Love Lockdown Tips: Is COVID-19 ruining your relationship?
Posted: 2020-Dec-12 18.59.15 UTC+0800
Updated: 2022-Jan-15 11.00.40 UTC+0800
Updated: 2022-Jan-15 11.00.40 UTC+0800
The pandemic has taken a toll on all aspects of life, including romantic relationships. It doesn't take an expert to know that the coronavirus crisis is prevalent with stressors and challenges that would shake up even the healthiest of relationships. Maybe the pandemic is acting as a pressure cooker for relationship problems you already had or maybe it's serving as a playing field for new, unexpected discoveries. On the other side, maybe pandemic has even been good for your relationship and it's kind of throwing you for a loop.
Indeed, COVID-19 has dramatically changed our lives, including our relationships with other people in our communities, our families, our homes and our workplaces. Millions of us have lost some or all of our normal ways of seeing others as we try to keep each other safe.
In this time of physical distancing, some of us have actually been too physically close. There are some indications that the coronavirus and its related stressors are prying some couples apart. For some, that closeness has been a silver lining to the pandemic, an opportunity to spend more time reconnecting. But for other couples, the pandemic has put them under significant pressure as couples struggle to navigate financial hardships, lack of privacy, stress over medical concerns, and family and professional worries.
So here are ways to nourish the best in a partnership during COVID-19.
• Be patient. At a time when we all face uncertainty and worry about coronavirus, such changes in our relationships are probably all the harder to cope with. So, it's worth trying to be extra patient and understanding, both with each other and also ourselves. To do that, we need people around us and ourselves to be aware of how what we do can affect each other. Some of our relationships are likely to be strained but for the good of our communities, we should stay at home through that.
• Check anger levels. Communicating feelings is always important in a relationship, but angry confrontations can be disastrous, says Denver clinical psychologist Susan Heitler, PhD, author of "From Conflict to Resolution: Skills and Strategies for Individuals, Couples, and Family Therapy." "First, check your emotional state and the tone of voice that's going to emerge with it," she says. "If you're angry, bring yourself down first, with a drink of water, a few deep breaths, a distraction. Remembering your partner's good qualities, gratitude, all of those help."
• Be present. This means really paying attention to the other people in your life and trying not to be distracted by your phone or your work or other interests. You need to really listen to what others are saying and try to understand it and to focus on their needs in that moment. At the same time, let yourself be listened to- honestly share how you are feeling, and allow yourself to be heard and supported by others.
• Plan something fun. Though couples' pre-pandemic plans may be cancelled or postponed right now, make new or different ones. You can take a drive together, plan a special meal, or, if you have the resources, even make a small purchase that you can both enjoy. Apps can help couples virtually get together with friends for dinners, game nights or movies. The important thing is to create things to look forward to, even if they're small.
Regardless of what personal struggles the pandemic poses for you and your relationships put in mind that this too shall pass. Remember that these constraints will come to an end but in the meantime, we are going to be physically closer to some and more distant from others. In order to come through this, we all need to talk, listen and care for each other, building on what brought us together and what we want to see in the future. (FCSB)