Love in the time of quarantine
Social distancing for couples is sharing a confined space with partners while taking on new stressful issues. These issues include sudden unemployment, working from home, child care, and the never-ceasing uncertainty. There are reports of divorce rates skyrocketing in China since the outbreak of COVID-19. Instability and stress can give way insecurities and increase conflict for couples. In these times of distress, there are 5 tips for couples to build their relationships in the time of quarantine.
Make individual space
Sharing a physical space with your partner for long periods of time can increase stress. Without the daily routine, your space may begin to feel very small and irritation with one another may take place quickly. Research shows that alone time can relax you and reduce stress. Take regular breaks of alone time each day, whether it is a walk or reading a book. Shivani Mishra is currently quarantining with her husband. She says, “We have never spent so much time together. When we are together for a long period of time, we feel the anxiety. So it is best to take some time off. I follow my evening ritual of doing yoga.”
When you need to tell your partner how you feel, try to speak from your perspective. Do not accuse them of doing something wrong. You can say, “I feel really defeated when I continue to find dirty dishes in the sink. Is there any way you can help me keep the kitchen clean?” Shiv Raj says, “We have a rule in the house. We never sleep angry with each other. At night we talk about our differences and work on them.”
Take some time
Press pause on conflicts that are not meaningless and set a time to resolve them. When conflicts become heated, many couples become bitter and it keeps ongoing. We can experience conflict as a threat. When this happens we stop talking and conflict resolution becomes impossible. Kavita Chowdhary says, “I always give issues some time. I think about them. These issues get dragged sometimes. I think it is important to set a time to discuss and put an end to them.”
Think about what makes you happy or sad. Introspect about your roles in the house. Are you getting stressed out over nothing? Do you feel that your partner is to blame? Think logically and clearly. After you’re done with all the thoughts, lay a plan. Discuss things with your partner, ask them to tag along. Create an environment of peace in the house.
Appreciate each other
Try to appreciate one another’s strengths. What special stuff does your partner do to get through hard times? Compliment your partner and speak words of love. Be kind to them and yourself. Crack jokes in the house. Play with each other. Plan for fun events in the house. Whenever you find your partner getting work done, say something supportive. Shiv Raj says, “I always find some kind words to say to my partner. I see her working and compliment her on her hard work. I never forget to write a small poem on a piece of paper and pass it to her. Her smile is priceless.”