Love in the Time of Corona: Long Distance Edition

The classic Zoom movie night! Spend some quality time arguing over who has to deal with the screen share lag.


So you got cuffed this season: You thought you would have all semester to spend with your new boo — but just as your feelings for each other grew exponentially, so did the curve of coronavirus infections. And now you find yourselves evicted from campus, quarantined in homes thousands of miles away from each other with only Zoom to help your budding relationship bloom.

Gotcha, dummy! COVID-19 played us all. But have no fear: Rachel is here with her limited relationship experience to single-handedly keep your remote romance alive. Follow these simple suggestions, and you’re sure to find that (social) distance makes the heart grow fonder indeed — and if not fonder, then at least thirstier for human contact.

  1. The classic Zoom movie night! Spend some quality time arguing over who has to deal with the screen share lag. Suffer silently when “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” becomes stop motion right when you find out who framed Roger Rabbit.
  2. Travel the world together via Street View on Google Maps. Visit the city of love — incredible! Look at the Eiffel Tower when it was still swarming with tourists! Or take long walks on the beach together, one rush of 30 feet at a time. Wow, what a view. Take a screenshot for the mems. Once you’re back on campus, you can poster putty that bad boy up on your wall and flex on all of your blockmates. Sucks to be alone, doesn’t it losers?
  3. Bust out the ukulele you bought and forgot about after your hipster phase. Serenade them with a duet from “High School Musical: the Musical: the Series,” the highlight of your recent Disney+ investment. Strategically transpose to avoid the E chord your tiny hands can’t handle. Up for a spicy challenge? Try to stay on beat and pitch after they start singing along with a 3 second lag.
  4. Sneak out at night to stargaze together. Realize it’s not dark out for them yet because time zones are ridiculous and should be cancelled. Gleefully tiptoe back into the house, basking in the thrill of rebellion against shelter-in-place.
  5. Have them meet the parents! Over FaceTime, in the dead of night, when you’ve woken the family up with your remote pillow talk but they refuse to show they’re furious on camera.
  6. Convince them to start learning your parents’ language so they won’t hate your significant other for keeping you up at night.
  7. Cook together. Pick a Tasty video that doesn’t look too hard, since neither of you can even boil pasta. Quickly remember bro, neither of us can even boil pasta and scavenge for ramen and slightly expired popcorn instead. Mmmm, bonding. Yum.
  8. Daydream about the reunion. Imagine a dramatic run, jump, and spin, maybe even a “Dirty Dancing” lift thrown in. Realize, dismayed, that by the end of this you’ll be so out of shape you may not be able to run or jump at all.
  9. Spontaneously propose a couples workout pact you instantly regret. During nightly ab workouts, strategically place the camera where they can’t tell you’re cheating. Feel bad later: This will get you a tummy flatter than the infection curve after social distancing. Just commit to it.
  10. Take long sunset drives together with the windows rolled down and the music turned up, except you can’t see them from the vantage point of their cup holder so you’re really just watching a low budget production of Carpool Karaoke.
  11. Respond to texts in the timely manner you never did on campus. Pat yourself on the back for being a great communicator.
  12. Feel completely secure in your relationship. Who’re they gonna cheat on you with? Their dad’s golden retriever?
  13. Feel completely insecure in your relationship. You just got along really well during a blind date dinner, and now you’re going long distance indefinitely. God, what were you thinking?
  14. Talk about what you’ll do when you finally see each other. Stand within six feet of each other? Hold hands without gloves on? I’m quaking — it’s almost too much to handle!
  15. Write an article about it because you’re going certifiably insane, and pray to every deity in existence that you don’t regret it later.

That’s all, folks! Wishing you the best of luck in your long distance love. And hey, look on the bright side. At least you can’t get ghosted because they “don’t have time for a relationship right now.” :)

—Magazine writer Rachel Chen can be reached at