love in lockdown

Love in Lockdown

It’s not only economies and health institutions that are taking strain, but our relationships with our significant others are also under fire too. Is love in lockdown possible?

If you’re feeling like your love has gone into lockdown – you’re not alone.

China, the first place to enforce a lockdown, has since experienced record numbers of people googling online divorce, and then subsequently leaving their homes after lockdown to rush out and file for the real thing.

In some districts, it’s been so bad, they’ve had to introduce a daily limit on divorces! And in now-infamous lockdown advice issued by the government of Malaysia, women were urged to still put in an effort and dress up at home, wear make-up and avoid nagging their husbands!

For better or worse, it would seem this global pandemic is creating a secondary crisis in our relationships.

If that includes you, here are some ways you could try to give your relationship a health boost:

1. Appreciate how weird this time is for everyone

If ever familiarity is going to breed contempt, it’s right about now… when your partner is not simply your partner and co-parent, but co-prisoner too! We’re all dealing with a melting pot of mixed emotions and frustrations – facing some of our biggest fears too.

And being forced to live, work, parent, play and breathe together 24/7, with no respite, is tough on any relationship. The first thing we can do is just appreciate and acknowledge this fact.

Despite what others on social media might tell you, this ain’t a bed of roses for anybody!

2. Manage each other’s expectations

Unmet expectations are the root of all misery. Whether you knew it or not, we all came into this lockdown with a set of expectations: what we expected to do, and what we expected our partners to do.

The problem is, our expectations seldom match reality. Add to this, that our partner has arrived at this point with their own set of expectations. Most often, these expectations don’t perfectly match ours.

They’re also not magically teleported into our partner’s brains. They need to be spoken out loud and shared.

Practically: this means we need to sit down and talk about what each of us is needing from the other. This doesn’t have to be a heavy conversation involving blame and shame. Rather, aim to really hear each other and not criticize.

A great way to do this is to both agree to listen to the other without comment, and then to take some time to say back to your partner what they have just said to you, as well as you can.

Your partner then needs to do this for you too.

3. Snatch some special moments together

To be honest, neither my husband nor I have been feeling particularly romantic in the midst of this end-of-the-world-feeling crisis, a never-ending pile of dirty clothes and dishes, and a horde of kids we’ve needed to learn how to homeschool.

Again – this seems to be a common theme cropping up globally. Even so, we’ve discovered how important it is to make a little time for each other in the midst of the mayhem.

Even small moments a few times a day count… a quick coffee together and check-in on how we’re both feeling and what we hope to do today. We’re trying to keep short accounts too and not let frustrations build.

And we’re doing what we can to hold onto our sense of humor – laughing off as much as we can and trying our best to not sweat the small stuff.

We’re trying to give each other the benefit of the doubt and speak kindly to one another, remembering that our inbuilt human bias is toward negativity – especially in times of crisis.

Sending lots of love to you and your loved ones.

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