Managing a romantic relationship during quarantine and lock down
Romantic relationships are a wonderful addition to life. Having a partner that loves you, gives you affection and goes through life with you no matter what challenges are thrown at you is a privilege. Yet as everyone in a romantic relationship knows, it doesn’t come easy. Two (or more!) people with different backgrounds, upbringings, insecurities, needs, dreams, fears to say the least come together to live life together as a unity. See a bit of a inconvenience there? If you do – you are correct. To love is a verb, which means it’s something you do not something that just is. It’s an activity and just refers to your feelings towards the other person. It doesn’t cover the managing your life and your routine together – which is a whole different obstacle. Usually we can go about our day to day lives and only have to align when we’re sharing the time together. Yet during lock down this all changes.
During lock down or quarantine – you are forced to share more of your time and your personal freedom with another person. With a person with whom you are at time vulnerable. A person that has seen most sides to you and knows your in and outs. We all know you cannot love everything about a person. I love chocolate muffins, but I do not love the fact that they are unhealthy for me and make me fat. Humans are so multi-facet beings its just impossible to love every aspect of a human. Accept it is another thing. You may accept it and find it cute, but as mentioned, humans are so diverse and so is life there are plenty of circumstances where the things might seem less ideal – you may love your husband’s ambition in general, but not when you are both doing a puzzle together. In this circumstance, you are confronted with all the less ideal things about your partner.
And not just that. Another thing occurs when you spend so much time in lock down – not only do you spend so much more time together, the space between you is also limited. Things that you were able to push away or shove under the rug and now constantly coming to the surface. Any confrontations or issues you may have been able to avoid due to time and space can no longer be avoided and will come up. Without a doubt. It’s not a wonder that divorce rates spiked after China opened up its lock down (article). This time will make you or let you know what you cannot live with going forward.
So here are some tips about it:
- Work it out. Whatever it is, it’s time to figure it out. Get it out of the way. I know its hard and it could be things that have been bothering you for 10 years and you think they will never change. Well you never thought you would be in lock down now did you. Circumstances may change. And while I believe people don’t – but their behaviors can. Try to think of a solution – What would work for you. What can you handle and what not. Try to come to a middle ground that both your needs are met and your partners. Even if partially. Its a partnership – not a single person ship. You both have a stake in the matter and a stake to the claim of needs.
Try a new technique like coming from a place of compassion to understand what your partner may be feeling and why. What are his needs that are needing to be met and go from there.
- Still schedule date night together. Yes you may see each other every night. But put aside a special night for just the two of you. It will feel different and make you feel like you are acknowledging and appreciating each other. Give your partner some special attention, and the most sexiest thing one human can give to another – a listening ear.
- If you have nothing to talk about then don’t. Don’t push it. Don’t force yourself to spend every evening together, watch every movie together, do every zoom call with the family together. Be active in giving each other space when you can’t physically and perhaps breaking some traditions in doing so. It’s a weird time, allow yourself some leeway.
Love is hard in the most normal circumstances. Let alone during this crazy sh*t. Love yourself, have compassion with yourself and then figure out how to spread that love with your significant other. See it as house keeping – clear the items away that were of no use and collecting dirt, maintain and keep the other stuff clean – and don’t let the dust settle.