It’s Day 80 of quarantine, and you notice that the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied the entire day. Was it yours or your significant other’s turn? The everyday mundane can lead to additional tiffs for couples, likely an effect of the added time couples are spending together in combination with the added stressors of the pandemic.
While quarantine is an essential part of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certain relationship challenges couples are facing right now that can ultimately make or break relationships. We’ve researched a few of those newfound struggles and the accompanying solutions that you and your partner should consider while in quarantine:
Arguing is normal in all relationships. The occasional disagreements are part of healthy and constructive connections. This concept may be tested to the max while in quarantine, however. Regardless of which stage of your relationship you and your partner are in, you’re both under an immense amount of pressure. Whether you’re both craving the outside world and other human contact or simply feeling the stress of monotonous working from home schedules, small fights are becoming more common amongst couples.
In general, things just seem more irritating. Perhaps it’s finding the right show to binge or miscommunication about who takes care of the garbage, the smallest things seem to get blown out of proportion. In fact, you both might forget precisely why you’re arguing so passionately about something so trivial.
Take a deep breath. While a full sink of dishes is annoying, it doesn’t mean you get to take out your frustration on your partner. Rather, try to focus on the true reason behind why you’re both fighting and talk it out. Listen to your partner and be honest. Sometimes the building blocks to positive communication get lost in the disorganization.
Remember, you’re both where you are in your relationship for a reason: your solid communication and listening skills. Make it a point to adhere to those crucial concepts.
It goes without saying that the aforementioned stress will take a toll on your relationship. It happens with every couple in some way or another, but normally we deal with these anxieties together via methods that don’t involve being cooped up for days on end. And, no surprise, the dread of a pandemic doesn’t help while working through maybe multiple Zoom meetings per day or even during the absence of meetings if your partner has been laid off or furloughed.
You’re each going to experience stress in your relationship or individually, but being trapped indoors only exacerbates those, at times, overbearing emotions. Here’s how to combat that seemingly unavoidable stress.
Now more than ever, it’s essential that you and your partner make time to just RELAX. Take a breath or even a nap, find a new show or movie that you’ll both enjoy. Anything to remove yourself from the drag of work or absence of routine is the best way to introduce positive self-care habits into your lives. No matter what you agree on, you’ll discover the benefits of setting aside time away from your anxieties.
Want to explore another activity other than Netflix and wine? There’s a bevy of yoga, fitness, and wellness routines online that are specifically designed to achieve optimal relaxation. So, whether you’re holding the tree pose for 10 minutes or simply hopping on the treadmill for an hour, including such self-care activities will ensure you both personal and romantic progress.
This one’s pretty obvious. You’re both in the same space for literally the entire day (and the next day, and the day after that, etc.). Naturally, we’d be inclined to say we enjoy spending time with our loved ones. Don’t get us wrong, there’s no better feeling in the world. But, say it with us, we need alone time. Despite the valuable rapport that you and your partner have built up, these connections can fizzle out rather quickly.
You already know everything there is to know about each other, right down to favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavors and where to NOT tickle. Where do you go from there? It can be difficult to spur up conversations that don’t feel as if you both loop endlessly in the same motions.
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be spending a lot of time together. Something as straightforward as separating yourselves in your apartment or house while working is perfectly fine during your workday. But it’s important to realize that you possess an incredible opportunity to discuss literally anything you’ve always wanted to talk to your significant other about. This isn’t about airing out dirty laundry, it’s about getting into specific topics that’ll nurture deeper conversations.
Perhaps one of the worst side effects of quarantine is being unable to visit and spend time with loved ones. Isolation is necessary during the pandemic, but there’s a sense of helplessness involved with being apart from relatives and close friends. While your significant other is well-versed in providing endless support and back rubs during this time, there’s just something different about being in the presence of loved ones that nurtures an unparalleled sense of comfort.
Distance doesn’t have to hinder how you interface with your loved ones. Fortunately, due to the fact that we live in the day and age of modern technology, interacting with loved ones is quite simple and streamlined. Through apps like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts, you and your significant other can connect with relatives and friends in less than a minute. Coordinate weekly meetings over glasses of wine or even set up game nights via interactive online games perfect for competing from afar.
Some of us fall into the following nightly ritual with our partners: make dinner, watch your favorite TV show, relax, and fall asleep. While this is certainly an attractive routine to enjoy at the end of the workday, it’s natural to break the cycle and hit the town for a classy dinner and movie. Unfortunately, this pandemic has not done us any favors, keeping us indoors and away from our favorite Friday night date spots and eateries, halting any future romantic dates to spice up the weekly grind.
First of all, don’t panic. Quarantine or not, there are always ways to mix things up and foster romantic evenings. Because of our daily routines, we often get comfortable with going through the motions without spontaneity. Make a concerted effort to set aside nights for each other. The best part? You don’t have to break the bank to coordinate an enchanting dinner. Research an exciting new recipe to craft together or even surprise your significant other with their favorite meal.
Let’s take it a step further and change the scenery. All you need is a small folding table, some chairs, and a few candles, and you’ve got yourselves a calming summer meal in the height of quarantine. It’s more important now than ever to introduce creativity into your relationship.
There’s no question that quarantine presents a handful of relationship challenges for couples. The circumstances can breed negativity and listlessness. But we don’t have to submit to that. Within this pandemic, we can leverage the increased amount of face time to not only survive but thrive through new, unique hardships. This isolation will test our strength, but the battles you and your partner win together will only make your bond stronger as we learn to adapt and prepare for life after quarantine.
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