COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of how we have lived over the past few months, providing we’ve been taking it seriously. You might very well be sick of the topic by now, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t having a profound impact on different parts of your life. One of those parts might be your relationship, whether it’s with a partner or spouse. Here, we’re going to look at some of the unexpected impacts it might have impacted your relationship and some tips on how to deal with them.
One of the biggest problems with the lockdown for some relationships is that, if you don’t live together, you might end up spending a lot of time apart. Your partner may have to take care of a vulnerable loved one, or simply live elsewhere and be cut off due to the lockdown. For that reason, it’s important to take a page out of the book of long-distance relationships. It’s easier than ever to spend time together when apart through things like online watch parties, spending time on the webcam with each other, and playing online board games with each other. Aside from simply checking up on one another, schedule online dates to have together.
Get used to new routines and roles
If you and your partner or spouse live in the same property, then it is very likely that you’re both spending more time and home and one or more of you may temporarily be out of work or on furlough. As such, to maintain your stress levels and keep active, it’s important to find a routine that can keep you busy throughout. For instance, one of you may be taking on more chores and one of you may not be pulling your weight perhaps as much as you should. To that end, you should talk about planning your new routine together and frequently talk about whether it’s working or not. Communication can stop it from becoming a resentment down the line.
The need for alone time
Some couples are facing a lot more time apart than they have ever experienced before. However, having too much time together with a partner is its own challenge. The conditions of being locked down together can feel suffocating and even if there’s no real cause for disagreement, you can start to find yourself more irritable around your partner. As such, it might be important to talk about the need for alone time for both of you and to look at hobbies that can afford a little isolation. Even if you love someone without reserve, spending every waking moment of your life around them is going to find your breaking point at some time or another, without fail. In some cases, economic struggles have led to having to live with your partner’s family, which exacerbates the tension of living in confinement!
Put a hold on the big arguments
Simply put, the conditions as they are will test all of us. They are going to create circumstances that might cause even small issues to balloon up into big arguments. So, you can only imagine what will happen if there’s a more serious issue in the relationship. Simply put, this is not the time to deal with it. Make an agreement that if there are any bigger arguments brewing that you can’t immediately find a compromise on, you will revisit it together after you can have some time to think and some distance. Agree to meet up at a cafe after lockdown with all those grievances. Distance may make them seem much smaller in the end, anyway.
How to handle the end
There will be, unfortunately, some relationships that won’t make it through the lockdown. Tensions may build up to a point that they’re unresolvable or you may simply discover things that change how you feel about your partner. If you’re feeling more and more like the relationship won’t survive, it might be wise to start planning ahead. Even in lockdown, you can get in touch with divorce lawyers, for instance, or start looking at different places to live if you’re sharing your home with your partner. You want to get things ready in advance so that you can make as quick an exit as possible, to avoid spending too much time locked in with someone you’re no longer in a relationship with.
The slipping standards
The lockdown is affecting not only how we live, but also how we present ourselves. A lot of us aren’t spending as much time around others, so we might also not spend as much time grooming and preening ourselves. However, not only can this affect our self-esteem in the long run it can also affect our relationship. The attraction is an important part of maintaining a relationship, no matter how long it goes. Not only do you deserve to feel gorgeous, but you also deserve to be treated as gorgeous, as well. You can nudge your partner to take a little better care of themselves if their standards have slipped, recently, as well.
Be sure to talk about it
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when facing an unprecedented challenge, as coronavirus is, is to assume how your partner might be feeling about it. Simply put, we’re all adapting to a new challenge and none of us are very comfortable about it. Having our feelings dismissed or assumed can be incredibly frustrating. As such, take the time to check in with one another. Even if you feel like the question “how are you doing” is getting old, it can be important to get your partner’s perspective rather than to simply assume you know how they are dealing with everything going on at the moment. If either of you are having trouble, discovering the other’s perspective can help, too.
The pandemic and resulting lockdown have caused many of us to re-evaluate different parts of our life, which may include our relationships. It’s not wise to expect things to go back to normal simply because it will end, but rather to look at how to go on with this new and evolved understanding of those relationships.