07 Apr STEPS TO Help Your Relationship Survive Lockdown
Confronting the grim reality of the novel COVID-19 epidemic: some people don’t enjoy the privilege of job security, there is anxiety surrounding finances, cabin fever has the potential to stir up a whole host of mental health issues, and it is enough to put pressure on a healthy and stable relationship.
What can you do to ensure your relationship survives?
There is one rule golden rule that people need to realise, and if done so, lockdown can be turned into a really wonderful time together: respectfully, everyone is doing this in their own way. There is no right way to go about this, and neither of you knows better. These are not normal times and so normal behaviour goes out the window. Whatever it is your person needs to do, allow them to do so, there is no saying that your approach is better, especially for them.
This period is tense enough to test even the strongest of bonds. Use this time to really communicate with your partner. If there are any issues that you feel have been simmering beneath the surface, this is an opportunity to address them.
But of course, approach is everything. The success of the discussion lies heavily on this. Your tone and choice of words mean everything. When you calmly express that constantly finding hair in the drain irritates you, there is a better chance that you will be listened to. Shouting, “You never clean up after yourself!” sounds like an attack, don’t be surprised if your beau responds defensively or retaliates with an equally targeted verbal assault. Punctuating your point with “it feels like” or “I feel that,” your partner will take it to heart because no one ever wants to make their partner feel ‘disregarded’ for example.
AGREE ON A ROUTINE/SCHEDULE
For many couples who are, for the first time, spending more than just the weekend together, this is going to be a great test of your rhythm. Even partners who live together don’t ordinarily spend 24 uninterrupted hours with their significant others. Pairs split their time up between work, gym, and socialising with friends etc. Avoid smothering each other by setting up a schedule to ensure your living situation doesn’t dissolve into chaos.
Establish separate workstations, ideally with a door to separate the two of you, agree on who is in charge of what household chores. If you divvy up housework from the beginning, silly arguments about coffee cups being left in the sink can be avoided.
Just because you’ve seen your significant other throughout the day, asking them how work was, when they eventually sign off for the day, shouldn’t be forgotten. We are going to want to absorb a lot of our feelings during this period, because we don’t want to burden each other with feelings of frustration, fear, uncertainty. But we all know that if you bottle things up, eventually that pressure gives way and you’ll explode.
GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
At first glance, this time might appear as an opportunity for overly affectionate couples to ramp up the intimacy, while couples who enjoy their independence might be itching for the lockdown to be lifted. In both cases, it is important that you respect your partner’s space. Feeling claustrophobic might happen in both instances. Treat your relationship with patience and compassion. If you’ve managed to master communicating with your partner, you’ll be able to tell them that you want to spend some time alone and they won’t take it to heart.
KEEP THE ROMANCE ALIVE
Just because you’re indoors, that doesn’t mean you have to slip into complacency. You can still enjoy date night in creative ways. Why not organise a candlelit dinner for your significant other? Turn off all your tech and have a picnic in your garden or on your balcony? There are live concerts being streamed all the time via social media; turn your living room into a dancefloor, or you could go on a virtual tour of a museum together.