Love in the Time of COVID-19
How to Keep Romance Alive During the Pandemic
By: Natalia Walcott
No one could have predicted the times we are facing right now. Socially interacting with others has drastically changed before our eyes. Many people are working from home, bars and clubs are closed, and hanging out with friends is not as frequent or care-free as it used to be. With establishments being closed and many people staying home, we have had to change our routines and adjust to this new lifestyle. Assuming you are living with your significant other, one of those adjustments is being around each other more often. Depending on your relationship, this can either be a good or a bad thing. Nonetheless, it is important to take this new abundance of time with your partner to explore your relationship and keep it thriving during this tough time. Here are some tips to keep the romance alive during the pandemic:
- Take Each Other on Dates: Since popular date night spots, like the movies and bowling alleys, are not open or particularly safe to go to right now, it is easy to choose to stay home rather than go out with your partner. However, do not fall into this trap. This should be your opportunity to use your imagination and come up with out of the box ideas for dates. They do not have to be fancy or expensive. They just need to be enjoyable outings both of you will appreciate. Make time for dates at least once a week. Take turns coming up with dates to impress your partner. It is important to get out of the house and, if applicable, away from your kids. Giving undivided attention to your partner and making new memories is beneficial to increasing the strength of your relationship. Your partner knowing that you put thought and effort into the date is a recipe for success.
- Don’t Smother Each Other: It is easy to be all over each other when you are both at home. Adjusting to working at home with your partner can be difficult as well. Avoid invading each other’s personal space all of the time. You both need to establish a daily routine – relatively similar to the one you had before the pandemic occurred. Try starting a new project, working out, doing yoga, or FaceTime your friends. Do something that you love and communicate with others, so that you can stay productive throughout your day and not put pressure on your partner to fulfill your whole sense of self and purpose. Everyone needs different environments and social groups to fulfill needs that their partners can’t or are unable to meet. Capitalize on this newfound time of being at home and carve out some personal time for yourself.
- Support Your Partner, Especially When They Are Struggling: This pandemic has made life hard for many people. Many have come down with the coronavirus themselves or know someone who has experienced debilitating symptoms. Businesses have had to close down, employees have been laid off, unemployment benefits have been hard to obtain, and people are unable to go outside, see their friends/loved ones, and live a normal life. Mental health concerns have risen due to the sudden isolations everyone has had to endure. Make sure you are supporting your partner during this time, especially if they have been directly affected by the pandemic. Try giving your partner “invisible support” by removing stressors from their life that they may not be consciously aware of. If they are having a bad day, make sure you do something that will cheer them up. If they just got laid off and are worried about money, do not go frivolously spending on unnecessary items. Give them the reassurance that things will get better and that you will support them every step of the way. However, do not lose sight of yourself trying to fulfill your partner’s needs. Celebrate the moments of success they see along the way, and be sure to stay positive and remain genuine with your support.
- Communication: Strong communication is the foundation for every good relationship. It is necessary to communicate with your partner about grievances you may have, problems you need to solve, or just random events that occurred throughout your day. It is also important to express interest about your partner’s day and wellbeing. Your and your partner’s lives have been suddenly changed by the pandemic, so it is more important than ever to communicate how it has affected you and your relationship. You can’t expect your partner to read your mind. They might not be aware of the effect of their actions. Remember that you are not the only one in the relationship whose needs and wants are important. Create an environment that is open for sharing. Make sure you are receptive to any criticism that may come your way. Do not come in with a negative attitude. Once negativity, blame, and insults are introduced into the conversation, it is no longer proper communication. Respectfully express your needs to your partner in an effective manner. Make sure you are being direct about what you need so that your partner can properly comprehend the problem and make any necessary adjustments. Be sure to praise them when they make the effort to change the things that upset you.
- Remember Why You Chose Your Partner: Take a trip down memory lane. Recall the first time you two met. Think about your wedding night and bring out the wedding album. Get nostalgic about your honeymoon. Think of the reasons why you love your partner and why you decided they were the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. If you are not married, think about all of the major events that brought you two together. It is in this moment that you should see the good that this relationship has to offer and has been offering you.
Try to implement these tips while you are cooped up at home with your spouse. This is a great time to evaluate your relationship and make any necessary changes while you are both constantly around each other. Research shows that an increase in intimacy, satisfaction, passion, and investment has a positive impact on a partner’s perception of their relationship, viewing it as longer-lasting and more serious. We all want a successful relationship. Let’s make sure we are putting in the time and effort to achieve it!
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