Love During Covid
Along with every other challenge we’ve faced over the past year, Covid 19 put our love lives to the test. No doubt, couples have felt overwhelmed, having to stay locked at home for prolonged periods, with or without each other.
Overall, how did romantic relationships fare during the pandemic? The simple answer is – some got better, some got worse.
Let’s take a quick look at the different ways Covid has impacted pandemic relationships:
- For some, their relationship got stronger and they delved deeper.
- Some long-distance relationships could not survive the distance, stress, and uncertainty, resulting in break-ups.
- Some people had to fast forward the relationship and decide if they liked each other enough to quarantine together.
- While some couples got closer, the pandemic allowed others to end their relationships.
- Being locked up inside forced some partners to communicate better and confront difficult subjects they would have been inclined to run away from.
Although the pandemic may not be over, there are aspects of our lives that are slowly returning to “normal.” Romantic relationships are becoming a lot more “real” again. How will couples manage the challenges of post-pandemic life?
How Has Covid Rewritten Relationships?
According to some research, among individuals with lower levels of conflict and more positive functioning, pre-Covid, relationship satisfaction increased, whereas among individuals with higher levels of conflict, pre-Covid, satisfaction decreased.
Many couples have developed increased appreciation and a deeper commitment to their partners. In other words, the increased time together at home has been experienced as a plus and they can move forward with a more fortified bond. Interestingly, although there was a surge of divorces in the early months of the pandemic, according to lawyers and court records, divorces from the west to the east coast have slowed considerably in the last 12 months.
For those couples in relationships that weren’t functioning well before Covid, were weak, unstable, or unproductive, it makes sense that they’d become less satisfying, might reach a breaking point, and possibly fall by the wayside.
The bottom line is that the dynamics in romantic relationships have been affected by Covid. The pandemic has given people a renewed chance to pay closer attention to their relationships. For those couples who have remained together, whether they spent more time together at home during the pandemic or they were forced to spend more time apart, figuring out how to adapt to and thrive in the post-lockdown world can be challenging.
The Change From Pandemic Life Can Be a Fresh Start
Although the pandemic is not over, it is an opportune time for meaningful change in your romantic relationships. After a crisis, there is always an opportunity for post-traumatic growth, and if ever there was a perfect time to make relationships stronger, this is it.
Ways to prep your partnership to achieve new goals:
- Prioritize communication. Make time for ongoing discussions and supporting each others’ feelings and needs. Acknowledge the issues that could arise. Both people must feel heard, understood and discussion should lead to a healthy degree of compromise.
- Relearn the benefits of intimacy and solitude. Couples must adjust to the challenges of spending lots of time together to much less time. The pandemic may have fed into codependency. After a year of sharing confined space with someone and feeling close to them, getting comfortable with greater independence may be needed. Conflict might arise – one person may be content to remain in the bubble while the other is ready to emerge.
- One issue that has plagued couples throughout quarantine is opposing opinions about Covid safety. Are there conflicting comfort levels when it comes to taking health risks or opposing opinions about the vaccine? Talk openly about it.
- Couples that met during quarantine or jump started living together during lockdown only know one another through the pandemic lens. They should prepare for another discovery phase as the world opens up and they will be learning new things about each other.
- For those who were sequestered alone and only dated online, adjustments to dating in person will be needed.
The pandemic, no doubt, has made people reconsider their relationships. Some have been impacted for better and some for worse. No matter what the current status of your relationship is – new, old, struggling or thriving, you will be retested as you emerge from quarantine.
Now that we are emerging from the restrictions of pandemic life, it is an ideal time to create new opportunities for growth and change in your relationships. Take a look at where you are since lockdown and where you want to be. This is your opportunity for a fresh start with your partner.
If you have any questions, click here to schedule your initial consult.