Maintaining relationships online

Small ways you can keep in touch during self isolation

The current circumstances have created challenges for everyone. Friendships, as well as romantic relationships, have been strained by a lack of physical communication. However, using self-isolation as a chance to let relationships grow and develop under extraordinary circumstances offers a potential positive, and there are a few ways this can be done.

Arrange virtual dates

With your pals, gals, lads or your SO, mark a date in your diary to have a Netflix watch party. I would wholeheartedly recommend watching a film series together, such as the Twilight saga. Alternatively, both parties watching a show or film at the same time and having skype open on a split screen can work well and allow you to see each other. If you are missing your wider group of friends and family, apps like House Party and Google Hangouts allow up to 8 people to chat at a time. Zoom is another option as it works for larger groups and tends to function quite reliably with some fun features available to spice up your video chat.

Go for coffee

Without Dublin Barista School and the Buttery, many of us are truly lost. In saying that, it doesn’t mean you can’t go for coffee with a pal regardless! Arrange a time and day as you normally would, but instead of leaving your house, be your own barista by making your drink of choice at home. Grab your mate’s details, give them a call and have a catch up. Sitting outside or in a garden can add to the feeling of actually going out somewhere, while still staying safe.

Send letters and postcards

Embrace your inner Elizabeth Bennett and write a letter to that person you have been pining for. This could be the chance to break out of your Tinder dependency, or take it as the opportunity to spice up your current relationship with a love letter. An Post are delivering free postcards to most households in Ireland in order to encourage communication. Take advantage and ask around for addresses both overseas and within Ireland. If you are living abroad, send someone a postcard from your hometown, or better yet, make your own postcard with some sturdy card material to write a letter on.

Remember to stay in touch

Although it is both easy and appealing to stay wrapped up in blankets and never speak to anyone again, your friends will appreciate hearing from you. Having a chat with someone can make all the difference when you are feeling down and anxious. Reaching out can put your mind at ease if others are going through something similar. If you have had to move back to your home outside of Ireland in particular, keeping in touch with your friends from college is especially important.

Overall, the most essential thing is to keep as positive as you can. Taking this opportunity to connect with your friends and significant others in a different way will stand to strengthen your relationships when this is all over. Instead of falling into the trap of thinking that you will never see them again, make plans for the future and stay inside so the time for seeing friends again comes that bit sooner.

Suzanne Flynn

Suzanne Flynn is the current Deputy Life Editor for Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister Law and German student.