The global pandemic makes for strange times, with many of us under various forms of lockdown, confined to home and social distancing.
This has placed an unexpected, and unprecedented, strain on our relationships.
Besides having to find the space to work alongside our partners, not to mention coping with the kids homeschooling – there is little opportunity for socialising, date nights, or even a quick weekend away with our nearest and dearest. This can put even the strongest relationships to the test, but the added stress and strain can also quickly exacerbate underlying tensions that already existed.
This is why we wanted to share these 5 tips on how to maintain a healthy relationship during these unprecedented times.
5 tips for a great relationship during Covid
1. Show interest in your partner
This is something that we often forget to do, something as simple as checking in with them and asking, “What have you got on today?” This also applies if they are just going into the study or room next door. It’s still really necessary to be able to share and show that we’re interested in them, understand their day and what they are going through. It also gives you the opportunity to be able to encourage or congratulate them. It is the small things that can make a difference, showing I’m thinking about you, and it’s also the little things that we do that lead into the acts of appreciation and gratitude. I think a lot of people are really grateful for what their partner does but we keep it inside and we don’t necessarily express it – so take the time to take action.
2. Listen to their point of view
Stuck at home and you can all be experiencing cabin fever pretty soon, which can lead to negative behaviour. If you have started dismissing your partner’s views or overreacting it is time to take a step back. Take the time to listen to their point of view and acknowledge it. And if you disagree – which is normal – and it does escalate, aim to apologize early before it gets out of hand. You also need to be forgiving – of them and yourself, and remember no one is perfect.
3. Have timeout from each other
This tip may sound easier than done, especially if your movements are limited by lockdown restrictions – but it is important to find time apart. This is that all important ‘me’ time that we all need. If you live with your partner, schedule time – ideally everyday, but as often as you feel the need – to do things independently of each other. Everyone needs a breather and a break – even more so if you are confined and may not have the same outlets you had before.
4. Don’t forget your support network
Your relationship with your partner is extremely important, but you both must not forget to reach out to your extended support network. Family and close friends can offer an important perspective on life, and provide a diverse range of emotional support in this time of distancing and digital contact.
5. The six second kiss…
Last but not least don’t forget to pay attention to intimacy and touch – and acknowledging that the stress of the pandemic could easily kill this aspect of your lives. Relationship guru Dr. John Gottman advocates a “six-second kiss” – a simple and fun activity to help couples intentionally focusing on each other. Gottman says it needs to be “long enough to feel romantic,” The six-second kiss is all about having that connection, even if it feels awkward at first – you will be letting your partner know that you’re happy to see him or her.