In March 2020, our vocabulary was enriched with new words: covid 19, health crisis, confinement. Our lives were turned upside down in a few days, for families, couples, singles. If some couples have known the confinement behind closed doors, for others, the situation was not more enviable. Indeed, for distant couples, for a little over a year, living a love story is not easy. Between confinement, deconfinement and reconfinement, ban on moving outside your region except for an overriding reason (how come, love, is not an overriding reason ?!), it was not easy to manage your relationship. Especially since it was necessary to adapt to measures that changed regularly. So how did these couples hold out? How has our long-distance relationship survived the health crisis? Here is the testimony of Myriam, in a relationship with Louis for 8 months during confinement in March 2020.
How our long-distance relationship survived the health crisis: testimony from Myriam, in a relationship with Louis
“My name is Myriam, I am 32 years old and I have been in a relationship with Louis since August 2019. On vacation with one of my closest friends who left the Paris region to settle near La Rochelle, I met Louis. 35 years old, separated with a 7-year-old child, we got on well. Very naturally, I spent the end of my vacation in his company, and what was to happen, happened, we embarked on the adventure of the couple.
Him in the provinces, me in Paris, it may seem lost in advance. But luckily that was never an obstacle for either side.
Already, because by TGV, Paris-La Rochelle is done in about 3 hours and rather easily. Then, for my part, having no children and Louis having his son in alternate custody every other week, gave us the possibility of meeting every other weekend on average. Then, working as an illustrator, it is easy for me to work remotely or freelance. Finally, both quite independent and coming out of long stories, starting ours gently was, in the end, the best way for our couple to tame.
If the end of my vacation was obviously not the happiest, that did not mean the end of our history, and I, therefore, returned home with the plan to see us again 2 or 3 weeks later for a weekend.
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The weekend “test” went wonderfully well.
For more than 6 months, our couple operated like this. We saw each other every weekend when Louis didn’t have his son; either he went up to Paris, or I went to La Rochelle, depending on our desires, TGV schedules, our jobs, invitations from both sides. Our couple solidified despite the distance without difficulty, our meeting was for both of us as obvious. And if we lived far away and saw each other little, our story was no less serious.
So over the months, we took our rhythm between weekends and holidays, we met our respective friends and Louis had the time to meet my family during his last weekend in Paris in March 2020. We had decided to take the time so that I meet his son, and this was planned two weeks later, to then plan on the next school holidays together with the little one.
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How our long-distance relationship survived the health crisis: the news caught up with us, the covid put everything on hold.
The announcement of confinement, with homeschooling, teleworking, exit certificates, and above all travel bans far from home sounded the death knell for our projects.
Unless there is an overriding reason … Obviously, the fact of finding your lover was not materialized on any checkbox of the certificate! And for everyone, this unprecedented situation posed a lot of questions: what were we really risking? What were the dangers?
When the confinement was announced, the idea crossed our mind that I was going to spend it in La Rochelle, but have not yet met Louis’ son, I did not want to do things badly. Until then, we had respected each other’s lives and it was out of the question to rush everything and then regret it.
I then discovered a new state of mind: patience!
And with Louis, we took advantage of what we had already been doing for months in a long-distance relationship: communication 2.0. To use the SMS and the voicemail messages, the calls and the visions, the photos, and the sexting after a certain hour. We shared our dailies remotely every other week when his son was at his mother’s house, and the other week, we favored the written word. We rediscovered the pleasure of writing each other beautiful letters too and having long late conversations in our beds.
It is up to us to tame the lack, the absence of the other, the vagaries of the news which prolonged this expectation …
During this spring 2020, we became a virtual couple but paradoxically this reinforced our feelings because we took the time to discover each other in-depth thanks to our confidences.
When the containment was lifted and we were able to move again, I jumped on a TGV to find my man. Our reunion on the station platform remains one of my fondest memories. I think I knew that day that I loved Louis with all my heart and that our story was made to last.
The meeting with his son has postponed to the summer holidays and everything went well, we were able to enjoy a few days together, during this somewhat surreal summer on probation. Then we decided to spend 3 weeks together, just the two of us, once her son was on vacation with his mother, to see if we could face the daily grind together. Because loving each other from a distance is all well and good, but you still have to be compatible under the same roof. The test was successful and this time, the separation on the station platform at the end of my vacation was more painful.
I began to wonder about my life in Paris, and we slowly worked out the plan to settle down together.
We had just celebrated our first year of a long-distance relationship, less than 2 months without seeing each other because of the health crisis. This situation made us aware, like many people all over the world I think, of the urgency to take advantage of the present moment and especially the people we love.
What was I going to do several hundred kilometers away when I felt my heart remained in La Rochelle?
The project was taking shape against the backdrop of covid 19 which highlighted teleworking. I am fortunate to have a profession that can be done as a freelance and to be able to do it at home. Louis himself had his personal and professional life settled in La Rochelle, and at no time did I imagine keeping him away from his son. We both knew that if our long-distance relationship became that of an everyday couple, it would be through my move to his place, to their place.
We were there in our reflections, to say that it would be good to launch in 2021 when the second confinement was announced at the end of October. I vividly remember the presidential address on television and that almost instant message from Louis on my phone: “Honey, this time come and settle in the house. “
Read also: 10 tips for dealing with lack in a long-distance relationship
How has our long-distance relationship survived the health crisis?
In the end, the health crisis due to the coronavirus and the lockdowns were, if not accelerators, at least a means of strengthening our relationship.
We experienced first remote confinement, a summer of reunion, a re-entry of awareness, and second revealing confinement.
I took my marks in Louis’ life, his environment, his daily life. I discovered him completely, especially as a father. On the spot, my friends present also allowed me an easier rooting. I never really left after the second confinement. I went back and forth for my work, each time bringing back more business.
This cohabitation during the second confinement was like a test to cross the stage of life under the same roof, of the couple on a daily basis and of the blended family every other week.
I gave my notice for my apartment in January and we took advantage of a weekend to move the rest of my stuff in March. I developed my professional activity on freelance contracts, while maintaining security with a Parisian agency, to which I only have to go about twice a month. This rhythm suits me well, I take this opportunity to find my friends, but I am happy to go back to where it is now at home, at home, with Louis.
Like everyone else, we continue to live according to health measures, but today, if we were to talk again about confinement and a strict ban on movement, I would obviously live it with a light heart, since I am where I am. Want to be! “