How Do I Keep My Relationship in the Pandemic?

Relationships require a lot of effort—pandemic or not. Perhaps you’re like me: you’ve met someone online, gone on your first date, and then a month later, the whole world stopped. So, you’re in a brand new relationship as soon as the world goes into full crisis mode. Okay… cool. What’s next?

I can safely say that I’ve learned some of the most important ways to keep a relationship afloat since we have been in the pandemic.We see all of these articles about the rates of divorces, but no one really knows what to do if you are in a relationship. Let’s put this into perspective. Is what I’m feeling right now normal? How do we grow in this relationship while the rest of the world is on pause? We can’t do “normal” couple things, so how do we keep the spark alive? In short, yes you can and this is normal. But, let’s get into why. 

Overthinking is the hallmark of intrusive thoughts and insecurities among young adult relationships. It’s easier said than done of course, and I too am guilty as charged. We tend to ask ourselves: “What if I’m not enough?,” “What if they think I’m boring?,” and “Are they mad at me?” Truth is, it’s more than likely that our partners are thinking the same. The key is communication. Ask your partner if they are ready and willing to listen (because we all have bad days and it’s best to make sure they are in the correct mental state to be of support / be able to extend their support to you?), in order to allow clarity for both parties and leave overthinking out of it. The less you talk, the more you think and internalize your thoughts. The end result? Communicating your needs and concerns will help your partner understand what’s going on in your head, ruling out any incorrect speculations or anxieties. If you keep everything in, you may end up internalizing your thoughts and making unfair assumptions about your relationship, which can lead to arguments or underpinned anger down the road. 

 

A couple sleeping next to each other outside. Photo by Matheus Ferrero from Unsplash

YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. 

It’s so easy to think that you may not be what your partner wants or is looking for. I’ll let you in on a little secret. They picked you. They wanted you. It’s easy to forget that, but it’s something you need to remember. One way I cope with these feelings of uncertainty and insecurity is to do my favorite grounding technique, meditation. This 5-Minute Meditation You Can Do Anywhere is my go-to for times when I start to feel anxious or insecure or for when those pesky little intrusive thoughts leak back in. It allows for a quick reset to your day and gives you time to cope with the fact that we're in a life-altering pandemic and there really is no way to get through it easily. So hey, don’t be too rough on yourself. Journaling is also a great way to express your thoughts and feelings in a non judgemental, easygoing way. By getting your thoughts out of your system and down on paper, it can make the coping process that much easier. But, remember the most important thing: YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.

 

/ Unsplash

 

What you’re feeling is normal

If you’re feeling uneasy about navigating a relationship during a pandemic and unsure about how to keep the spark alive, not to fear! You’re not alone and plenty of others are thinking the same thing. Here is a link to some amazing tips that I follow religiously. My favorite thing to do for my partner so far has been dropping off random care packages with a bouquet of flowers, and he has loved it! If that isn’t in the cards for you, there are plenty of other ways to show your love to your S.O.  You can send a text to let them know you’re thinking of them amidst piles of schoolwork or perhaps a handmade card will make their day a little extra special! Don’t be too hard on yourself or your partner. Our entire lives were uprooted a year ago and we are facing new challenges everyday. 

 

Jude Beck / Unsplash

 

Date Night, Big or Small

Date night! Virtual, socially distanced, or in person if the opportunities permit. It’s important to keep the romance alive by hosting date nights here and there. The best part is, it doesn’t have to be expensive or lavish. But, if that’s your style, go for it! You can get some takeout and play card games, have a Facetime binge watching marathon, or go big and spread rose petals on the floor, have dinner by the candlelight, and even dress up if that’s what your heart desires! The options are endless. The important thing is, it’s vital that you still carve out time for each other with no distractions. It’s essential that you and your partner are there for each other, and are a team. 

 

These are just a few of the many tips I follow to keep my relationship prospering in a time filled with  new challenges. Go easy on yourself and your partner and remember to breathe. You are enough, your partner chose you and you chose them. You got this!