QUARANTINING DURING COVID-19 WITH YOUR PARTNER
If you did not already live with your partner prior to quarantine, you may have decided to quarantine together. If you are new to co-habitating with someone, you may have found doing so quite challenging. Additionally, if you both are working from home, finding space to do so may have become difficult as well. During this unique time, some couples may find that quarantining together has strengthened their relationship, while others may find it causing a strain on their relationship. For those that have been having a hard time living with your partner, trying some of the following strategies may help.
BE KIND AND UNDERSTANDING
This is an unusual time for everyone, and our ability to cope with the changes going on around us may be difficult. Many people are likely to be experiencing increased stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and hopelessness. Now more than ever, this is the time to be kind to one another. Your partner is doing their best. Normalize and validate their feelings; there is no right or wrong way to feel. If you see they are struggling, ask them how you can help and offer them support. Practice gratitude and stay focused on the positive qualities you love about your partner.
It is important to address issues and concerns that you have with your partner as they arise instead of bottling them up and suppressing your emotions. Find a time when both of you can sit down and calmly discuss the issue. Use “I” statements to clearly describe the situation that is upsetting you and to express how you feel without attacking or blaming your partner. Allow your partner to respond to your concerns and work together to develop a compromise or solution.
GIVE SPACE WHEN NEEDED
Lastly, try to balance time together with time apart. Spending all day, every day, with someone can become exhausting after a while. Take some time to read, take a bath, meditate, or go for a walk by yourself. Communicating with your partner about when you will spend time together and when you will do things independently is important to helping manage expectations.
DATING DURING CORONAVIRUS & SOCIAL DISTANCING
If you are single, you may have decided it is time to get yourself back into dating and meet someone. If you do not want to wait for things to return to normal, you may want to consider online dating. With bars, restaurants and other venues mostly still closed, online dating options and apps are more popular than ever. If you have decided to try one or some of the many online dating apps, you will want to make sure you stand out from all the others. The first thing people will see are your profile pictures. It is best to choose several different pictures. Make sure these pictures are clear, current, with at least some showing your face, along with trying to limit the amount of other people present in the pictures. You do not want potential dates trying to figure out who you are in a group photo. Feel free to add photos of you engaging in some of your hobbies. With your pictures selected, you will next want to create profile text. Be authentic. Create a profile that represents your personality and who you are. If you are lacking in creativity, keep it simple; create a short description of yourself and a broad description of what you are looking for. Some apps allow you to share information about yourself, like religious affiliation, political views, if you are a drinker or smoker, etc. with pick lists that can help someone get a better idea if you would be a good match.
If the idea of endlessly swiping through profiles does not appeal to you, you may want to consider virtual speed dating options. Virtual speed dating events will allow you to interact with several different people through a video call and provide the closest experience to meeting in person. During this time, you may also want to consider reaching out to someone you previously dated. And no, I do not mean your toxic ex. Maybe you had met someone and went out a few times prior to quarantine, but then life got busy and communication fizzled out. Now may be the perfect time to rekindle that communication and pick things up where you left them.
“GOING” ON A DATE
With many businesses still closed, going out for dinner, drinks, and a movie is no longer a viable option. Depending on each person’s comfort level with face-to-face interactions, you may want to consider first doing a video calls to initially meet the person and help decide if you want to progress to meeting in person. If the idea of virtual dates are off putting, make plans to meet up outside. Sitting in the park or going for a walk are great ways to enjoy the outdoors and get to know someone while still maintaining safe social distancing practices.
BENEFITS OF ONLINE DATING DURING CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE
Although online dating cannot replace the experience of organically meeting someone out in the world, there are several benefits that it provides. Online dating can allow you to date in a more effective and efficient way. Many apps allow you to tailor your dating search to only show potential matches that fit specific criteria you may have for a partner such as smoking status, education level, distance away, or even political affiliation. It also provides more dating options as it may match you with individuals you would likely not meet in public due to location or work schedule. Online dating can also be much more convenient as you can search for matches whenever you have time, as opposed to having to get dressed and ready and physically leaving the house. Additionally, online dating is a good way to get to know others safely during the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting your exposure to others.
With prolonged social isolation, feelings of anxiety and depression can develop. If you are struggling with developing and/or maintain relationships or having trouble coping with mental health symptoms, therapy can help. Our therapists are available to provide support during this difficult time. Complete the contact request form below and one of our licensed therapists will reach out to you directly to learn more about how we can help.