Love Letter: Surviving the Distance, One Letter at a Time


When stay-at-home measures went into effect in March, some new and blossoming relationships were put on pause. Others were prematurely defined as couples hastily began to quarantine under one roof, like Patricia Liu, a rising college senior who moved in with her boyfriend of three months. Their decision to live together led to a deeper connection, but after 48 days of playing house, her boyfriend’s military duty called for a separation with no calls or texts. Soon, letters became the only way to bridge the distance. She wrote one for every day they would be apart, 49 in total.

Ilana Ozernoy and Nina Mouritzen, both immigrants who moved to New York in 2000, felt the stars were aligned in their favor when they first met. Although the couple found each other thanks to Tinder’s algorithm, they later learned that they would have met eventually at a theater in Brooklyn, where they each held a ticket to side-by-side seats for the same show. The couple were married on July 4 in Central Park, which also happened to be the day of a rare occurrence known as “a planet parade,” when planets of the solar system line up in a row on one side of the sun.

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For many of us, email has been one of the most consistent forms of communication since the start of the pandemic. But, if you are one of those people that like to start an email with an optimistic greeting like “I hope this email finds you well” (guilty!), you might run the risk of sounding tone deaf in these difficult times. Here’s how to write better emails while also being mindful of what others may be experiencing.

We want to deliver content that truly matters to you and your feedback is helpful. Email your thoughts to loveletter@nytimes.com.



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