6 Lessons Couples In Strong Relationships Will Learn From Lockdown

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6 Lessons Couples Will Learn From Lockdown

Strong relationships take both time and effort to achieve.

Ever since COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders started, your life and relationships probably changed in many dramatic ways. Some changes are for the better and, well, some changes might have not been beneficial to your relationship.

After quarantine, many couples are wondering if building strong relationships and nurturing their closeness would still be possible after they return to their offices.

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Right now, spending a lot of time together has made you closer as a couple.

People are enjoying the fact that they can stay up and wake up later than normal and relax in sweats and slippers most of the day.

As a couple in quarantine, you see your partner from the minute you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night — certainly, much more often than before the quarantine.

In the past, you may have never seen each other for breakfast or lunch. Now you eat all, if not most, of your meals together.

These opportunities to spend day and night together with your loved one are opportunities to perform acts of love to show your partner you care and want to make time for them.

But now that life is slowly going back to "normal," are you also going back to the "reality" of your relationship before quarantine?

Soon, you'll be leaving your home and starting your daily routine again. You may return to waking up early and getting home late due to your commute to work.

You may also return to eating your meals alone, sitting at your desk while you work. And you may need to juggle children at daycare, summer programs, or school, along with your work schedule.

Now is the time before returning to "normal life" that you should think about and ponder what you have learned, how you want life to be different moving forward, and what you're going to do about it. 

I’m not suggesting that you quit working and go on vacation for the next year with your partner. But I am suggesting that you may want to consider how your life has changed for the better or what changes you will sustain.

You can shift your focus from counting the days "stuck" in your home and consider how to make the days count as you leave your home and reenter "life."

As you move forward, you can take this time to strengthen your relationship.

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If you're worried, remember these 6 lessons couples in strong relationships will learn from lockdown.

1. Take time for meals together.

If you enjoyed sharing mealtimes together, you can FaceTime with your partner and eat lunch together or share a coffee date mid-morning.

If possible, you can allocate five minutes or half-hour of time as an opportunity to connect with your partner.

2. Go for walks.

If you enjoyed taking walks together during your time at home, plan to wake up early or meet up in the evening and walk together.

3. Set time aside for fun.

In the evening, if you played board games, shared funny memes, or put together a puzzle, find 15 to 30 minutes each night to put down your phones and have some fun.

4. Keep talking to each other.

While you were home, you could talk throughout the day.

Now, why not send an emoji, quick text, or iMessage to each other, saying, "I’m thinking of you"?

5. Commit to doing couple activities.

If on the weekends you spent less time on chores and errands and more time on gardening, hiking, and home projects, then commit to those activities for a few hours over the weekend or once a month.

6. Be creative.

Think about the other ways you created closeness and connection during COVID-19.

Ask each other how you can implement or complete those activities when you get back to the office.

If you already felt connected before COVID-19, then consider what else you can or want to do to show your partner that you care, that they are important to you, and express your love and appreciation.

Personally, I don’t want this opportunity to end without thinking about what I can learn and how I can change something to be closer to my husband.

Therefore, decide with your partner one new action that you were not performing before this pandemic started that you want to take time to implement in your relationship.

Since it’s easy to fall back into old habits and patterns, put a reminder on your calendar and in six months, check-in with your partner to ensure you are still keeping the commitment you made to grow closer together.

As you make the days count, your relationship can blossom.

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Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC, is a Certified Gottman Therapist in Baltimore, MD. She helps couples on the brink of breakup to repair unresolved issues, increase their intimacy, and navigate the future. If your relationship is in crisis, reach out to Lisa today.

This article was originally published at Baltimore Counselor blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.