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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Orange and Boo: Getting creative with distance dating during quarantine

It’s been some time since my last column about “distance dating,” and I know I’m not alone in saying I’m so bored. There are only so many times I can send the “What are you up to?” text without ripping my hair out, especially considering the answer will almost assuredly be “Nothing,” these days. So while we’re all still doing our best to maintain social distancing, I wanted to take a look at fun ways to spice up romantic life from afar. 

For some people, the concept of distance dating is not new. Heather Sterchele is a 21-year-old UF microbiology senior who has been long-distance for the majority of her five-year relationship (thus putting my two-month distance blues to shame). For someone who’s been dealing with long-distance for that long, I figured you’re bound to pick up some insightful tips and tricks for keeping the spark alive. Yet, Sterchele’s biggest advice for those struggling with distance dating is simple.

“I think the biggest thing for right now given the circumstances is just continuing communication,” she said. “One big thing to make our time talking feel more meaningful is to be fully engaged in the conversation we’re having. That way, we both feel more valued.”

It’s true; communication is key when face-to-face interaction isn’t possible. However, what are some ways to make this communication a little more exciting? I spoke to 18-year-old UF biology sophomore Shaylin Ettinger, who had some great insights into how to stay in touch without touching.

“For Zoom date ideas, following a painting tutorial together and seeing who ends up with the better painting could be fun,” she said. “Or, following the same dinner recipe and seeing how it turns out for both of you.”

I can’t think of much that is more romantic than Bob Ross and his happy little trees.

Personally, I’ve found solace in the form of iMessage 8-Ball, FaceTimes and sending stupid tweets, but why not try something different? Dress up for a fancy virtual date, make each other a Spotify playlist and of course, have a good old Netflix Party.

As much as the obvious scantily clad Snapchat can be exciting for anyone, sometimes something a little different can make us feel even more connected. In a time that has physically pulled us all apart, maintaining a sense of togetherness is vital. Stay safe and stay sexy.

Contact Alyssa Archard at Follower her on Twitter @Alyssa_Archard.

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