Love lockdown with your partner – how to save relationships in quarantine
Being forced to spend time together can put a serious strain on your relationship
Remember the time couple fights were about not spending enough time together? Him disappearing for hours playing PUBG, or you choosing dance yoga over watching Fast and Furious 28. With the world in lockdown mode, relationships in quarantine are more about surviving intimacy than needing more of it.
This love lockdown can have its honeymoon period full of Netflix and other thrills, but our relationships in quarantine can start to strain when quality time becomes a 24 X 7 reality.
“Working couples or couples where one partner is working, that were used to seeing each other for a few hours a day, are now forced to spend more time together in a tense environment. Social distancing with your partner can be a challenge,” says psychologist Mohini Nayyar.
Nayyar shares her tips on how to save our relationships in quarantine and make it out with our feelings — and partners — intact.
Expert advice to save your relationships in quarantine
Tell it like it is
Start the lockdown with a promise to keep open lines of communication throughout.
“Talk about your fears and anxiety. What you want from your partner and what they expect from you in return without being judgmental or critical,” says Nayyar.
You can’t be dismissive of each other in this time (however ridiculous the other person might seem to you). “A little understanding and acknowledgement can go a long way.”
Start your morning by asking what the other has planned. “Engage with each other, ask ‘Can I help you with anything?’ We’re all going through a stressful time right now.”
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Let bygones be bygones
Quarantine quarrels are bound to happen. You can’t beat yourselves (or each other) up over things not going smoothly at home. Cut each other some slack, we’re all adjusting right now.
“When the day ends, let that be the end of every issue or mess-up that happened that day and let it go. Holding onto little things right now will only put a strain your relationship,” says Nayyar.
She recommends starting each day afresh, allowing your partner room for mistakes and facing each day as it comes as a team.
Give each other some space
We’re different people in our personal and professional lives. The lockdown has us trying to be both at the same time. Working from home can be a breeze but also have you butting heads with your partner.
Nayyar suggests creating different work stations in the house, preferable in different rooms and your own working hours. “You can decide, from 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM is your work time – leave each other be to get your work done. Take your lunch break together in between. You can discuss what you’re working on, complain about your colleagues and then go back to your home office space.”
If you have children, you will have to alternate your working hours so there’s someone watching the kids.
Divide chores and responsibilities
With Meeta bai also social distancing, your dishes and laundry will start piling up. Divide the housework with your partner, you can keep a rotating schedule to try and make things a little more interesting.
Involve your kids, they can help wash vegetables, fold laundry. This keeps them engaged, gives them a sense of responsibility and reduces the load on your shoulders, even if it’s just a little bit.
Chores can be a contentious matter, so try creating a task list in the morning and play to each other’s strengths. If your cooking skills are limited to making Maggi, volunteer to wash clothes and do the dusting instead as your partner takes over kitchen duties.
Keep the romance alive
Look at the bright side, you get your partner all to yourself in quarantine. You may not have access to parlour didi or cinema halls but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a date night at home.
Get dressed up, pop open a bottle of wine (if you’re lucky enough to have any left at this point), do a movie night or even live stream a music show.
You can use this time to get to know each other better. Try playing 21 questions, have a game night (we discourage anything that could lead to rage-flipping over monopoly boards), and get intimate.
Your relationship’s in quarantine but your sex life doesn’t need to be. Explore each other’s likes and dislikes, your bodies and each other.
“I tell couples to play the gratitude game. At the end of the day, look into each other’s eyes and list out three-five things you’re grateful for and appreciate about the other person. It sounds simple, but try to make it a habit. It can have a deep effect on how you both feel,” says Nayyar.
Took my wife to Quarantine Grill 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ruuNBQ6MSC
— Cheffrey (@BigBellyButta) March 22, 2020
Do something for yourself
Being at peace with your partner at this time is easier when you’re at peace with yourself. While you’re giving each other space, indulge in something that you want to do for yourself.
Nayyar says it can mean taking up a hobby, learn a new language (you can even do this without your partner), dust off your guitar lying in the bedroom corner and pretend you’re Santana.
With an endless supply of online courses and YouTube tutorials out there, there are so many things you can try to teach yourself – from origami to Shiamak Davar’s dance moves.
We’ll see you on India’s Got Talent when the quarantine’s over…
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