Navigating Relationships During a Pandemic

Whether you’re in a long term relationship or just started something new, COVID-19 is impacting everyone’s romantic relationships in one way or another. It can be hard and confusing to navigate this new territory, but here are some tips on how to stay happy and healthy -- separately or together. 

First, what are the rules? 

Ontario has recently implemented the use of a colour coding strategy to rank health units based on case numbers and trends. Currently, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is in the Yellow (Protect) level. This means that there are some proposed restrictions for this level including: 

  • face coverings are required, except when eating or drinking only 

  • limited volume of music at retail locations

  • limited operating hours of restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

You can check out the Government of Ontario’s website for more information. Unfortunately, these rules definitely restrict the amount of activities you can do with your significant other. 

So, how can we keep in touch?

In any relationship, pre COVID-19 or post COVID-19, communication is key. This is even more important when you have to spend time apart. It’s tough not being able to see your favourite person as much as you want to. Luckily though, we live in a time where technology is at your disposal to help you keep in touch!

Message your partner when you’re thinking of them. Send them a meme you think they’ll smile at. Any notification popping up with your name is sure to brighten up their day. Nothing beats face to face conversations though, so try and get in as many video chats as you can. Schedule a Netflix party session so you can watch your favourite movies together. Have a cooking or study date over FaceTime. Even a quick 10 minute call before going to sleep can make the world of a difference. 

Ideas if you live together!

If you live with your partner, things can start to get boring at home. You’re spending more time with each other and there aren’t many exciting things to do due to COVID-19 restrictions. This is where you can get creative!

If one of you has a car, go to a drive-in theater to avoid contact with people outside your household. The Mustang Drive-in is a great option in London if you want a dog friendly environment with a snack bar. You can check out their movie showings, classic and new, on their Facebook. So get cozy and get watching!

If you and your partner are outdoorsy, bundle up and head to your local hiking spot! In London, Westminster Ponds and Meadowlily Trails are two amazing spots that’ll “make you forget you’re even in the city”, reviewers say. It can be a great way to get active and bond. If you two are the more stay-at-home type, cook together! You can even make some friendly competition out of it, Chopped style. 

At the end of the day, relationships are about adapting to each other. Now, on top of that, it’s about adapting to the pandemic. However, even when we are threatened by events beyond our control, our relationships have the power to be resilient. They aren’t perfect, because even under the best circumstances, rough patches are inevitable. When times get tough, like it is right now, it’s important to remember that your partner is by your side, and is your best friend. The pandemic has taken a lot from us, but going through it with your partner can strengthen the bond you already share.

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