While couples have made the decision to shackle up and hermit together during these times of coronavirus, others have decided that it was better to simply stick it out and go long-distance. Besides Zooming each other, you might be wondering what you can do to keep some normalcy in your relationship, no matter what you’re used to. I’ve found (and tested) a few ideas that might make this isolation period a little more bearable and keep the sparks flying.

Watch Something Together in Real-Time

I’m leaving the obvious regular phone call off the list because chances are you’ve already been doing that. While it’s important to just chat it out, consider watching something together. This can be a few episodes of a series or a movie. Be wary about choosing something that’s too binge-able, as you don’t want to be fighting the urge to continue on your own time. A simple trick is to look for something that’s released weekly. Terrace House is a great example of that.

It obviously doesn’t really matter what you watch, what’s important is that you do so on the phone together. Yes, you’ll have long pauses when you’re both immersed in what’s happening, hearing or even seeing the other person’s reaction is worth every minute.

Start a “Lockdown Book Club”

If TV isn’t your thing and you’re more of a bookworm, why not create an intimate book club? Pick a book you will both read while in your respective homes (or join the TW Book Club), and set yourselves flexible deadlines to read it. There’s no rush, after all. When you’re done, chat about it over the phone or a lunch date (more on that below).

Alternatively, read each other’s favorite books. Not only is it fun to read something you know your significant other loves, it’ll spark interesting debates, giving you something other than the surge in coronavirus cases to talk about. Consider reading digital versions of the books or listening to the audio version to avoid unnecessary shopping.

Schedule Video Lunch/Dinner Dates

If going out to eat was an important part of your romantic like pre-coronavirus, then keep the tradition going. This one is quite simple: schedule your video chats for when you are both eating. If possible, try cooking the same dish (or a variation of) to really make it feel like you’re together. If you had an anniversary or a birthday planned during this time of year, take it a step forward and dress up for the occasion.

Dinner is good, and maybe more standard but I would argue that lunch is just a tad better. Not only does it break your workday with a pleasant break, but it actually forces you to take a break instead of working 8 hours straight without eating anything or spend all day snacking.

Collaborate on a Playlist

In reality, this can be any collaborative project that can be accomplished remotely, but I think a playlist is the gift that keeps on giving. You’re not only sharing some good tunes with each other, but you can together create a work-from-home list of songs to keep each other motivated. Think of it as the continuous work of putting together a mixtape that you give each other back and forth.

If you’re working from home, why not stay productive with our TW Lockdown Mix?

Take an Online Class Together

All the time you were spending on dates, especially weekend ounces, is now open. You might be overwhelmed with the amount of free time you have now. Now is as good as time as ever to pick up a hobby or learn something new. TW has covered a few possibilities when it comes to taking online classes, so why not enroll with your loved one? Pick a skill you’ve both wanted to work on and get learning. You can combine this activity with your regular video calls and make it really feel like you’re doing something together.

Share the Little Things

It’s easy to lose track of time when our working schedules are no longer valid or even lose track of days. If you don’t already do it, now is a great time to incorporate some really casual greetings, something as simple as “good morning” or “goodnight.

I’m quite chatty and I tend to text quite often, but I found that what keeps me going through my remote working days is simply sharing the little things that happen throughout. Whether it’s a good lunch, a really good song that I randomly discovered or a funny tweet, sharing a bit of positiveness not only reminds you that the world is not all that bad, but also brightens your partner’s day.

Words of Endearment: They Mean the World Right Now

These are hard times. I don’t know how many times I’ve written that sentence, but you’ve probably read it a lot more. It’s important to remind yourself it’s okay to be anxious, scared, nervous. If there’s a time to communicate your feelings to your partner, it’s now. Encouraging words are thrice as strong. Check-in with each other regularly, even if just for a few minutes.