Love In The Time of Coronavirus
by Daisy Saunders
How do you love and date in the time of coronavirus?
My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly six years. At most, we’ve been apart for two weeks at the very latest. All of a sudden, we’ve been swept into a situation when we may not see each other for three months or more, and it’s not even on our own terms.
With the recent lockdowns globally, couples internationally have faced the tricky decision of either cohabiting in isolation or staying with their families. Neither choice was a viable option for me. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the same situation as I am. So with no physical contact expected for many months to come, how do you keep the love alive?
1. Acceptance. Accept the situation and circumstances you’re in. It doesn’t mean you have to like it, or like how it has affected your life; but the sooner you accept you have no control over the situation, the sooner you’ll understand that you have more control over yourself and your actions. Don’t blame or feel frustrated with one another that for certain reasons you couldn’t spend the quarantine together. Accept your circumstances and make steps towards romance anyway. Surprise your partner with a small amazon gift or a card; play games or take quizzes with each other through calls. The greater you accept the current conditions of life, the more willing you will be to maintain your love and connect with one another.
2. Routine. Routine has proven to be incredibly helpful for self-help in this unpredictable period of time. It’s fabulous for maintaining good mental health and for promoting healthy habits. It doesn’t have to be “I will study everyday for four hours”, but perhaps outlining a period of time for breakfast, or the latest time you wish to be awake. Routine is beneficial for the self, but can also be beneficial for others. Block a period of time every day where you can ring or video each other. Talk about your days; spice things up throughout your week with sexy pictures or sexy video calls. The more involved you are, the more involved your partner will want to be. However, don’t be annoyed if they want to do their own thing. Yes, there should be some level of mutual feeling between wanting to connect one another, but that doesn’t mean that the other person has to drop any plans they’ve made for the day; be it exercise or video games, just for you. Their routine is just as essential for surviving these times as yours is.
3. Honesty. Honesty is truly the best policy. If you’re struggling with quarantine or isolation - tell them. Are your family getting you down? Tell them. Are you fearing for the viability of your relationship over the next few months? Tell them. Relationships based on opinion-withholding are not relationships at all. If you can’t comfortably talk to your significant other about how you’re feeling through this time, then who can? Perhaps that’s a red flag. If you can’t talk to someone who is supposed to know you best, then who can you talk to?
But don’t blame them for how you're feeling. Don’t accuse them or go into the
conversation guns blazing just to peeve them off. That’s something neither of you need. Lay down your thoughts and feelings calmly and politely to create an open and honest discussion. If they respond with opposition, respect that. But note that there is a line. If they don’t appreciate your emotion or your values, then perhaps that’s another red flag for you to consider. Do you truly want to remain in a relationship where you feel unheard?
4. No drama. Please. No drama. Our lives are dramatic enough at the moment without having to start long-distance arguments about an ex liking your partner’s post. Give them, and yourself, a break. Stress is bad for the heart, the mind, the soul. If you do find you have a problem, revert to rule number three. Communicate with each other like grown ups. Your relationship should be a safe and welcoming space filled with ups and downs - not constant downward spikes. If either of you are craving drama in your relationship, then perhaps you should begin to question what your motives are for being in that relationship anyway. What are you gaining?
5. Faith. Have faith that when this mess is all over, you will both still remain in a good and healthy place. If you’re hoping for your relationship to fall apart and you’re using the coronavirus as an excuse, then acknowledge that that person wasn’t the best candidate for you in the first place. Don’t be a tool, don’t be messaging every potential romantic partner you can get your hands on whilst still leading on your significant other. If you’re not happy, if you don’t want to be with each other anymore, have that discussion.
If you truly love your partner, stand by them. Long-lasting relationships are the ones where you can still see each other in your future’s lives. Hold on to that image. Recognise how much you truly do care for another. It will only make your reunion that much sweeter.
This article was written by Daisy Saunders as part of Afterglow's blog writing opportunities.
For more information about blogging for Afterglow visit https://www.afterglowdating.co.uk/opportunities