For some couples, being stuck inside together in their own little bubble for a few weeks sounds like a dream come true. But for other couples, this could be their worst nightmare. From what I hear, some couples quarantined together are already losing their minds — and we’ve got a long way to go, people!
As we’re all being told to practice social distancing, and even in some cases, being told not to leave the house at all unless for essential purposes, couples are being quarantined together for an indefinite amount of time. If you’re feeling stressed out about the impact of coronavirus on your relationship, know that you’re not alone, and your nervous reaction to being quarantined with your partner is normal.
In order to help you cope with all of these changes, here are some therapist approved tips for keeping your relationship intact when you’re quarantined with your partner.
1. Make time for alone time
“Everyone needs time by themselves and it can’t just be when you use the bathroom,” she says. “Take time to be alone whether that is to just breathe, masturbate, text with a friend, take a nap, read…whatever. The important thing is to take time to be with you, yourself, and just you.”
Try to coordinate timing with your partner, this way, when you’re having your alone time, your partner can have theirs, too. You both need time apart from each other to recharge and ensure that you don’t rip each other’s eyes out.
2. Create a schedule
Many people are struggling to keep a normal schedule right now, which is unfortunate because most of us rely on schedules for a sense of stability and even to combat things like anxiety and depression.
Couples should sit down together and come up with a rough schedule to add some structure and make things feel a little more normal. This is particularly helpful for couples navigating working from home together for the first time, or being around each other a lot more than usual. You can also use this time to set some general ground rules about noise or interruptions when working.
3. Get fresh air
Yes, many of us are being ordered to stay inside our homes, but that doesn’t yet mean we can’t take a walk around the block or go on a skate or bike ride. Wright says getting outside will help your well-being and help you not explode at your partner when things are tense. We as humans need fresh air. Just keep the six feet rule in mind in order to stay away from those germy respiratory droplets we’re all trying so hard to avoid.
4. Stay in touch with the outside world
Unfortunately, during this time, it’s not possible (well, possible but very, very ill advised — PLEASE don’t do it unless absolutely necessary) to go out and see other friends and family members. The whole point of social distancing is to avoid the spreading of germs, and that only works when we all stay home. But, thanks to technology, there are plenty of other ways to communicate with others. Don’t neglect relationships with friends and loved ones who are not your partner.
5. Learn how to communicate better
Communication is key in relationships all the time, but when you are quarantined together 24/7, communication is even more important. Part of this is learning to fight well — meaning being empathetic, and not engaging in minimizing, name calling, or shaming. “We’re all going to lose it for what feels like ‘no reason,’ we’re going to be rude or not the best version of ourselves — and that’s okay. We need to give ourselves and our partner(s) grace.”