Romance is never perfect, but going through your relationship during a global pandemic is a whole new ball game. Whether you’re brand new in your relationship or married with children, the world at large can have an impact inside those walls. Your daily life as well as larger events and milestones in your relationship might look different than you may have expected. Depending on your situation, COVID could bring you and your partner closer together or push you further apart — physically and emotionally.
Things could be getting much less romantic, or perhaps a little more romantic depending on the circumstances. While everyone is different, everyone is also in flux right now. Even when things are good, there’s an unfamiliar sense that’s got nearly everyone on their toes.
1. Getting Serious Fast
If you’re in a brand new relationship — or still simply dabbling in the dating scene — you may notice that this pandemic is demanding a bit more commitment out of people simply by virtue of safety. Gone are the days of meeting people in clubs and bars or hooking up with nameless strangers. When you spend time with someone — especially when you cross physical boundaries — you need to consider a certain kind of exclusivity. You often need to make the choice of whether or not to include this person into your circle, which can be a big step for a new relationship.
If you live further apart from one another or in a large city, you may even need to consider quarantining together, which can be like taking the jump to move in together much earlier than usual. This can fast track a relationship, for better or worse.
2. Going Digital
If your relationship is a long distance one or you’re not committed to anyone yet, much of your dating life may move online for the foreseeable future. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of dating apps or digital dates, this might be what it takes to keep everyone safe and stop the spread. Perhaps your first few dates will have to be moved online while you get to know somebody new. Maybe you’ll be apart from your partner longer than you’re used to. This could bring about the opportunity for a sense of disconnect, or for new efforts to be made to bring your bond closer.
3. Close Quarters
If you already live with your partner, you might have a whole different story on your hands. And if you have kids, multiply it tenfold. Simply put, there’s nowhere to hide anymore! You may find that you’re on top of each other all hours of the day, especially with so many people working from home and out of school. This can often cause a feeling of being trapped and stressed, as many of the things that create healthy balance and distance are now unavailable.
However, being trapped in close together can also bring about opportunities for quality time, as long as it’s not overwhelming and overbearing. Doing quiet activities together as a couple or as a family can help bring some of this balance back into the picture.
4. Addressing the Issues
Unfortunately, being locked in tight together can sometimes bring issues up to the surface that you didn’t expect to address. From family drama to relationship uncertainty, this is a stressful time, which can often stir up even more stress in other areas of life. Without other outlets to explore your emotions, you may find that you’re fighting more often and more intensely than usual.
In addition, the pandemic has contributed to feelings of disconnect and financial troubles for many, which happen to be some of the leading causes of divorce. While taking it day by day can help with positivity, remembering that this isn’t permanent and thinking more long term can help you get through some of these larger issues as a team.
5. Creative Downtime
It’s no secret that the pandemic has many people holed up inside, often with just their family or their partner as company. While this can lead to boredom and mundanity, it can also lead to more creative methods of bonding and spending time together. While there will surely be the frequent movie night, you can also learn a new skill together or get some exercise as a unit. Often, finding new ways to bond can help you grow together as a couple or a family rather than getting bored or getting on each others’ nerves.
6. Navigating Conflict Together
Naturally, this situation will bring about uncertainty in many ways, through the state of the world or in your own personal lives. Whether you’re fresh into your pairing or twenty years strong, you’re weathering this storm together, which can be an intense experience for some. You may be learning what your partner is like in conflict for the first time, or you may be strengthening your communication skills together. Either way, this situation has the potential to be a learning experience that solidifies your bond.
Although the world may be different right now, that doesn’t mean your dating life has to worsen. You can develop as a person and as a unit even alongside the uncertainty. No matter what happens, you’ll learn something new and grow every day for the better.