Jumoke had been cooped up at home all day and needed a break. Working from home was more stressful than she or anybody could have imagined. She decided to drive down to buy some fuel for the generator and pick up a box of pizza. Barely two streets away, her tyre got punctured by a sharp object leaving her nearly stranded until a handsome stranger in a crisp white facemask driving by stopped to render some assistance. His name was Ifeanyi and they exchanged numbers to talk later.
This should mean a start of a great relationship, right? However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of dating around the world. Whether you are the couple who just met like Jumoke and Ifeanyi; existing lovers, good old office lunchtime crushes or the couples spending the lockdown together; you are in to face your own peculiar challenges.
If you fall in any of these categories, we have prepared 5 guides to aid your relationship in these trying times.
This is arguably the most important of the guidelines. Due to the limited physical contact with each other or with other people, couples can start to get feelings of abandonment. The best way to counter those feelings are to communicate as often and as honestly as possible. It would be helpful if you both make a conscious effort to do so, for instance- by deciding to speak at least twice a day. Thanks to the invention of the telephone, video calls, instant messaging, social media, etc., this is achievable.
Physical intimacy may be one of the things to take the biggest hit during this period. Those who don’t live together cannot meet physically and those who do may be frustrated by other aspects of their lives so much that they cannot connect sexually. For those physically apart, sexting, dirty talk and exchanging pictures might be one way to go. Another solution may be to focus on other aspects of intimacy – the exposure of one’s deeper self to another – other than sex itself. Couples and families who live together too may use this time to become more intimate, get to know one another and figure out ways to improve their relationships altogether.
Where you do not live alone, this is a very important guide to adhere to. It will become necessary at some point in time to leave the house for re-stocking or any other reason. It is important to be careful so as not to pick up the virus and infect your family and loved ones. When outside the home, ensure to maintain social distance, wear a face mask and sanitize frequently. Once inside the house, wash your hands thoroughly before interacting with anyone else. Keeping your loved ones safe is an expression of love.
One of the things that could aid to mentally get through the lockdown period is to make post lockdown plans with your significant other. The planning and anticipation can infuse positive energy into your relationships. This is something you can also do with your family and/or friends. Make those plans and have something to look forward to!
If you choose to isolate together, you might find that you are getting to your point of saturation with your partner. This is mostly due to the lack of breaks – thus, where they may have gone to work or some other place before, leaving you time alone to miss them and have some personal space, they are now constantly in your face. It is important for each of you to find places in the house or periods of time where you can recharge, relax, be in your own company/zone before coming back together.
Many have postulated that the COVID era is the new normal. Hence, it is important to take steps that may help in keeping your relationships alive and flourishing. We hope to get back to the good old days where people can live and love out loud as much they want.