OK, here’s a post which relates to me a little and I know a lot of my friends have talked about this too: being with your other half 14/7 and no where to go!
Plus, television these days has been super depressing, and even our beloved soaps are only on once a week now.
This got me thinking about all those couple in China who, when they were finally released from lockdown after such a long time, either strengthened their relationship or some went the complete opposite way!
So, for those of you who have found you’re constantly bickering, not getting on, and discovering really annoying traits about, read on…
Can self help books and magazine articles help?
When people start to feel down or not happy in their other halves presence 24/7, it can lead to seeking for help elsewhere. While I’m sure there are some really guides and books out there, my true gut instinct is that people will gravitate to the ones which confirm their already set in stone view. I say this because most of the articles I see place blame on one party or another without providing concrete steps on how anyone can improve their situation.
How many quizzes have you taken which shows your relationship is inadequate? Honestly, I think most people know their relationship and their partner inside out, and a quiz shouldn’t be relied on. You know deep down if the rows and niggles are a major thing, or just a case of being in each others faces way too much!
On a serious note though, before I go on, I felt it’s only empathetic to touch on the fact that lockdown abuse is absolutely not your fault, so if you;re worried about that, it’s a huge issue that needs proper help. Astoundingly in the midst of lockdown, calls to a national abuse helpline jumped by almost 50% in April – less than a month after being forced to stay at home. I read that the Met police are making 100 domestic violence arrest a day as people have been forced to endure COVID-19 lockdown with their abuser.
As a public service announcement, if you recognise yourself or someone you know, please do seek help. I can’t solve that for you and your family or have any professional advice, but you deserve to be safe, and free from scars which can last a lifetime.
And for the rest of us in lockdown with partners…
As for the rest of us, we deserve more than getting through lockdown with a serious of huffs and puffs and tit for tat arguments which cause unnecessary hurt. We all deserve to be appreciated, and respected. And I would like to think that although we’re bound to be annoying each other, there are still ways to inject some fun and good times into lockdown together!
Here’s some ideas:
Making Time For Romance: Re-establish Date Night – even if you are together 24/7, plan a special evening one night a week. Turn off your phones and laptops, and set time aside for a date night. It can be drinks in the kitchen before a 3 course meal made by on of you, or simply indulging in popcorn and watching a film with the candles lit.
Sending secret signals – whatever code you sent at the beginning of your relationship, whether it was a wink, a secret smile, a twinkle in your eye, a flirty laugh, or just a skip in your step, now is as good a time as any to put them back into use. Just thinking about them should make you smile! I am sure you have got your own special little thing you did back then, or jokes you would laugh at or music you would listen to.
Think about something that takes you both back to the early days, and recreate it as best you can.
Say it with flowers – a thoughtful bouquet is always welcome, particularly if they are your favourite type of flowers. You can get flowers in nearly every colour of the rainbow, but most people have forgotten the meaning behind flowers and their colours. Whilst it is nice to have an arrangement which matches your décor, sometimes a bigger message can be alluded to in a note which explains why they were chosen. It could be that they represent your wedding flowers, or they are extra girly, or even sprigs of your favourite rare flower is tucked inside. And sometimes, a single flower or a plant is an even more thoughtful gift on it’s own.
Be kind with your compliments – be truly complimentary, with no BUT attached to the giving of it. Remember that no matter how hard you’re finding lockdown, you’re partner will feel it too and it’s up to the both of you to survive it together.
Whenever you get angry and you’re about to shout a swear work or say something mean, pause, take a deep breath and hold it back.
Try to make an effort – I get it, we all like lounge wear. I like it was too much. But every now and again, give yourself and your partner that change of scene by dressing up a little. Even if it’s washing your hair more often or wearing a pair of loose jeans rather than joggers.
Do something supportive together – there are many challenges every couple can do together and use as a way to strengthen their relationship, and keep the romance alive. Here are some ideas:
- learn a new language and only speak to each other for at least an hour a day in it – you can decide what the forfeits are for breaking into English!
- pledge to walk 10,000 steps a day, even if it means walking up and down the stairs in turn – now that the weather is warmer, there is no excuse for not taking an hour or two out of the day to get some exercise in.
- take 10 minutes a day to talk about your goals, your dreams and expectations going forward for the rest of the year and beyond. Continuing to establish this necessary dialogue may help you to feel far more connected when lockdown is lifted. There is nothing more lovely than opening up to each other.
- Meditate together in the morning. Starting the day with silence can help you both face the stress of the day from a much stronger perspective – even if it is only 10 minutes of silent contemplation. Light a relaxing candle and start the day off in good stead.
It is said that with the rising levels of stress over the past few years, many are feeling pressured about their jobs, money, family life and of course their relationships. Helping each other feel appreciated and valued can help reduce those levels of stress. You may come out of lockdown with an even stronger relationship simply by making an effort a few times a week.