2020’s #COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped society and left many people stuck at home in national lockdowns worldwide. Single people frantically searching dating sites trying to find love in the quarantine may be the first image that springs to mind. But what happens when the problem isn’t COVID loneliness but being trapped at home 24/7 in romantic relationships? Research indicates that romantic relationships can be stressful even at the best of times and quarantine can compound underlying issues.
Whether you’re not used to sharing your space, or you’re facing logistical difficulties while both working from home or managing childcare, social isolation is rife with potential spats. The pandemic has brought up feelings of stress, loneliness, and new anxieties about health and finance.
Couples may find that they or their spouse do not handle this well, and a new element of psychological management may be involved in romantic relationships. With this in mind, we’ve consulted relationship experts to put together a list of 5 ways you can maintain romantic relationships during pandemic lockdowns.
Here’s what you should know about romantic relationships and COVID!
Keep Communication Lines Open
While you may be constantly sharing the same space as your partner, real communication can get lost when you’re stressed and managing other chores. Your living space now has to double up as a workspace and a leisure space, and this can be hard if you’re dealing with limited square footage.
Don’t forget that, just because the other person is there, doesn’t mean you necessarily know what’s going on in their mind. Bottling up emotions and frustrations can lead to outbursts, which can escalate into fights. Extra stress on romantic relationships during pandemic conditions can easily be projected onto your partner. To prevent this, make time every day to check in with your partner and communicate.
Turn off phones and other distractions and have an honest conversation about how you’re both feelings in your romantic relationships. If they’re stressed about things out of their control allow them time to vent and provide a supportive ear if something closer to home is bothering them, like noise while trying to work, discuss this openly and without blame and try to find a temporary solution together.
Respect Each Other’s Boundaries
Making space for each other in romantic relationships can be especially hard if you’re sharing a small space. Couples in quarantine are faced with the unique problem of not being able to escape one another. Whereas in normal circumstances, you can get out to work or take breaks in a coffee house if working from home, social isolation can start to feel like a pressure cooker.
Romantic relationships and mental health can both begin to suffer in this scenario. Even if you’re bored being stuck at home, resist the urge to badger your partner to spend time with you. If they say they need alone time, respect their boundaries.
They may not be used to being with someone 24/7, or they may feel the need to work more to impress their boss now they’re working from home.
Schedule Time For Your Romantic Relationships
Romantic relationships always take effort to maintain, but more so than ever during the quarantine. You may even forget to feel like a couple and neglect the more romantic aspects of your relationship – like your sex life. Stress is a well-known libido killer, so don’t feel guilty or pressured to stick to your routine.
However, reconnecting through intimacy, like snuggling up to watch a film or running each other a bath, can do wonders for your romantic relationships. Remember to schedule this time, rather than relying on spontaneity. When our regular schedules are overhauled it can be even more challenging to work in new things, so a bit of planning will go a long way.
Take The Pressure Off
Circumstances differ across romantic relationships, and you may find yourself stuck living separately from your partner during the quarantine. New romantic relationships can struggle to adapt to significant changes. So why are romantic relationships so difficult to manage in the early stages during a pandemic? Simple, you don’t know each other’s regular routines yet, and all of this is thrown off in an epidemic.
Don’t feel pressure to video call them every day if it’s getting too much, but do take time to explain that you won’t be available. Give yourselves time to adapt before you bring extra stress into your romantic relationships.
Show Your Partner You Care
What’s the point of romantic relationships if you can’t show each other that you care? Little gestures, like making your partner coffee in the morning or cleaning the house, can make a big difference to someone’s stress levels. Even when you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to be kind and remember your partner is going through the pandemic. Doing little things to show you care will make you feel more positive about yourself and your romantic relationships!
Are you living with a partner during COVID quarantine? How has this affected your romantic relationships? Let us know in the comments!
Save a Romantic Relationship during the Coronavirus Period