caitlyn hitt bfCourtesy of Caitlyn Hitt

Caitlyn Hitt lives in Massachusetts and has been long-distance dating her Florida-based boyfriend for the past year.
Since the COVID-19 crisis put a stop to their usual visits, the young couple came up with different ways to stay connected.
They schedules times to video chat — and avoid multitasking during calls so they can give each other their full attention. 
Hitt recommends avoiding texting too much because it can feel impersonal and be misinterpreted.
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Weeks ago, I said goodbye to my boyfriend outside Orlando International Airport after one of our usual visits back and forth. If I had known then what I know now, I would have kissed him longer or hugged him harder. 

I landed back in Massachusetts — where I’ve been living and working as a writer for most of our relationship — in a sea of uncertainty. COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, took hold of my state, as well as my home state of New York, in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Businesses closed, work moved to the home, and states issued stay-at-home orders and restricted travel. I could have stayed in Florida longer, but work was calling, and he had finals to focus on.

Before COVID-19, my boyfriend and I had been traveling more than 1,300 miles back and forth to see each other pretty frequently. About a year ago, we had reconnected after a 10-year absence from each other’s lives. (It started with a DM, as all great love stories do.) Although we’re both from different parts of Long Island, New York, and went to undergrad together in upstate New York from 2008 to 2010, we had gone our separate ways for several years. 

When we reconnected, I’d been living in Brooklyn for five years and was preparing to head to New England. He’d moved to Florida after a stint in the Navy in California and was pursuing a business degree after leaving college early the first go-around. Initially, neither of us thought our messages back and forth would lead to much. Just shy of a year later, though, we’re together, very much in love, and planning to finally be in the same place in eight months or so. It may not sound like the near future, but to us it’s nothing at this point.

Long-distance was never easy, but we worked out a nice routine.
Courtesy of Caitlyn Hitt

We switched off traveling and rarely went for more than three or four weeks without a visit. When the coronavirus arrived in the United States, we were blissfully unaware and in the middle of planning our first anniversary — where we’d go, what we’d do and for how long. 

Now, we just hope to see each other again sooner rather than later.

Long-distance relationships are all about adapting and overcoming.
Courtesy of Caitlyn Hitt

We did for the better part of a year, and we’re doing it now, though the uncertainty is new. The first week or two was the hardest. There were nonsense fights about texting too much or too little, or comments lost on text, and moments when it felt like maybe long-distance was too hard. But we’ve worked out the kinks… most of them, anyway.

We may not be able to physically be together, but there’s a lot we, and other people in long-distance relationships, can do to feel connected even in isolation.

Text, but not exclusively.

Even before the pandemic, my boyfriend and I would tend to text all day and forego phone calls. Here’s the thing: Texting is impersonal, and things get lost in translation. I can’t tell you how many fights we’ve had over how one person perceived the other’s text. 

Texting too much also leaves you with nothing to talk about when you do get time to hop on the phone. Stay in touch to check in or say I love you, but don’t let it be your main form of communication.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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READ MORE: My husband and I started couples counseling just before the coronavirus outbreak — here’s why therapy is now more necessary than ever if you’re quarantined with your partner


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