Stuck in Quarantine Together: 5 Tips to Help Keep Your Relationship Strong
Even for couples who have lived happily together for years, being quarantined together can open up a whole new can of worms! It can sometimes rock even the smoothest of waters. There is a good chance that you are seeing your partner at home a lot more than ever before simply because unless you are at the grocery store buying essential household items, there are not really many other places to go these days. Even if both you and your partner are essential workers, you probably still see a lot more of each other than before the pandemic hit.
Don’t let being stuck in quarantine together hinder your relationship with your partner. There are some things that both you and your partner can try to do in order to keep your relationship stronger than ever. But it takes work and effort from both parties to fully put these tips into a useful perspective.
It’s only natural for many people under quarantine to become restless every now and then, but try not to let that restlessness turn into fights and disagreements between you and your loved one. It can be even more challenging for the couples who share a smaller living space to not feel like they are constantly on top of each other. So, if you feel like your relationship could use some work after being quarantined together for the past few weeks, try these helpful relationship saving tips!
5. Allow Your Partner to Have Some Alone Time & Privacy
Just because you are stuck in the house together doesn’t mean that you have to also do every little thing together too. Getting in each other’s personal space far too often can sometimes lead to some major blow outs. Everyone is entitled to having some alone time and privacy. Try to let your partner schedule their own alone time within the house. This doesn’t mean that you have to personally find somewhere else to go for an hour or two. It just means that you should allow your partner some space in the house to do things that might be private to them such as if they have any hobbies or even if they like to keep a journal.
Pick a time that you can each have your own personal time in two separate rooms or areas of your home and choose how long you want your alone time to be. This way you both get to enjoy some quality “me” time without being interrupted or bothered. Giving your partner some privacy can also show that you have some trust in them. If giving your significant other time by themselves sets off alarms in your head, then it appears you two might have some trust issues to work on first!
4. Split the Household Chores & Cooking Responsibilities to Make It Equal
Since you and your partner are most likely home a lot more often, you probably have already noticed that you two are cooking and cleaning a lot more frequently since someone is always home now. So, to make the household responsibilities fair and equal split the responsibilities down the middle. When it comes to cooking, you can cook all the meals one day and then your partner can cook the meals the next day and just keep swapping back and forth. This way you each get a break from cooking for an entire 24 hours!
When it comes to cleaning, try to pick specific days to clean on if you aren’t going to be cleaning every single day. Say you choose Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; on Monday you can clean the bathroom and kitchen while your partner gets the living room, bedroom, and dining area. Then on Wednesdays you two can swap and your partner can take the kitchen and bathroom, and then on Fridays you two can some up with some other method as long as everything is being made equal.
Making things equal when it comes to household responsibilities can cut down on the time it takes to cook and get the house in order as well as prevent the “I do all the work around here” arguments. Splitting the responsibilities can show that you both care enough about each other to help out. Now, you don’t have to split everything up the exact way I said, but just sit down together and come up with a solution that you are both happy with.
3. Set Up At-Home Date Nights to Keep Things Interesting
It is possible to live with someone yet never spend any quality time with them. To keep that spark alive and to make things more interesting in your relationship (since going on actual dates is not an option for many people right now because of quarantine) you can try setting up weekly, biweekly, or even monthly at home date nights. When it comes to at-home date night ideas, the possibilities are truly endless. There are thousands of articles out there about perfect date night ideas from home. If you have kids, wait to start your date night until they are asleep in bed. You can try finding something that you both like to do or you can try something new together. Have your date ideas set up and organized by at least the day before so that you two aren’t fumbling around and trying to pull quick ideas out of thin air regarding ways to spend quality time together and so you’re not stuck in the “Well, what do you want to do tonight?” mode. Reserve these date nights for just the two of you and remember to stay off of your cell phones!
2. Find A Good Balance Between Time Together & Time Apart
Finding a good balance between spending time together and spending time apart is a little different than just giving each other an hour of privacy per day. When you are around someone all day every day, the likelihood of that person starting to wrack on your nerves a bit starts to increase. You might even start noticing that your partner has little habits or quirks you’ve never noticed before that are all of a sudden driving you up the wall after a while. You don’t want to start yelling at your partner for breathing to loudly, so finding a good balance can be key.
Again, just because you are quarantined together doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. You two can be in the same house while still partaking in some separate activities. You could try reading a book if your partner wants to watch something that doesn’t interest you. You can also have time together versus spending quality time together. Time together is like being in the same room but doing your own individual things while quality time would be doing something together such as watching a movie or trying out new hobbies together. Only you and your partner can say where the perfect balance rests between the two of you.
1. It’s the Little Things That Count
You could try doing little things sporadically for your partner that you think would put a smile on their face and make them happy. Something small that lets them know that you love them. You can try picking up their favorite sweet treat while you are out doing essential shopping. On your night to cook, you could surprise them with their favorite meal. You could even try your hand at writing an old-fashioned love letter written out in your own handwriting with a pen and piece of paper and not a computer and printer style version. You and only you will know the types of little things that will show your love and can put a smile on your partners face. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, because sometimes it really is the little things that count!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.