How have you been doing? The coronavirus anxiety may have hit your relationship hard, not to worry. At this point, all of us have realized that COVID-19 and quarantine can test any relationship. You are not alone.
How couples stay together amidst the rise in stress is all about how you manage your stress together!
Use these tips to help you and your partner become better communicators, and ultimately, help you navigate how to stay in love during these crazy times! Here are some ideas for couples to do together while trying to strengthen their relationship and not drive each other crazy while they weather the rest of this storm that has been 2020!
If this looks like getting in your car and going for a drive, masking up and taking a grocery run, or taking the dog for a walk. Disrupting the normal quarantine cycle by getting some fresh air and vitamin D can level any tension and bring much-needed clarity. Whether you do this with your partner, or alone, any time spent checking in with yourself is time well spent.
Maybe taking time looks like sitting down for weekly check ins with your partner. This season we all are walking through can be treacherous at times, check-ins can be beneficial for both yourself and your partner, and help you both bond in this trying season.
If you have found difficulty navigating the shelter in place orders or if the drastic changes to everyday life have caused you distress, this is a completely normal response! Be open with your partner about how you are doing, feel free to vent about the things that have been hardest for you during this pandemic-world tilt-shift. It is okay that you may not be doing as well as you have hoped.
Excuse yourself from maintaining your normal level of productivity. Trust us. It’s okay if your mental strength isn’t quite where it used to be, just take it one day at a time, and keep your partner in the loop. They are one of your best support systems.
Use “I” more than “you”:
This one can be hard, especially when the quarters feel closer than normal. Before you even open your mouth or point a finger, make sure that you are not speaking with an excess of emotion. It seems when normal cycles are disrupted, it can cause our hearts to become a bit disconnected from our minds. We may be speaking out more frequently with accusatory phrasing, even unintentionally, hurting the person we love most.
By using “I” phrasing, this keeps the focus on what you are feeling, or how situations are affecting you. Example of “I” phrasing: “I felt hurt/uncomfortable when you responded that way. Can we talk about it?” instead of, “I cannot believe you acted that way. You are acting ridiculous.” Keep in mind that this may not work for every situation, but if you can take responsibility for the way you are feeling, it oftentimes opens up the conversation for your partner to share their side of the situation without feeling attacked.
Do your part:
If you are exhausted, maybe you are having a difficult time keeping up your end of the bargain. Being in a relationship is a two-way street. We know that things might feel a little funky for you lately, you may be out of rhythm with your partner, do not panic. This patch of time is temporary in your relationship. Lean into the foundation you both have built previous to 2020. If you are in a new relationship, just remember that if you have started a relationship in a pandemic year, you two can tackle anything now.
All this being said, do not get lazy. It is so easy to put off doing your part in the relationship.
For example, it’s like doing the dishes. Not many people like to do the dishes. But if you say you’ll do the dishes tomorrow for your partner every day for a week, but you never end up doing them… chances are the other person will end up doing them because they are frustrated with you. And it is very likely at this point that your house is unbearably smelly.
Doing your part can be as simple as sending that loving text, starting their load of laundry, or reminding them why you appreciate them. Some parts may be more energy consuming than others, but it’s worth the work, don’t let your relationship get smelly!
Practice even more patience:
Keep your calm, and try to stay as calm as possible with your partner. We know that patience may be hard to come by these days. But if you decide to not enter into conversation with your partner amid your frustrations, this can save you both an emotionally taxing conversation. Take that second to step away and regain control of your feelings, and then once you are back in control of your mind, you enter into that conversation with your partner.
Knowing when it is an appropriate time to bring up important conversations with your partner is key to healthy conversation and confrontation. No couple is perfect, everyone has arguments at some point or another. But, if you can keep your cool, you can downgrade most of your arguments to loving discussions, you are that much more likely to be seen and heard.
Acknowledge your feelings, don’t let them control you:
If you are feeling big feelings these days, not to worry, we all are! Allow your partner to be your greatest confidant, trust them to help you navigate this season with you! If you are shutting down, creating distance, or hiding from your partner. those important thoughts and feelings may not be allowed to surface, and this can create division in your relationship.
Along with our previous points on keeping your patience, if you do not have patience with yourself or even your partner, you will be asking for resentment in your relationship. If you keep in touch with your person, they will be that much more equipped to support you, and vice versa!
Spend intentional time together:
This may sound so obvious, but this is crucial! You may be so stuck in your stay at home orders that you forgot what it was like to pursue your partner! Pursuing your partner within your relationship can oftentimes fall wayside after those first dating butterflies fade away. We forget how good it feels to be pursued and to pursue the other!
Refresh a stale relationship by spending intentional time together! It might look a lot like your dating years looked like, it might also look like recreating your first date, just make sure to set aside intentional dating time to stay in touch with your partner. One of our favorite tips is setting aside allotted time (and budget) for a regular date night.
An anticipated date night helps couples look forward to spending quality time together. By subscribing to a date night box, you and your Hunny will always have a date night to look forward to, and date nights can be completed from the comfort of your own home! Delivered monthly, they will help you stay on track with your regularly scheduled dates on the calendar!
There is a lot on our minds these days. We know that the last thing you want to be worrying about is the strength of your relationship. We know that these tough times will pass and that you two will be stronger for making it through these last months together! For more tips on how to strengthen your relationship, check out our other blogs here.