It’s Not As Romantic As You Might Think, But It Can Be
By: Amanda Bengard
By now the coronavirus has made a name for itself, keeping people locked in doors with little normalcy and even less stability.
The headlines read “there is no end in sight” as I watch the news each morning with the intent to remain positive. People are calling it the “new normal” as social distancing is something the world is practicing.
During a universal quarantine, scrolling through Instagram has become more intimate now that everyone is sharing inside their homes in a way like never before.
Capturing their loved ones on a typical day in isolation has me thinking, are they sick of each other yet?
Relationships are put to the test while couples are stuck at home and space is minimal. We’re used to some longing, whether its grabbing drinks with friends or an eight-hour work day to really make you miss your significant other.
Until recent times, we look forward to the moment we can reunite with our partners after a busy day – unlike now where we have been granted with nonstop togetherness.
There is this misconception that hunkering down turns lovers into a super-unit that is constantly basking in each other’s affection. Stressors from job loss, home schooling and idiosyncrasies that otherwise go overlooked are now a trigger – love in quarantine can be a bit of a challenge.
Before the virus broke out, my boyfriend and I were two social butterflies. I remember dreaming of a weekend where we had nothing to do but watch movies and spoon.
In the beginning of quarantine, before realizing the severity of our situation, truthfully I was looking forward to sharing downtime. I thought to myself, finally he’s all mine!
However, the reality of that is more complex. For us, it’s been over two years since we started dating and although we haven’t officially moved in together, he’s made it clear that his home is mine after receiving a shiny silver key.
While we are both working remotely, the dining room table has turned into a two person office and we are learning how to navigate being close to each other while doing different activities.
In fact we have so much to accomplish, the quality time I thought we would have in abundance requires some navigating. Other than separating household chores such as cleaning and feeding our dog, we try to do most things as a team.
The effort to come together but also respect each other’s boundaries and space have kept things moving in a healthy direction. Here is my advice.
Have some activities you want to do together and some you want to do alone. For example, one night a week I like to watch reality television, knowing how frivolous it can be, I enjoy watching in a separate room.
We also have different sleeping patterns and my boyfriend likes to snooze more than I do. Waking up early allows me to enjoy a peaceful morning walk with our dog.
Lastly, my favorite thing to do is soak in a warm bath, carving out at least 45 minutes of alone time.
Communication is generally important but it becomes even more crucial when stuck in the house with your significant other. Part of this is learning to be empathic and exercising flexibility when it comes to your partner’s needs.
Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs as well, although my biggest offering is to choose your battles wisely! Hold back on what you think might be constructive because it can come off as nitpicky.
A friend recommended The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to me. It outlines five simple yet essential ways to express and receive love.
If you are struggling to make a consistent connection during these uncertain times, I suggest you invest in this book and make time to read a chapter to one another.
Other quick ideas for a productive and happy quarantine together: ask each other questions and spend extra time learning new things about each other.
Play games together. Redecorate and organize. Have sex and explore each other’s fantasies. Cook together and enjoy a meal with no distractions such as social media or television.
Now is the time to show gratitude and love to others, especially our partners. By using this as an opportunity to develop a stronger bond, it will be easier to come together during unforeseeable hardships such as this one.
Categories: Sex and Relationships