The pandemic has dramatically changed our lives in every way, from how and where we work to our personal lives and home routines. Normality has been replaced with working from home and lockdowns that have left us either apart from the people we love or in isolation with them, both of which have caused a strain to our relationships. Every relationship is unique, so how has coronavirus affected our relationships, for better or worse? And how can we stay connected during difficult times?
It’s Provided Time to Stay Connected
No matter what your relationship situation is, from being stuck apart from one another to being in lockdown with your romantic partner, Covid-19 has given us time to put more focus on connection. We now need to find different ways to stay in touch, such as writing messages or emails to our significant others more regularly, video calling or making more of an effort to be present when you’re spending time together.
For many people, relationships can become unexciting or monotonous over time as we get into a routine. The pressures of work, childcare and household duties can take over, leaving little time for the fun and excitement that you might have prioritised in the early stages of your relationship. But lockdown has required us to think outside the box when it comes to showing affection and that you care, which has been a positive outcome from a negative situation.
Assess Your Relationship Objectively
No-one could have predicted the ways that lockdown would have impacted our love lives. We have had to navigate an extremely strange time that none of us have had to deal with before, which has made us re-examine how we’re living and, in some cases, who we’re living with.
With regular life on pause, we’ve had time to step back and analyse what is and isn’t working in our lives, which for some couples might include their relationship. This time can be beneficial to help you find ways that you can improve areas of your life and your relationship. Perhaps you need to work on how you communicate with each other or maybe you’ve realised you need to prioritise making time for fun activities together. With more down time, you’ll have a chance to gain perspective and see your relationship from a new standpoint.
It Can Strengthen Your Bond
The pandemic may have actually helped to strengthen some relationships. A study of 1,319 adults, conducted by the Open University, showed that a quarter of respondents said their relationship improved as a result of the pandemic. With our busy lives, it can often be difficult to make time for our partners, but with lockdown, many of us have been given an opportunity to spend more quality time together which can strengthen relationships. The lockdown measures have provided people with the time to invest in their partners and the chance to offer each other emotional support during the tough times. The key for such couples will be maintaining this connection once life returns to normal, to avoid losing the benefits that this otherwise undesirable situation has provided them with.
Time for Patience and Understanding
When the world is in flux, as it has been during the pandemic, couples need to devote more time to patience and treating each other with kindness. It can be useful to use the time you have as a result of the virus to think about the ways you can improve your relationships, both romantic and others in your life.
It’s all too easy to get frustrated with one another when we spend long periods in the same place, but it’s worth choosing your battles more wisely and weighing up what is and isn’t worth talking about. Rows are more likely in these circumstances but it’s how you deal with them that truly matters, so try to stay calm and remember that your situation is only temporary.
2020 has been a year of uncertainty and it could be some time before we return to normality. With this in mind, it’s important to reflect on our relationships and consider how we can adapt. From paying more attention to how we spend our time together to making more of an effort to be present and patient, there are various ways that we can ensure our relationships don’t become soured by these unique circumstances.