I don’t know about you but I am aware of tears not being far away most of the time.  Outwardly I am doing OK, if a little distracted during my working day and finding it hard to concentrate and focus.  But when you are self isolating that could be expected I think and in the main I am supported, my work is OK and my family well so far.  So, why the tears?

If I enquire more closely into my feelings I notice this sense of loss, and below that fear of more loss, layered over an uncertainty that I haven’t felt for a while.

Generally my sense of being OK is firmly placed in my work, my sense of home and our us.  I have been feeling pretty fearless about that recently because, I reasoned, I already knew what it was like to lose most of what was important in my life so what could hurt me now?

Turns out there are things that do still cause me to feel insecure.  Seismic change such as the one we all face at this moment has that capacity.  Whilst life is OK for now, what isn’t OK is the impact social distancing and self-isolation has on our physical relationship.  It means it moves back to not knowing when we can be together again, that the activities we planned for the summer are most likely all cancelled.  That the #InAField events that would have studded my diary during the summer weekends like jewels are no longer visible.  That there may well be things outside of both our control that will impact our relationship and our capacity for time together.

Since I realised I was struggling, I also realised that many others would also be feeling this too.  And in fact this doesn’t just apply to those in #LDR or #complicated relationships, it also applies to those of us who have a lot invested in #kinkytwitter or an alternative lifestyle.  We will be feeling disconnected, worried about how to continue to connect to this vital part of ourselves and concerned about how the weight the sometimes opposing requirements our lives and ourselves can have on us.  I decided to put some points out on twitter and these formed the basis of this post.  It seems to me that at a point where everything seems up for grabs if it helps bring some certainty to us that won’t be a bad thing.

Foundations

Accept your communication styles may need to change to accommodate different time availabilities – life is different right now, being flexible helps

Agree a third party contact for both of you for if shit gets real – nothing makes me feel worse that the idea that He was ill I wouldn’t know.  Having a third party for both of us gives me reassurance

Be honest about your needs, and don’t try to protect each other from your need for your relationship.  It isn’t a pressure, it’s the ground on which you stand

If you usually only message in between meet ups, agree and arrange calls. I find in difficult times the sound of His voice instantly calms me

Understand and accept that this might be the thing that changes your relationship (this could mean deepen it or conversely show the gaps).  This is not an easy thing to do but it is worth thinking about your own survival should this relationship become a victim to the additional pressures.
Cultivate a que sera, sera attitude if you can, it doesn’t mean you don’t care but it will enable you to ride the storm out.
Be kind to each other, but not so kind that you don’t tell the truth

Day to Day

Establish new routine asap – good morning and good night messages when you can’t be together can the the twin pivots of your day.  It also means that both parties can get on with their day to day having made and established contact without worrying or wondering when they be in touch
Send ‘thinking of you’ messages, pictures, and links to songs, pictures of your day to day life, your desk, your books, the series you are watching
Invite them to a kitchen dance off, take it in turns to send the tune and video yourself dancing to it.  It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a great dancer, moving helps to mitigate fear, and stress.
Invite them to join you for your evening glass of wine or plan to eat or watch something together at the same time
Make time for fun, a Skype call works wonders
Try an internet connected toy that you can share, it’s fun and pleasurable and we need all of that we can get at the moment

Encourage real life contact with others for each other, it’s healthy and will benefit you both

Spend time with other friends online too, they help to reinforce the sense that we have a relationship, albeit different to others we know, but still strong and valid and full of love too
Practice patience and positivity if you can.  Shit is happening but it will end sometime, and we will emerge blinking from it, hopefully with a relationship that feels all the stronger for having weathered the storm.

Remind each other of your connection

Tell each other that you love them, generously, often, and with abandon.  Now is not the time to play it safe.
Pour your love wantonly on each other as if tomorrow doesn’t exist and there is no need to stockpile.
Use your love joyfully to insulate and protect each other through these difficult days.  Love is like compound interest, it multiplies exponentially the move you invest in it.
Revisit happy times, and make plans for new ones once this is over, because it will end sometime.  I promise.

Sending love to us all

If you found this helpful, let me know.  If you have other suggestions I would love to hear from you.
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