Social distancing or physical distancing and social connecting?

Research output: Other contributionNet publication - Internet publicationCommunication


For the past 10 years I have been researching how people in intimate partnerships maintain their close relationships while physically separated by immigration rules, work or family commitments. This article will highlight some of the many important lessons for people currently separated by lockdowns and restrictions of movements caused by the corona pandemic. I am an academic and a clinical ‘social’psychologist, and my work has led to the development of evidence- based techniques to support and maintain healthy intimate relationships when people are physically separated that are highly applicable to the current situation.

Other key Points
Focus is on ways for creating, supporting and maintaining emotional and social connecting across the physical distance for the persons who are experiencing lockdown “ stay home” or quarantine. Sustaining relationships across distance is a major theme in my ongoing research about living apart together transnational couples (LATT). I hope that these ways bring optimism to people involuntarily facing distance in their intimate relationships due to the pandemic.
Real-life experiences form a major part of the article, covering LATT couples from global settings. Emotional reflexivity- grasping own and other person’s emotions and acting on them is vital for social connections in the relationships across geographical distance. Frequent and systematic sharing of everyday life, joys, and sorrows through verbal and/ or written exchange, sexting are the ways forward. Moreover, concrete ways - virtual sharing of meals, films across distance involving extended family mitigate feelings of loneliness, existential anxiety, and uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date20 Apr 2020
VolumeCopenhagen Post online
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020
SeriesThe Copenhagen Post

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