The Hub’s relationship expert answered all your questions.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in a number of ways.

It’s changed the way we work, the way we socialise and even the way we date. What should you do if you just started seeing someone? How can you keep in touch with your partner when you’re social distancing?

Relationship expert Mairead Loughman joined Louise on The Hub this week to answer your most-asked questions:

I was casually dating someone before the outbreak. What should we do now?

Going somewhat steady with someone on Tinder before social-distancing became the norm? You’re not exactly official but yet, you’d love to see the person on the other side of the pandemic. Mairead says this situation is tricky.

“I think something like this could really be kind of make or break”, she explains.

“You might still be getting text messages every now and again and be looking forward to seeing each other, or you might lose interest in them altogether.”

“It’s important to remember that, even though people are at home all day, none of us are really doing anything so what are you going to text about?”

“I wouldn’t really be giving someone a really hard time if you weren’t hearing from them all day every day … I’d say cut them a bit slack if you’re not hearing from them all the time.”

“We’re all kind of bored, just sitting around and watching Netflix so nothing too exciting to be texting someone about, you know? That might be a reason why you might not hear from that person that you went on a lovely date with a few weeks ago.”

But what advice does she have for those who do want to keep in touch with that person?

“Obviously, do try to keep in touch, keep sending the funny memes and hopefully you’ll be able to meet up with them again and it’ll be in the lovely summer months then as well and there’s loads more to do together.”

I’m in a long-term relationship. How can we keep the spark going?

If you’re in an established relationship, there’s plenty of technology at our fingertips to keep in touch. Mairead says it’s a good way to keep in touch but it could also mean added pressure:

“Obviously, a video chat is a great way to keep in touch with someone who you’re in a relationship with but I think that could actually add a bit of added pressure for someone who maybe hasn’t done that yet”.

“Especially if you were to add a kind of sexual element to the video chat, I think that could create major pressure”.

“My advice there would be keep your chats as much as you can. Again, don’t feel under pressure to be talking all day everyday. Just because you’re on your phone doesn’t mean that you have something to talk about so don’t be getting a little bit antsy at each other if one person just isn’t talking.”

But what about intimacy?

“If it’s to try and keep the sexy, intimate part of the relationship alive, I’d say maybe start off with a little bit of texting,” says Mairead.

“A little bit of dirty texting, and maybe what you would be doing together if you could see each other or something like that.”

“Then you can send each other links to things as well.”

“If something does kind of spark your interest, you could send that link on to your partner and see if it’s something that turns them on as well or if you are at the level where you would openly talk about porn use and together, if you are watching something and you think it’s pretty hot, then you could also send it to them for their viewing pleasure as well.”

“It doesn’t always have to be this that you, all of a sudden, are on the camera and comfortable with everything that kind of entails. I think that we can keep the intimacy going in lighter ways if that suits you better.”