Essential Tips On Staying Emotionally & Socially Connected In Your Love Life During Isolation

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Essential Tips On Staying Emotionally & Socially Connected In Your Love Life
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You might be socially distant, but it doesn't have to be isolating!

In times of fear, you feel the need to connect. But because of the virus, you fear contact.

Who would have ever thought that being alone could save your life? That might sound extreme, but with COVID-19, social distancing seems to be the new normal in order to stay virus-free.

And while you might be at a safe physical distance, slipping into emotional distancing can become just as psychologically dangerous. Instead, make the decision to use this at-home time as an opportunity to reconnect — both with yourself and with others — even if six-feet apart.

RELATED: 40 Positive Quotes To Live By During Coronavirus Quarantine

For some, it's difficult to continue social distancing. For others, it's liberating to lean into introvert preferences.

The reality is that you need to stay within your own space, but that doesn’t mean you need to emotionally shut down. In fact, in this uncertain time, it’s even more important to reach out and connect.

Now's the time to redefine how you relate, who you are, who you hang out with, and who you communicate with. You can even make new friends, deepen shallow relationships, and expand (and even repair) old ones.

You can distance-date and start new romantic relationships on a foundation that you will find to be more solid, more supportive, and more enduring.

Here are some essential tips on how to stay emotionally and socially connected through the coronavirus.

If you’re single, first take the time to "dig into" you.

Who are you? What are your needs and core values? What excites, motivates, or nurtures you? This is a process of self-definition.

You might feel like you're reframing who you are; now is the time to lean into your authentic self. That doesn’t mean to go over the top, it simply means be true to you.

If you want to go out in dinosaur and unicorn socks and a sparkly headband, excellent! If you want to drive around blasting "Ice Ice Baby," do it! Tap into what feels good.

You're expanding into your personal space.

And from that place of complete and deep personal connection, you might find it feels good to be kind to others.

Leave flowers on neighbor’s mailboxes, send a message to an old friend. Start an arts and crafts business through Skype or FaceTime. Suggest a neighborhood block party for "happy hour," each of you sitting in your own driveway or in front of your doors.

You can sing, play charades, or simply be together… at a distance.

Now is the time to test your personal style.

Take an online class, virtually tour museums, or watch opera and Broadway shows for free. You'll have more to talk about and a more expansive perspective than ever before!

If you prefer, tackle your pile of books! Or make that sacred space in your closet, build your outdoor sanctuary, cook new meals, or put together outfits, then talk about these activities with others.

It’s OK to help people in exchange for money.

Go shopping for them, walk their dogs, run their errands, etc. You might find a new calling that continues once social distancing ends.

If you are struggling financially, it’s OK to be confidently vulnerable and reach out for help. Go on Facebook groups, NextDoor app, and other places where friends virtually hang out, and offer whatever your services are, even if it’s just a passion or a little assistance.

If you’re dating, get online!

Rewrite your profile. Don’t wallow in loneliness, be negative, or rage about the virus… Instead, be positive!

Not sure what to say? Think about what would inspire you to reach out to someone else.

And it’s not just online dating where you can meet someone. You can engage in Facebook groups, virtual meetups — even through gaming apps. It’s about meeting people with similar interests.

Once you start connecting and talking, don’t just talk about the virus. Instead, address it and suggest a change of topic.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Live A Balanced Lifestyle While In Coronavirus Lockdown

Once your conversation feels like it has exhausted its online life, suggest taking the relationship to the next level and have a “phone date.” After a couple of phone dates, suggest a video date.

This is an opportunity to not just see each other and chat, but to see what your life looks like. You can "sit across from each other" with a glass of wine and feel like you're at a bar having an actual date. 

Then, you can suggest drinks, a paint and sip class where you both paint a picture on video together, watch a movie together, do a virtual museum tour, or any other creative idea.

When you're on these video dates, make sure to really show up! Be physically and emotionally available. Get dressed up! Turn on decent lighting. Be presentable.

Don’t get too sexy too quickly. Know that they can always take screenshots.

It’s OK to date multiple people at once.

On the show Love is Blind, daters go on multiple "blind" dates while they can’t actually see or touch each other. You can do the same thing. You can have multiple virtual dates a day if you want — until you find the one who you most connect with.

If you really want to meet in person but at a safe distance, suggest meeting at a park or across the street from each other — absolutely no touching! Make sure it’s quiet so you can hear one another at a distance, then maybe have a glass of wine, sit, and chat.

That way, you'll see in real life who they are. It'll probably even up the element of excitement since you can’t touch each other.

No-contact dating is an opportunity to date people you might not normally.

Start a conversation with someone who isn’t exactly your physical type. Open yourself up to people who seem really nice but might not be someone you traditionally found attractive. Looks fade and personalities expand and deepen to be more attractive than anything you could have dreamed!

How someone makes you feel suddenly matters so much more than how someone looks. Do they make you feel safe, like a priority, seen, inspired? Or are they just hot… and also disrespectful or inconsistent?

What’s the worst thing to happen by connecting with someone who might not be your physical type? You have a few conversations and realize that in addition to their faces, what lies beneath doesn't fit with you, so you don’t talk to them again.

You didn’t waste much time, and you didn’t waste any money. Or, you realize you would have missed out on your “one” just because they weren't what you would've historically gone for; true and enduring love is more than skin deep.

Are you in a new relationship?

Right before the virus struck and made everyone retreat indoors, you started dating someone, and now you can’t touch them.

Get emotionally naked and vulnerable! You'll find your chemistry can go crazy.

Allow yourself emotional vulnerability and tap into a more intimate side of yourself. This is when you'll see if they're meant for you. Beyond the superficial, beyond the fun, beyond the chemistry.

Do your core values and beliefs align? Do you your personalities and needs fit? You might find that you need to break up because you see the truth of who they are — or discover you're more attracted to them.

Have date nights in. Have a book or movie club together. Have dress-up dates where you wear outfits you'd never wear out in public!

Pull out board games. Have a picnic. The key is to put effort into it. Don’t think, “This is stupid.” Instead think, “This is different and fun.”

What if you’re in an unhappy relationship?

What if you live together but can hardly look at each other? You can touch, but you don’t want to. Now's the time to re-define yourselves as a couple.

Can you go back to when you initially fell for each other? Can you drop the anger and resentment? Can you raise your white flags and make the decision to start over? You can.

You guys are stuck together, so you may as well make the most of it. And more than most of it: What if you can come out of this in love, or at least in "like" with your partner? Have conversations that open you to sharing and vulnerability together.

RELATED: 'Social Ditching': How To Use Social Distancing To End A Toxic Relationship

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Laurel House is an international celebrity dating and relationship coach, a dating coach on E!’s “Famously Single,” and writer who has appeared in Oprah, Vogue, The Washington Post, and 500 other media outlets. Find out more about her new dating course, Love Actually Academy.

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