The COVID-19 crisis that affects people globally not only forces businesses to close down but also ends relationships. While it may look like a melodramatic idea to some, for the couples involved in such breakups, it’s a bitter end to an already bitter atmosphere brought by the pandemic.
The current situation sparks arguments and even physical confrontations among couples. Money matters, jealousy (when one partner works outside the home and the other one is left behind), and the anxiety and stress brought by the crises are among the reasons for these fights. The good news is that there are ways to avoid them that could even facilitate a stronger and productive relationship despite the challenges.
Here are some excellent ways to keep your relationship warm, resilient, and fruitful during the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises:
1. Limit time spent on work.
All work and no play make couples go astray. This modern-day adaptation of the old adage rings true, particularly in light of the current pandemic. As many worksite- and office-based couples suddenly find themselves doing remote work, there’s the possibility of devoting too much of their time working. While it’s true that such a crisis requires people to work seriously to avoid getting fired, it’s not a cue to lose time for each other. As such, make sure that you’ll both agree to work for an X number of hours daily, preferably not longer than 10 hours, so you can still have time for each other.
2. Do fun, productive things together periodically.
Work shouldn’t be everything on your collective minds from dawn to dusk. Instead, you must ensure that you can find time to just do some fun or productive things from time to time. You can set a schedule for such activities (like once a week) or go for spur-of-the-moment fun. You can make home improvements such as interior painting or kitchen remodeling. You may also consider binge-watching your favorite Netflix series or movies, or perhaps start a backyard vegetable garden.
3. Don’t shy away from intimacy but manage your expectations well.
Getting intimate during a stressful situation can be an excellent way of making each other feel much-needed affection and love. However, before you entertain the wrong notion that it would always lead to mind-blowing encounters under the sheet, remind yourself to be realistic. Pandemic or not, one can’t always expect the other partner to be always in the mood for making love. Remember that you’re both dealing with stress constantly, so it’s normal for either or both of you to set aside the idea of intimacy once the anxiety and stress kick in.
4. Talk, and talk frequently.
Communication is always a key ingredient of any relationship, crisis or not. Knowing this, you must discipline yourselves to reach out to communicate with one another whenever you feel like you need a heartfelt conversation. Open and constant dialogs are critical to the early resolution of arguments, as well as the strengthening of the bond that you two share. Ignore this essential relationship aspect and you might as well sign your relationship’s own death sentence.
5. Differentiate the functions of spaces in and outside of your home.
One way to stay productive and happy during a crisis is to designate names and functions to indoor and outdoor areas. For example, you can name one corner as your office space and another spot as your partner’s. This trick will do wonders in giving you a sense of peace and quiet when you need to get work done quickly and efficiently. Both of you must agree on the use of each identified space and how inviolable your personal spaces should be.
People have different ways of reacting to and dealing with personal problems and crises. What works for one may be disastrous to another. With such differences in perception and manner of conflict resolution, it’s critical for both partners to empathize with each other. If you feel like your partner is getting all worked up by a small misunderstanding (which can be the result of the heightened pandemic stress levels), then do not make the situation worse by acting indifferent or antagonistic. Instead, ask how you can make your partner feel good and then actually make conscious efforts to do just that.
Keeping a relationship strong and productive amid a crisis is never an easy task, but not impossible. Just heed these simple tips and you can look forward to spending more years with your partner no matter what the future holds for both of you.