Last week I dedicated my column to all those brand new couples who have been torn apart by lockdown, and are now struggling to keep the spark alive while they're pining for each other in separate bubbles.
Because unlike married and long-term couples who I assume are already shacked up in one bubble, I know heaps of people who had only been on a couple of dates before this damn pandemic meant they couldn't see their crush again for an entire month.
Fear not, mopey lovesick puppies – I'm here to help with even more tips on how to maintain a long-distance relationship during lockdown.
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• Covid 19 coronavirus: Packed Qantas flight sparks outrage for ignoring social distancing
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This is an absolutely cooked time so be kind to yourselves mates. If you wanna workout, go for it. If like me you've decided now's your chance to get heavily into cask wine, go for it. If like me you're also at your wits end listening to your shrill flatmates on Zoom calls, I highly recco investing in noise cancelling headphones. (Not spon but @sonynz did kindly give me these ones after I vowed to give them all my organs and my first born if they could please render me deaf immediately). Keep in touch with all your pals, keep in touch with your therapist and remember I'm only a DM away if you want a chat and / or to get lit with me via that HouseParty app. And if you want more tips on surviving lockdown without losing ya mind - tune into my new column Social Distancing In The City cause honestly what a fab rebrand, now I never have to go out again.
1. Find another pining, lovesick sailor in the same boat
Remember my wise friend Victoria from last week's column, the one who taught me how to Facetime without worrying about looking like a sexy camgirl? She's the Miranda to my Carrie, and she too happens to be trying to keep the flame alive with someone she's dating – who is also, devastatingly, in a separate bubble.
Three weeks, too much wine and countless stress and separation-induced quarrels with our respective men later, we have finally realised the only way our relationships will survive this pandemic is if we have daily venting sessions with each other about how utterly crap lockdown is.
I can't stress enough the importance of avoiding smug, cohabiting couples and instead having regular catch-ups with someone who's in the same grumpy "star-crossed lovers" situation as you - and if you don't know anyone who fits the bill, remember my DMs are always open.
2. Get creative with grand gestures
Just remember, horror of horrors, back in the olden days we didn't even have stuff like Uber Eats discount codes or fancy dinners at The French Cafe as a way of wooing our dates - so now we're all on home detention, what better time to be inspired by the romantic grand gestures of times of yore?
Make like your grandparents did, and romantically throw rocks at their window (from at least 10m away) or put a handwritten note in their letterbox (taped to a packet of Dettol wipes, this is a pandemic).
Or even better – support one of your local businesses and online shop them a gift. Case in point, last week my long-distance boyfriend sent me a "cheer up", designer dress and now I'm absolutely milking my lockdown sulk in the hopes a new car is next.
3. It's time to bring out the big guns
Now, while under normal circumstances I would never recommend or condone sending saucy pictures, these are not normal circumstances. These are trying times.
And I'm sure I don't need to remind you to only ever send a saucy pic to another consenting (and enthusiastic) adult whom you trust completely. And remember that if it all goes tits up (sorry, I couldn't resist), the law has your back, because sharing someone's intimate images or video is image-based abuse under the Harmful Digital Communications Act and can be an offence under New Zealand law.
If you're ever worried about a photo you shared with someone, you can always holler at Netsafe. They talk to people in situations like this every day, can help you get the content removed and will never judge you for Trying To Keep It Spicy.
Okay, all that serious stuff out of the way, if you're still keen – my top tips for sending pictures are:
1. Always keep some form of clothing on (I know this sounds like it defeats the purpose, but I reckon it's sexier and more mysterious - just go with me).
2. Take the photos in a mirror, so you're not firing blind and can keep your chins in check (Also, do not under any circumstances take the photo from above your head, it's very "Bebo 2008").
And 3. For an absolute LOL – send them when the lucky receiver is least expecting them - e.g. when you know they're in the middle of a Zoom conference call. Hehe.