I'm Quarantining with My SO, & Our Relationship Is Stronger Than Ever

I don’t think anyone needs reminding that the world is a pretty uncertain place right now. No one knows when they'll be returning to their normal lives – from work to going out with friends to being able to go to the grocery store without any worry that you won’t find what you need. Everything about the world seems unsettling right now, and I honestly thought my relationship would be, too, but that seems to be the one thing in my life that’s certain right now. 

We barely ever spent a lot of time at home together while we were in school–sometimes we would only see each other right before bed and first thing in the morning for about twenty minutes–and after we graduated, both of us went straight into new jobs. We're not used to being home together all day every day, so when we both found out we'd be working from home, I was a little concerned that we might be doing a little more arguing that working. 

But it turned out to be the exact opposite. We have more time together, and while for some couples that can be daunting, it seems to be strengthening our bond rather than tarnishing it. We have more time to do all those hobbies and tasks we said we would do together but never found the time for within our crazy schedules: cooking, baking, stay-at-home dates – all of it becomes easier when you have no choice but to stay at home, and something about this quarantine has actually made us cherish the time we have at home together, rather than wanting to tear our hair out. Here’s why:

man and woman sitting on a bench

We have more time to learn together. 

My S.O. and I have been spending a lot more time learning. Not just new hobbies and cooking together, but also learning more about each other. We’ve been together for almost five years now, but it still amazes me how much there is to learn about each other. Boredom has brought us to every relationship quiz out there, from silly Buzzfeed articles to more serious ones from the New York Times. 

Getting creative with dates makes everything more interesting. 

Whether it’s a traditional night of cooking dinner and watching a movie or camping in the backyard with grilled hot dogs and s'mores, dating at home has forced us to get creative which in turn has brought us closer together. While we do miss being able to go out to a nice restaurant and enjoy the romantic atmosphere there, it means more when you plan a special date out of nothing.

We step out of our comfort zone without stepping out of the house. 

Being stuck inside together actually gives us a chance to try new things that, without the boredom, we would never have thought of. Reality TV has never been our thing, but watching Netflix's Too Hot Too Handle was some of the most fun we’ve ever had from the couch. It can be small things like that, or more intimate things like getting more adventurous in your sex life. Whatever it is, just make sure you don’t get stuck in a routine that can get stale, because being in quarantine is stale enough.

We’ve learned to respect each other’s space. 

It’s hard to leave your S.O. alone when there is nowhere else to go, and being at home all the time has given each of us more respect for our introverted tendencies. I need my space sometimes and so does he, and this quarantine has given each of us a better perspective on when those times are, and how to handle it when one of us wants to do something and the other just wants to be alone to read or work on personal projects for a while.

This is not to say that we don’t still have our issues. There is no “perfect” couple. He still gets upset with my messy habits and I can tell he gets annoyed when I start talking out loud to myself, and I still don’t appreciate that he doesn’t fold the laundry when he runs a load. We also still have a lot of emotional problems that we are constantly working through, but that is just a part of being in a committed and healthy relationship. Even though you may be feeling more anxious than ever with the circumstances of the world, take this time to lean on and strengthen your relationships with the people you love.