Relationships + COVID-19: Challenges + Keeping the Romance Alive

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There’s no doubt the lockdown brought on by COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our relationships — platonic and romantic. Despite the major amount of time spent apart, many people feel they’ve gotten closer to their family and friends —spending more time with them, albeit virtually, than ever before. For some cohabitating couples, however, the extensive amount of time together can create a strain on their previously rock-solid relationships.

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Whether you two have been living together for a few months or several years, the unforeseen necessity to be in each other’s presence 24/7 can be stressful, to say the least. If you’re feeling some tension in your relationship right now, don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you and your partner combat some of the most common issues couples have been experiencing during the lockdown, thanks to local relationship expert Gina Yannotta. 

Challenge No.1 Working From Home Together

Couples forced to share a workspace might be struggling to balance their personal and professional lives. If possible, try to keep your work areas separate. You and your partner may have different working styles so it may be challenging to focus if you’re not used to working side by side every day of the week.

If your living space doesn’t permit isolated work areas, be mindful of the volume of your voice and consider wearing headphones during virtual meetings. It may be hard to connect outside of work if your significant other has to listen to you and your colleagues say, “let’s circle back” all day long. 

It’s also important to create healthy boundaries since the lack of a commute has blurred the lines of our normal working hours. Make an effort to stop working at an appropriate time and unplug so the two of you can enjoy each other’s company.

Read more: Local Residents Share Their Clever Home Office Set-Ups

Challenge No.2: Household Chores 

Many of us might feel like no matter how many times you do the dishes, every time you turn around there’s another dirty dish in the sink. Being quarantined has highlighted just how much work it takes to keep your house in order. It has also made it abundantly clear if one {or both} of you isn’t doing their share of responsibilities. 

Relationships are about partnership, so domestic tasks should be shared and divided equally between the two of you. However, if you notice your partner is having a rough day, try to pick up the slack so they don’t have to worry about contributing as much. Make sure to take turns with the most undesirable of tasks — it’s not fair if one person is always on toilet cleaning duty. 

It’s also key to remember that this isn’t a competition. You’re on the same team and some days one of you will do more than the other, and that’s okay. Complaining about which chores you have done in comparison to one another will only lead to futile arguments and resentment down the line.

Challenge No. 3: Alone Time

Our pre-pandemic obligations such as work, appointments, and errands forced even the most inseparable of couples to be away from each other periodically. As simple and mundane as these activities may seem, the removal of them from our daily lives has made the time we spend with our partners essentially perpetual. This uninterrupted interaction may work great for some, but it can leave others feeling irritable and drained.  

If you’re an introvert and your partner isn’t, have an open and honest conversation about needing some time alone. Extroverts, on the other hand, shouldn’t be offended if their significant other needs time to decompress and recharge by themselves. Be conscious of giving each other space by leaving the house to go for a walk or having a video call with some friends in a separate room.

No. 4: Being Stuck in a Rut

Let’s face it — doing the same thing every single day can make anyone feel bored, lazy, and sometimes even down in the dumps. The same goes for romantic relationships — the monotony of quarantine may have left you and your partner feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, which can lead to less physical intimacy and more arguments.  

Work on incorporating as many pre-lockdown aspects of your life into your daily routine as possible and make sure the time you’re spending together is quality time. As much fun as binge-watching and eating take out in our sweatpants can be, it gets old fast. If Thursday night is your designated “date night,” be sure to make plans in advance, just as you normally would. Enroll in a virtual cooking class, fitness class, or take a tour of an exotic place right from your laptop. There are plenty of ways to spice things up, you just need to be creative!

Whether you and your partner have dealt with all or one of these issues, keep in mind that this is all temporary! The friction you’re experiencing during lockdown is not a true depiction of your relationship, it’s just the unfortunate byproduct of a situation that none of us were prepared for. The most important thing is to approach these obstacles with mutual respect. It’s OK to have disagreements — how you resolve them is what truly matters. 

See more: Your NEW Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Dining in Hoboken + Jersey City 

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