The Toll Social Distancing takes on Relationships

How is your relationship managing through this period of social distancing due to COVID-19? How are you handling it? Feel free to post your comments below.

This strange period of time can be hard for people in long distance relationships, or even relationships where you don’t live with your partner(s) and see them often. People, now a days, are utilizing technology (Zoom, social media and phone calls) rather than spending time together face to face. Using technology is certainly better than having no contact at all. However, we may still miss physical connection when we rely on technology. We not only miss sexual intimacy, but also the intimacy of cuddling, or even simply hugging a platonic friend. I have seen a meme going around stating “I will never again take a hug for granted” and I feel that very deeply right now.

Social isolation can take a different type of toll on relationships when you live with your partner(s). I will share the toll it has been taking on my relationship and how my partner and I are handling it. I hope it is useful for some of you.

My partner and I are both home all the time now. Having a disability, I am used to being home during the day. My partner is not. He is used to working a lot of overtime. So while he is enjoying this much needed rest, he is also struggling with boredom.

As a couple, we are not used to being home together all day long. I admit, there are times we can get on each other’s nerves. This doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. I wouldn’t want to ever live without him, but still, being together all day long, every day, is quite an adjustment.

Here is a small example. My partner loves watching tv and movies. I like to get the dishes cleaned right after we eat, but he doesn’t like me running the water while he is watching one of his shows. So, I have to be mindful of that. I try to wash the dishes when he gets up to do something else.

Then of course, there is the matter of who controls the remote to the tv. Typically, he does. Because he works so much, I usually watch my shows while he is at work. That of course, hasn’t been the case in the last couple of weeks.

Now these are small examples, but if we allowed our feelings to fester, they could turn into bigger resentments. To avoid that, I told my partner how I was feeling. He told me how he was feeling. Communication is key in any relationship. We communicate and we make adjustments where we need to in order to compromise. He has since given up SOME control of the tv. Lol.

It is important to make time to connect in other ways and that helps. Things like sharing ideas about the future, doing projects around the house, and turning the tv off to talk during dinner. You never know what you might learn about your partner, even when you have been together a long time. We have been discussing the type of house we dream of living in some day.

We also spend some time doing individual projects and that helps our relationship as well. As much as I love him, I do need some alone time and some personal space. I think most couples do. I spend a lot of time in our home office while participating in online meetings and chatting with friends. I crochet and loom-knit. He does woodworking. Of course, when he goes to the garage, it is the perfect time for me to grab that tv remote.

Whatever toll this social distancing has been taking on your relationship, please remember that social distancing won’t last forever. Our communication skills may be more important right now than ever. Whether it is telling your partner about your needs before you get frustrated, telling them about your future dreams, or telling them you miss their touch. Communication may be hard at times, but your relationship is worth it.

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