Whether you’re living together and battling the social distancing blues or you’re in a long-distance relationship and the last time you saw your partner was months ago – COVID-19 is having a huge impact on our romantic lives. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but after months of not being with your LDR spouse, you’re probably feeling more heartbroken than anything.
On the other hand, if you are living together and are quarantining, the constant interactions may be leading to boredom and irritation. So, how do you care for your romantic relationships during a pandemic?
We’re looking at six ways you can look after your relationship during this unusual time.
Keep in contact
Are you in a long-distance relationship (or maybe you don’t live with your partner and are practicing social distancing?) If so, it’s important to stay in contact on a regular basis. Thankfully, technology has made it possible for everyone to stay social during social distancing. You can use video chat to hang out with your sweetheart no matter what you’re doing. There are also fun apps available so that you can play games with your spouse, sync up movies or shows, or learn new hobbies together.
Don’t feel like you need to be together 24/7
One way you can protect your relationship during the pandemic is by not overdoing the time you’re spending together. Spending every waking minute in quarantine with your spouse can make you overly familiar and easily irritated by one another, so make time to go off and do your own things.
- Practice old hobbies or learn new ones
- Talk with family
- Have girl’s/guy’s nights via video chats
- Play a game you love
- Exercise or meditate
Whatever you do, just make sure it’s something that fulfills and refreshes you. Not only will this help you de-stress, but it’ll also boost morale, which will make you more pleasant for your partner to be around.
Don’t overlook the power of sex
Not only is sex fun and satisfying, but it is also extremely comforting in times of distress. Ever wonder why people feel drawn to being intimate after a funeral or stressful situation? It’s because the oxytocin released during sex reduces cortisol levels and acts as a natural stress reliever. Sex also promotes heightened emotional intimacy in couples, which boosts happiness and feelings of love.
Learn how to talk to each other
You’ve likely heard the saying that ‘communication is key’ to a happy, successful marriage. Why? Because communicating is how we grow.
- When you communicate, you deepen your marital friendship
- Prevents misunderstandings and resentment from building
- It helps your partner understand you better and know how to comfort or help you
Whether you are social distancing or spending 24/7 together, it’s important to communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling. Talk about your hopes and fears. It may sound cheesy, but doing so will be you and your spouse closer together.
Set a routine
If you had a set routine before the COVID-19 hit, stick to it. Having a specific time to get up, work, break for lunch, and spend time with your partner can be a great way to maintain some normalcy during the quarantine. This can be especially helpful if you are working from home, since it keeps you on a schedule, promotes productivity, and helps protect your relationship from an overload of spending time together.
Talk about the future
Let’s be honest. This has been a difficult time! It is hard to deal with the daily statistics and not being able to see our family and friends. But things won’t always be this way. Talk to your spouse about the future and give yourselves things to look forward to.
Do you want to start a family? Start planning it! Make a Pinterest board for your baby’s room, come up with names together, and talk about what kind of parents you want to be.
Are you in an LDR and haven’t seen your partner for months due to COVID-19? If so, plan your next visit and talk about all of the fun things you’re going to do together. Or, maybe you have a dream destination you want to travel to when this is all over? Start planning out your dream trip. By the time it’s safe to travel again, you’ll have your perfect itinerary planned! Are you dying to get out to your favourite restaurant? Talk about the first place you want to visit when it’s safe to do so. The point is, look to the future and give yourselves a reason to get excited!
Written by Sylvia Smith, Relationship Expert, Marriage.com.