Covid-19 has changed the way this world functions. Scratch that! The global pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, thanks to the disease’s extremely infectious nature that has caused deaths all across the world. In such a situation, it is becoming clear that social distancing is the need of the hour.
In fact, most of us have been inside our homes to keep ourselves safe from coronavirus. This means that most of us have also not been able to spend time with our loved ones. There’s no doubt that couples have been greatly affected by this.
Many find that they’ve had to move away from their city of work back to their hometown while for many who were already in a long-distance relationship, it has only gotten harder. Even if you’re in the same city as your partner, it feels like a long-distance relationship given that you can’t really see them with as much regularity as you used to in order to keep yourself and others in your family protected.
Basically, covid-19 has wreaked havoc in the life of lovers who are facing an enormous emotional toll in the backdrop of this pandemic.
So, we talked to Kamna Chhibber, Head of Department for Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram to understand how this distance created due to the pandemic can affect our relationships and also how to deal with it.
“Couples are not being able to meet the way they used to before the coronavirus hit. They can’t see each other in person and this is affecting their communication. One can’t deny that digital interaction isn’t the same as in-person interaction where we can share our feelings over a cup of coffee,” she says.
“This new way of functioning is creating a disconnect between partners. They end up feeling disengaged since they’re not as active a part of their partner’s life as they used to be. Moreover, there is concern and insecurity regarding that uncertainty coronavirus has created. It is frustrating because we don’t know when this will end and we’ll be able to go back to our old ways,” adds Chhibber.
So how can you deal with this distance?
Chhibber advises couples to change a few things to reduce this emotional toll and come up with ways which help them get through these tough times away from each other:
1. Creating a boundary between your personal and professional space
Most of us are working from home. This is blurring the boundaries between personal and professional. We end up working for the majority of the day, without realising how it is eating into our personal time. Hence, make sure you have created a boundary between the two. Do your work well but know when to stop to carve out time for your partner.
2. Enhance communication and stay connected using technology
Now that you can’t meet them, make sure you’re in constant touch using technology. You could text them throughout the day and ensure that you speak over voice or video call at the end of the day. Says Chhibber, “It will help you two feel connected and close the day with each other.” Use modern-day technology to your advantage in this scenario which is marked by social distancing.
3. Use your weekends wisely
Now, you can’t catch a movie or dinner with your loved one on a weekend under the current circumstances. Yet, using the weekend wisely to maintain a healthy relationship is important. Schedule certain things over the weekend such as watching a movie together or playing digital games such as scrabble. You can’t meet yet but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the things you did before this pandemic hit us.
4. Don’t focus on things which you don’t have control over
The future is uncertain, yes. However, don’t focus on things that are not in your hands. You have to make the best out of your situation. Feeling anxious, especially about the future of your relationship is only normal. Thinking that there isn’t even a future together is also your anxiety taking over. However, it is important to remind yourself that you have to take steps and make an effort to keep your relationship strong. That should be your only focus.
5. Be empathetic to your partner and their needs
This time is emotionally tough for multiple reasons. From uncertainty about the future to anxiety over job security, everything is taking a toll on us. This is affecting our mental health quite severely. Your partner is no different. You have to ensure that you’re empathetic to them, you hear them out and support their emotional needs.
So, yes, times are tough but your love is going to see you through it.