In a relationship, you normally spend a lot of time with your partner. When you are stuck together for an undetermined amount of time without visitors, breaks, or even working apart it can become very stressful.
Now, it is totally healthy and normal to want to spend some time away from your partner. Just because you are getting annoyed with each other or craving time apart doesn’t mean anything is wrong.
In a healthy relationship, both people spend time with their friends separately, go to work, run errands, and more. These things help break any tensions that may arise when spending so much time together.
But, if you are following social distancing orders, you currently don’t have access to those breaks or interactions with others. It can put a lot of pressure on your relationship.
Because having your relationship be the sole part of your life is dysfunctional. Being quarantined with just your partner can be a lot to deal with. The good news is that you can handle it by taking the right steps to make dating with your partner during quarantine easier.
[Read: Are you self-isolating with a narcissist and not sure how to cope?]
How are you dealing with your partner during quarantine?
Before changing your behavior, how are things going now? Are you fighting a lot? Are tensions running high? With both you and your partner likely working from home, you are not just there to relax together. You are now sharing space during all activities. Even a large apartment or house can feel like it is too small.
Do you feel like you’re on top of each other all day? Or are you balancing your time well and only coming together as you normally would?
You may work from different rooms, but being home for work when that isn’t your norm can both stress you out and distract you. Plus, it can put stress on your relationship. [Read: How to stop being codependent and rely on each other for everything]
You may feel like your partner is a different person when working or that you’re not giving each other enough attention when you are just a few feet apart.
The thing is you’ve probably never spent this much time together, so getting used to it will be an adjustment. And, on top of that, the fear and uncertainty we are all enduring during this pandemic will surely get to you.
The anxiety you may be dealing with can make you more irritable than this sort of situation would normally cause, adding even more hurdles to your relationship.
It can seem scary to be dealing with this and relationship struggles on top of that. The fact that you have realized this is a lot to handle is a good sign. And looking for this article so you and your partner can make sure your relationship comes out of quarantine stronger than ever is a great step. [Read: Why fighting in a relationship is important and how to do it right]
How to make dealing with your partner during quarantine easier
Even though you love and adore your partner, spending 24/7 with them would be a lot for anyone. And trust me, millions of people are going through the same thing right now.
Maneuvering a work-life balance when your work and life are all happening under one roof all day, every day is overwhelming. But, you can take some steps that abide by social distancing guidelines that will help you make dealing with your partner during quarantine easier.
#1 Don’t eat lunch together. If you normally don’t eat lunch together, continue eating lunch apart. I know it can seem odd to share a living space with someone and feel like you’re ignoring them during mealtime, but you are already outside of your daily routine.
Keeping your work routine as similar to the norm as you can, will help you feel like you still have a schedule. The same goes for breakfast if you normally don’t eat together in the morning, there is no need to start now just because you are together. [Read: 18 things to keep in mind when you’re shacking up with your partner]
#2 Work separately if possible. Depending on your space limits, this can be difficult but working in different rooms will keep you both focused on work. You won’t be annoyed at how your partner agrees with everything their boss says or that they have music playing loudly from their headphones.
Switch off spaces to see where you both feel most comfortable and productive. You can even try to work outside if possible to get fresh air and some space from each other.
#3 Switch off chore assignments. You do not need to be widely productive right now just because you are home. This is a crazy time and being lazy is totally fine. With that being said, you should continue with your normal household chores and surely some extra cleaning.
You’ll want to be sure you are cleaning high traffic surfaces like kitchen counters, faucet handles, door handles, light switches, etc. You’ll also continue to do your laundry, dishes, and bathroom cleaning. Instead of getting overwhelmed, share the responsibility.
If you did all the sanitizing one day, have your partner do it the next. If you did the laundry, have your partner load and unload the dishwasher. Figure out a system that works for you both. [Read: 6 common problems faced by couples who live together]
#4 Exercise alone. Working out can seem like a nice way to bond with your partner. And if you normally go for a run on the weekends continue with that, but if you go to the gym 3 days a week by yourself continue at-home workouts alone.
Even if you normally don’t work out, being stuck at home means you aren’t getting basic exercise like walking around the mall or even walking across the parking lot. Go for a walk outside alone. This time will help ease anxiety and tension and help you feel more refreshed when you return home.
#5 Know it is okay to have your alone time. Do not feel guilty because you don’t want to spend every second with your partner. There is nothing wrong with you or your relationship. Even if your partner seems to be okay spending so much time together, it is okay that you don’t.
Everyone needs their own amount of space and me-time. It doesn’t have to be the same for both of you. This is a new and confusing time for everyone. Navigating this new normal does not need to be perfect. [Read: 8 ways to get your me time during a hectic time]
#6 Have date nights. Keep the romance alive during a time when you are probably both wearing sweatpants daily. There is nothing wrong with lounging around, but if you are feeling like you’re in a rut, planning an at-home date night can be just what you need.
Having something to look forward to can really lift your spirits and remind you that your partner isn’t just this person who breathes too loud or clicks their pen all day long. This is your partner that you love. You can enjoy time together right now.
Plan a nice dinner under the stars. Light candles. Even take a bath together. Have a living room picnic with wine. Switch off who plans the date night so you are both putting in the effort. Get dressed up too.
#7 Check in with each other daily. Even though you are physically together, it doesn’t mean you are on the same page mentally or emotionally. I know you don’t want to overwhelm your partner with your anxieties, especially when there isn’t much they can do. We are all living in an uncontrollable situation.
Just because there isn’t outside action we can take, doesn’t mean we should shut down our feelings. Once a day, make sure to check in with each other. Share how you’re feeling. It can be nerves about the virus, issues with the government, or how you need more alone time.
This should be a respectful conversation to air out your feelings and just listen to each other. This will help you understand each other better and help you feel understood. [Read: Are you suffering from isolation and cabin fever during this pandemic?]
#8 Reach out to friends and family. Be sure that you are virtually interacting with others. Just because you can’t have girls night, it doesn’t mean you can’t all get together virtually, drink wine, and gossip about the latest episode of your favorite show.
Keep those events going if possible. If you visit your mom twice a week, call her on the phone. Catch up with all the important people in your life. My cousin is quarantined with her fiancé. Although, they have a great relationship, it is overwhelming to be together 24/7.
We video chatted for hours the other day. She said she felt so much more relaxed and like she finally had interaction outside of the two of them. [Read: 23 quarantine approved activities to stay connected with your friends and family]
#9 Do something fun together. You might be doing boring things together like moving the furniture to vacuum underneath it or ordering groceries online, but plan fun activities to do too. This can be anything from a board game to an obstacle course in the backyard.
You can even set up a tent in the backyard and spend a night eating s’mores and sleeping under the stars. [Read: Conversation games you can do together or online and have fun together]
#10 Make the most of the weekends. If you normally have big weekend plans, continue with that now. Yes, stay home, but planning something for the weekend will keep you excited.
It can be going for a bike ride in the neighborhood, rearranging the living room, or just trying a new recipe. No, you can’t travel or have a wild party. But come up with creative ways to make the weekend feel different than the weekdays.
[Read: How to take care of yourself emotionally and avoid falling apart]
There is a lot you can do to make dealing with your partner during quarantine easier. You just need to talk to each other about what will work best for you.
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