Being in a relationship during a pandemic while sheltering in place is uncharted territory, to say the least. This situation is unprecedented and we’re all learning as we go how to adapt to what is the new normal, or at least, the new normal for now.
This quarantine is certainly a test for couples. New challenges in relationships have people wondering: how can I be a good partner during quarantine? We spoke to two relationship experts for their advice on how to navigate relationships during this strange time, whether you’re quarantined with or without your partner.
1) Stay in contact:
Communication is crucial in relationships, and you want to make sure that the line of communication is open even when you can’t physically be with each other. Thanks to technology, you have plenty of ways to stay in touch with your partner. Texting is the norm, of course, but to have more quality interaction, try to get some face-to-face time video chatting, which can make you feel a little less distant.
2) Plan things to look forward to:
Even though we don’t know exactly when we’ll be out of quarantine, it can be fun to plan something with your partner that you can be excited about. It can be something as simple as making a list of restaurants you can’t wait to go back to or maybe even planning your next vacation together. “Plan a romantic getaway when this is all over.
3) Don’t suffocate your partner:
As you’ve probably already realized being quarantined 24/7 with your partner, things can feel a little suffocating. You each must get alone time every day for both of your sanity. “Sometimes it is as simple as taking the time to take a very long shower, allowing the other person the room to do a FaceTime with a good friend, or giving our partner space to read a book or do an art project.
4) Learn how to co-work well:
If you are both working from home, things can get tricky. If you have the luxury, work in separate rooms. If you’re in a studio together and both working from home, see if you can coordinate your call schedules so you won’t both be trying to talk on the phone at the same time. If that’s not a possibility, take turns taking calls out in the hallway. “Share work schedules so you know when not to interrupt.
5) Spend some time apart:
As important as it is to carve out time to spend together, it’s also important to make sure you’re spending some time apart. Downtime alone or some “me time” is one of the ways to improve communication in a relationship. If you’re both working from home, try working from separate rooms, to avoid distraction and to trick your mind into thinking you’re leaving your partner to “go” to work.
Spending whole days and nights apart will make coming back together so sweet!
6) Express gratitude:
Express gratitude as often as possible if you are aiming to build marital happiness alongside effective communication skills. This is a simple one, but essential. It helps put things in perspective and is proven to calm anxiety.
Thank your partner for all they do, then spend time (every day or every week), talking through what you’re grateful for – your safety, your home, your family, your pets, etc.
7) Forgive quickly, assume good intent:
We’re all doing our best to maintain and strengthen effective communication with our partner, but we’re all feeling a bit sensitive right now.
So if your partner doesn’t have the perfect response or did something that made you upset, communicate why you reacted to it, and then forgive as quickly as possible.