New Normal//

Staying Connected Amid a Pandemic Made Easy

How does one maintain a relationship even as they maintain social distancing?

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

The current pandemic has brought so many changes in our lives. It has affected everything from our global economy to our own personal lives. Romantic relationships are navigating uncharted territories, whether it’s staying together in quarantine or being away from each other due to lockdown. Your regular date nights, movie nights, concerts may not be possible now. But that does not mean you cannot stay connected and grow closer. With a little creativity, you can still have fun together.

How to beat cabin fever together

Couples are spending more time together than ever. This can be especially challenging if you have kids and need to undertake additional responsibilities all while not being able to leave the house to relieve some stress. Following a few basic tips will ensure that you both come out of this with a greater appreciation for each other.

Take care of yourself first: You won’t be able to attend to your partner if you’re not in the right frame of mind. Over exerting yourself, stressing out, all can impact the relationship negatively. First and foremost, take care of your well-being. Keep a routine, find activities you enjoy, keep space for yourself. Once you’re happy and healthy, you’ll be more attentive to your partner and the relationship will bloom.

Respect each other’s time and space: Day time can be spent on work related activities, if working remotely. To keep interruption and distractions to a minimum, you can work in your own individual place. In the evening, you can focus on participating in activities together like doing puzzles, playing board games or even video games. A healthy competition keeps the spark alive!

Communicate: Several emotions may be going through each of your minds. It is a new situation for all of us. Talk to each other about your real feelings and things that bother you. Your partner cannot be expected to read your mind. It can be much more helpful to calmly and clearly verbalise your concerns, feelings and worries.

Don’t skip date nights: Just because you cannot go out does not mean you can’t do something special indoors. You can cook a special meal together, set the table, use candles or dim lighting and get dressed up. You can make it more interesting by planning a virtual double date with another couple.

Show gratitude: Criticising each other during this time may come naturally. But it is important for you to show gratitude and appreciation towards your partner. Gratitude brings peace and positivity. During these times, it’s all the more reason to be thankful for each other’s love and support.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

If the lockdown is keeping you away from your partner, this can hit particularly hard especially in these times of uncertainty and anxiety. As humans, we crave social interaction and it not only helps make us feel close to each other, but also releases endorphins and makes us more immune to stress. Thankfully we live in the age of technology where being physically away from each other doesn’t have to mean not staying connected! This is a great opportunity to get to know your partner on a deeper level and finding new ways of connecting with each other.

Try out virtual dates: Not being able to meet does not put an end to doing activities together. You can still have virtual dates over video call, you can watch the same movies on Netflix, take museum tours together virtually, or read the same book. This way you will have something in common to discuss. Intellectual conversations can keep your relationship interesting and exciting.

Talk about your feelings, openly and honestly: In any relationship communication is the key. Communicate about your fears regarding relationships, your job, the economy, or anything that bothers you. Have a serious conversation whenever required. This time can be utilized to deepen your communication and fix communication gaps, if any.

Play online games: Several board games are available online now. You can play scrabble, chess, Pictionary, Monopoly or even card games together. To make it feel more interactive, get on an audio or video call while you play online. A healthy level of competition can be refreshing for your relationship.

Take online classes together: You can look for classes, seminars, workshops that you both may enjoy and join together. In these times, joining yoga, meditation or any wellbeing programs would be a good idea. Spend the time after class chatting about what you have learned and discuss areas you found interesting.

Go through old memories together: Running down the memory lane brings forth amazing feelings and can transport you back in time and place. You can do this together by going through old photo albums. Use screen-share option while you go through albums. Share funny, embarrassing, happy photos, talk about the events and people in it. This will strengthen your bond and re-ignite the feelings of love and affection you felt during those trips when the pictures were taken.

In the end, remember that this pandemic is a temporary situation. And that your relationship can survive it if you support each other.   

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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