If you’re living with your romantic partner, the idea of spending a few weeks together alone might sound like an absolute dream to you — under normal conditions. Well, there’s a pretty big difference between not being able to leave the house for days on end because you don’t want to, and not leaving because you can’t… This is the current situation in many parts of the world right now due to couples being in self-isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fact is, quarantine can put a really heavy strain on a relationship. Did you know that China – which is slowly starting to emerge from their lengthy coronavirus lockdown – has recently experienced an abrupt spike in divorce rates, and many experts say that the virus and its social consequences are to blame? Take a look at this article to find out more about this!
You can allow the effect that the lockdown has on your marriage or relationship to go one of two ways — it can either bring you and your partner closer, or it can make you want to kill each other… So, to ensure you fall into the first category, here are 8 of our best relationship tips to help you and your significant other to not only survive but to thrive during the quarantine period!
#1: Make Sure Your Time Together Is Quality Time
Every couple that lives together knows that being in the same room as one another does not necessarily equate to spending quality time together. In actual fact, it’s better to spend some time away from each other and then come back together when you have time to actually take part in a bonding activity – such as cooking or watching a movie – rather than just hanging out in the same room the whole day with no genuine and meaningful interaction.
#2: Set Aside “Alone Time” & Spend Some Time Apart
It might sound counterintuitive to some, but many relationship experts argue that spending too much time together can be just as damaging to a relationship as not spending enough time together! Because of this, it’s vital to state your boundaries and have your partner respect them, even while living in very close proximity.
If you share the same living space as your significant other, it’s totally normal to feel as though you can walk into a room and ask him or her a question about grocery shopping or your taxes at any moment you feel like doing so; but if your partner is trying to focus on something, this can be disruptive and result in some conflict between the two of you.
Consider setting “time slots” when you want your partner to treat the situation as though you’re “not there” — like while you’re doing your online fitness class or on the phone to another family member for example – and abide by respecting that time. Just as keeping a routine is fundamental to keeping your mental health in check while in self-isolation, you can also set aside certain hours each day – like from 2 PM to 5 PM – when each of you is doing your own thing — unless there’s some kind of an emergency.
Failure to do that might drive your partner into the arms of another.
#3: Don’t Take Your Stress Out On Your Partner
During lockdown, this is easier said than done. The coronavirus pandemic is, naturally, a largely stressful time, and your partner is probably your go-to stress relief board to whom you express all your daily concerns and worries. Although, since you’re both stuck together right now, this is a time when you should probably be mindful of trying to hold back your emotions to some extent.
No matter how frustrated this time can leave you feeling, you have to make an agreement with yourself not to take it out on your beloved partner.
#4: Respect One Another Having To Work From Home
COVID-19 has left many people without an income, and forced the vast majority of others to work from home. For those who prefer working in an office environment, working from home can prove to be a challenging adjustment; not to mention not having any work to do at all can cause major anxiety — both of which are recipes for disaster.
If your partner happens to be working from home at this time, remember to treat the situation in the same way as if they were to be at the office; only disturbing them if it’s absolutely essential. And if you’re the one who still has a job while your partner doesn’t, this can also be a time for you to practice a little more compassion and understanding than usual.
#5: Create A “Conflict Strategy”
The truth is, spending a lot of time in one place with the same person is not always an easy thing to handle. At some point or another, you’re going to get on one another’s nerves. So, you kind of have to plan in advance and discuss what you’re going to do about that kind of a situation when it arises. Instead of just taking each day as it comes and being reactive, rather create an emotional contingency plan and plan how you’re going to deal with tension and conflict when it inevitably arises.
#6: Ask Your Partner Exactly What He Or She Needs
Lockdown can be a fantastic opportunity for you and your partner to really deepen your communication with one another. It’s all about asking them the right questions. Why not consider asking your spouse something like: “What can I do to make this period smoother and more bearable for you?” And don’t try to guess because men & women constantly go looking for things that are missing.
#7: Set Aside Time For Fun
Many people are so accustomed to going out, and then having their house as their sanctuary to recharge — so now they have to find ways to bring that fun back into their homes! Why not set aside a time for a daily or weekly happy hour once all of your chores are done for the day?
Get creative! There are heaps of other things you and your partner can do together — have a picnic in the garden, play games at home, or do an intensive workout together. An opportunity or situation such as this might never come around again, so make sure you make the most out of it!
#8: But Have Your More Serious Talks, Too
This can also be a wonderful time to talk about other “bigger picture” topics with your partner, to make sure that your long-term goals and values are aligned and in-sync.
Have some serious discussions if you need to, and confront things that you might usually just have brushed off before.