Are you stuck at home with your significant other, wondering how to keep your relationship strong during coronavirus isolation? Good for you for being proactive.
Coronavirus has changed, at least temporarily, the everyday life that we Americans have lived for so long. Instead of going to work and school, the grocery store, and the movies, we are stuck at home. And if there is nothing that Americans suck at more, it’s staying at home.
One of the first relationships that get frayed during crisis and isolation is often our romantic one. As time, fear and boredom take over, the instinct to take it out on your partner is not small.
There are ways to get through these scary times with your relationship intact, and maybe even stronger. Let me suggest how.
1. Respect each other’s fears.
In our house, my boyfriends and my way of dealing with everything that is going on are quite different. I have been obsessed with watching the news and learning everything that I can about what is going on (without getting hysterical). For my partner, he has been keeping up on the news peripherally but generally going about his life.
To his credit, he is happy to sit there and listen to me while I spout out whatever information I might have just learned. What occurred to me yesterday, when I was sharing ‘just one more thing,’ was that I might be driving him crazy and stressing him out by interrupting him all the time and sharing whatever tidbit I had discovered.
If your partner is like me and you are more like my partner, are you being supportive and listening? If your partner is lackadaisical and you are stressed out, are you respecting their need to be that way and not insisting that they listen to everything that you have to say?
If you and your partner are reacting differently to this health scare know that, to keep your relationship strong, having a talk about the differences and making an effort to respect those differences will help keep your relationship strong.
2. Respect each other’s space.
Weekends are lovely at home but, more often than not, when Monday rolls around my guy and I are ready to get back to work and have some space. Not because we don’t love each other madly but because sometimes too much togetherness isn’t necessarily a good thing.
It is important that to keep your relationship strong during this time where you and your partner might be stuck at home together, you respect each other’s space. That no matter the anxiety, or the boredom, that might be consuming you both, give your partner the time to step back and take care of themselves.
What does that look like at our house? My boyfriend is, as we speak, in the garage working on a car project that he hasn’t been able to get to because he has been working so hard. I am inside, on the couch with my kitty by my side, writing my blog. When I am done, I will make lunch for both of us and then he will go back to the garage and I will do some yoga. Later on, we will take a walk.
Not being in the same space 24/7 is going to be a key part of us getting through all of this together time intact. You can do it too. Because none of us wants to be alone during this time, and no one wants to be even more stressed out because their partner is driving them crazy.
3. Respect each other’s needs.
Everybody has needs that help calm them during stressful times. It is important that, right now, we try to identify, respect and meet each other’s needs.
For me, right now I need to be able to putter around my house. Keeping it orderly makes me calmer. I need to be able to cook comfort food, even if it isn’t healthy. Having my feet rubbed during our evening TV makes me happy too.