The pandemic turned everyone’s lives upside down. One of the most challenging aspects was the impact it had on our relationships. For couples, lockdowns meant spending a lot more time with each other than usual. For singletons, friends, and family, it meant severe restrictions on the time we could spend together and the intimacy we could share.
The news wasn’t all negative, though. In fact, 27% of people said the pandemic actually improved their relationships. So what can we learn from our relationships during coronavirus? And, how can we use these takeaways to build stronger, more meaningful connections with our partners? We’ve tackled all this below!
7 Key Takeaways From Our Relationships During Coronavirus
1. A supportive, communicative partner is vital
For those already in a relationship, the pandemic reinforced the importance of feeling supported. After a long day of working from home, you want to know that your partner is on your team. Spending extra time together also forced couples to communicate more, especially those who generally avoid conflict.
Couples who struggled with communication were forced to either sharpen their skills or face a breakdown in the relationship. We all approach problems differently. The key takeaway from this is that you learn to communicate with love and respect, even when you disagree.
2. Getting to know each other more intimately is rewarding
So many of us were forced to work from home indefinitely, confined to tiny studio apartments or crowded one-bedroom houses. No more kissing our partners goodbye in the morning and reconnecting late at night by vegging out on the sofa with a romantic movie on Netflix.
This meant couples were pushed to get to know each other on a deeper level. Often, this took the form of discovering new quirks and facets of our partners (good or bad) that we’d never spotted before. Relationships during coronavirus allowed couples to reconnect, particularly those who’d been together a long time.
3. Space and independence are important
A good relationship requires both sides to maintain independence. Not something that’s exactly easy during lockdowns and a global pandemic. It’s not surprising then, that living and working together often upset the status quo in a relationship, especially if the two sides were used to having their own space.
For some couples, spending every waking hour with one another was too much. This meant they had to find new ways to re-create that space. Maybe that meant one person waking up earlier and the other going to bed later, exercising separately, and finding different parts of the house to work in (if space allowed it). Being forced to do this taught us the importance of space and independence in our relationships.
4. Creativity is key
With offices, shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs all closed, a lot of people ran out of things to do in their spare time, particularly extroverts who were less likely to be content curling up on the sofa with a good book. That caused a strain on many couples. Novelty and spontaneity are key components of any romantic relationship, so not being able to head out on a date night to the cinema or restaurant left many feeling stagnant.
Getting creative was key. Some people started doing jigsaw puzzles together, cooking elaborate dishes, or making cocktails. Coronavirus forced us all to get clear on how we want to spend our free time, both together and separately.
5. Digital communication helped us stay connected
Although the pandemic challenged us in so many ways, we were lucky to have technology that let us stay in touch with loved ones. Social media, smartphones, and video calling all became so important for our relationships during coronavirus.
6. Dating can be challenging
For singletons, the pandemic meant that meeting up was either off the cards or felt too uncomfortable with social distancing and masks. Virtual dating is a great way to connect with someone, but some daters still prefer face-to-face contact.
The pandemic emphasized the importance of the human touch element of dating — no hand-holding, hugging, or making out made the process much more challenging.
7. Reframing tough situations is great for morale
Even though the pandemic threw our lives upside down, those who thrived were the ones who chose to look for the positives and the opportunities. They reframed their situation to focus on the good and what the pandemic added to their lives instead of what it took away.
For example, lots of us were fortunate enough to spend more time with the people we love at home or get the space to clear our minds on what’s important to us and what’s not.
Focus On Extracting the Positives
We learned a lot from our relationships during coronavirus. Most notably, that gratitude is key, and focusing on the good in your life today is so important when it comes to maintaining a meaningful connection with a partner. So, write down the things you’re thankful for and try to extract the positives that came from the challenge of the pandemic. Because when you look for the bright side, you’ll much more likely to find it!