to - and the local travel industry is going to need us for a while yet. Plan a day trip to Waiheke or a skiing holiday in the South Island, or if you really need to stretch those legs after lockdown, a tramp somewhere in the county. Looking forward to exciting things to come will make another day at home a bit more bearable.