How to Work on Your Relationship During a Pandemic

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The world has changed how it interacts because of the coronavirus outbreak. It is recommended that individuals stay home and practice social distancing measures. These changes are affecting persons in all aspects of their lives, including their intimate relationships too. Taking the time and effort to ensure that loved ones are not neglected may not be easy but can be worth it.

There are several steps on how to work on your relationship during pandemic. This keeps your relationship active and engaging for years to come. Whether you are staying together in the same apartment or miles apart, the relationship can flourish into something even more wonderful. 

How did the pandemic change relationships?

How did the pandemic alter relationships? According to Sara Russell, a clinical psychologist and certified relationship coach in Santa Cruz, California, the pandemic disrupted the regular flow of our daily lives. “Suddenly, we found ourselves working from home, isolated from our larger communities, and coexisting in close quarters without our usual opportunities to take breaks from each other,” she notes.

This situation compelled us to establish clear personal boundaries, which could either foster a deeper sense of intimacy or hasten the natural progression of a relationship, she elaborates. During this time, many individuals had to ponder significant questions that could lead to substantial changes in their relationships.

Some of these questions may have included:

  1. How much personal time and space is necessary for each of us?
  2. Who is responsible for specific household chores?
  3. How do we communicate our needs for more or less of something?
  4. How can we handle differing expectations related to safety?
  5. How do we cope with feelings of irritation, exhaustion, confusion, and anxiety?
relationship during pandemic

Tips To Manage Relationship During Pandemic

Keep Communicating

The RAQ telephones are still running without ringing. The number of calls received at Christmas was up a lot and the callers have remained active. In addition, call duration has risen dramatically from 45 minutes before the outbreak to almost an hour now. Clients face greater complexity and distress and face greater risks now and again than in the last decade,” RAQ President Natasha Rae said today. Relationship Matters president Maya Avdibegovic said there are similar stories in Victoria. The changes were significant and shifted family relationships.

Communication can be neglected when dating or sharing space. This is because many relationships are based on proximity and the assumption that the other person is okay. Do not take for granted, “the good morning” and “how is your day going” texts that are normally sent. Remember to check on your partner when at home or elsewhere.

You and friends can use reminders on your computer or phone to keep their welfare a top priority. Video calls, phone calls, or text messages can be used to stay connected. When changes are noticed in communication, this can be a major indicator if something is wrong.

Your partner’s mental health can be impacted severely during a global pandemic and can be incredibly stressful. A professional counselor may need to be consulted to ensure that the required assistance is being offered. Do not let your partner be in distress and you are unaware. Take the time to listen for indicators and act to have them resolved as soon as possible.

Establish Designated Spaces in the Home

With the coronavirus outbreak, working from home is a cost-effective way for companies to ensure their staff stays safe and the business stays open. Therefore, the dining table may now become the office desk if an office space is not available.

This needs to be discussed to determine if this is a viable option and what can be adjusted to accommodate the change in the home. Never assume that because it is for work your partner is going to be okay with it moving forward. An agreement by both parties on where is best to work from and where is off-limits is vital.

In most homes, the bedroom is a suggested neutral area that can remain work free. This provides both parties with a safe space to unwind and a place to keep the romance alive. This space can be used to have undisturbed private communication when you are not in the same household.

Surprises, Treats and All You Can Eats

Nothing sparks romance and connection more than an unexpected treat, token of appreciation or compliment from your lover. In these stressful times, these acts of love can be overlooked but are crucial to keeping the support and love active. What are her favorite treats? What does he enjoy the most? These are the questions that allow you to engage your partner and lift their spirit.

You can send them meals from their favorite restaurant and have it delivered to their home for lunch. This ensures that your partner is eating, and you learn more about what foods they enjoy. You can cook at home, dress up as if going out to dinner, and recreate your favorite date with each other.

You can have game nights, such as Pictionary and charades over video chat. Spa days can be held at home to pamper each other. It is vital to ensure you always make time for date night, no matter what the activity may be. It is not the cost of the activity or surprise but the thought that is most valuable.

Positive Pandemic Effects

  1. Enhanced Forgiveness: Initial pandemic weeks showed minimal impact on close relationships, with couples often displaying increased forgiveness and compassion when conflicts were avoided.
  2. Strengthened Bonds: Frontline healthcare workers with supportive partners and a “shared reality” reported higher relationship satisfaction, emphasizing the importance of mutual understanding during trying times.
  3. Digital Connections: The pandemic prompted increased reliance on technology for social connections, leading to reduced feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression, especially in those living alone.
  4. Selective Dating: Single individuals during the pandemic became more discerning in their choice of partners, even if they had concerns about being alone.

Negative Pandemic Effects

  1. Heightened Stress: The pandemic brought about heightened stress levels, leading to increased negative behaviors in relationships, particularly if individuals faced income insecurity, belonged to minority groups, were younger, had an insecure attachment style, or experienced depression.
  2. Rising Breakups: Breakup and divorce rates saw a significant increase during the pandemic, with higher levels of anxiety, depression, and substance use linked to greater stress about the virus and the overall situation.
  3. Unequal Division of Labor: Gender disparities in household responsibilities became more pronounced during lockdowns, with women taking on more housework and childcare, while men focused on paid work and personal downtime.
  4. Domestic Violence: Incidents of domestic violence, particularly among women, rose during the pandemic due to increased cohabitation in unhealthy environments.

Conclusion

You cannot allow a global pandemic to hinder your relationship with your partner. You must work together to strengthen your bonds with each other. You may not be able to this by yourself; therefore, you can reach out to an online counselor that is incredibly happy to provide unbiased guidance. Do not be afraid to ask for help! You are not alone during this and what you and many families and partners are going through is not your fault.

John S. - Editor in Chief
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