Living together well in isolation - tips to help your relationship survive & thrive
How's your significant relationship going with life in a bubble?
Living in this Covid-19 lockdown will mean a variety of things to different couples. Some will relish the opportunity to be locked in together, others will be unable to see each other without the use of technology. Lockdown with family may mean that finding time alone for the two of you seems an impossible task. Work pressures, whether it is working from home, long hours away providing an essential service or the sudden loss of income or a job, all bring another dimension. For others still, lockdown may mean the hidden cracks in a relationship become exposed as the absence of the usual busy-ness of life, means there is no longer anywhere to hide. While the generic advice to “be kind” can well be applied to our relationship with our significant other, below are some other resources to help your relationship not only survive but to thrive during lockdown.
Remember the reasons that you came together in the first place and remind each other of the good you see in each other. No one person is ever the problem in a relationship, the problem is the problem and finding a solution to the problem is a goal the two of you can work on together. The best person to talk to about an issue with your significant other is your significant other! However, there are people available to help and if you need to seek help then please don't hesitate to get in contact.
The Gottman Institute
The Gottman Institute provide a research-based approach to relationships. They have developed the concept of building a sound relationship house. They provide a variety of resources through their website, both free and paid content, including the Marriage Minute a free email resource designed to teach in 60 seconds a concept to strengthen your relationship. Or you could try one of the Gottman card decks – an app with more than 1000 flashcards offering helpful questions, statements and ideas for improving your relationship. There is also new content being frequently added to their blog, with ideas and advice for these interesting times of lockdown and social distancing.
The Five Love Languages
Many will have already heard of the 5 love languages, which highlights the fact that different people give and receive love in many different ways. You can take a quick online test to help you discover the way you communicate love. Just knowing you and your loved one speak a different language doesn’t automatically make it easy to communicate though – it will take time and effort to understand each other, just like it does with different spoken languages. Where there has been miscommunication, it also helps to know each other’s apology language – what does it take to communicate that you are truly sorry.
There are lots of resources for date ideas at home or long distance – see the Gottman Institute blogpost on home dates under lockdown! Doing a quick search of either topic on Pinterest will yield hundreds of ideas to pass the time and build connection between you and your significant other. These can be as simple as getting up early to watch the sunrise together (even if that’s in different locations) through to a full-on date night where you try a new cuisine. It might require some effort, like putting together a trip around the world playlist for your other half, or as easy as picking up a pillow and starting a pillow fight. The important thing here is remembering to have fun together. Make use of free video calling tools like skype, zoom and google hangouts if you are physically separated.