I hadn’t quite anticipated how big of a deal it would be to be stuck in the house with my man during a worldwide epidemic. I imagine few of us did. After all, you see each other all the time, right? Surely it would be a walk in the park.
But as millions of couples have discovered over the past few months, however perfect your relationship is – or was – this quarantine has come with its own set of challenges for couples.
For some people, you may have soon came to realise that this great love who you made a commitment to for life may be more than you had bargained for during a pandemic. For the lucky others it is reaffirming your love for each other and strengthening your relationship. Maybe it was love at first sight, or maybe he or she paired up with you for a great team as far as raising a family or doing business, maybe you just plain got along. Whatever the reasons were, you had made it work.
All of a sudden, in only a matter of months of being stuck in your home with your significant other, you suddenly sit back and observe your partner. Really see them, warts and all. Sure, superficial things like how he chews his food, leaves his clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink or satisfies you sexually are all important, and any failures get exaggerated with such close and constant proximity. These flaws were perhaps overlooked before because we had other things going on in our lives or because love simply outweighed them all, but now they seem to be amplified.
However, it’s the bigger questions which have been a surprising third wheel in many quarantined relationships. You sit there on the sofa after a day of Netflix binging, look over at your partner, and suddenly you wonder whether you made the right choice. Whether you could have done better? You start thinking about what you have missed out on. Many of us go through life with a list in our mind of the perfect partner and how things are going to be without realiwing, or fully appreciating the fact that people change. And suddenly with all this time to spare you begin to wonder whether what you once thought was good is good enough anymore. We all grow as people and maybe the person you thought was good for you may not seem to be meeting your needs anymore. So now what?
Sure, there will be divorces and breakups after this; this situation could be devastating for some. On the other hand, it could be a necessary change, even a new beginning, for others. We all would like to think that the person we chose to be with will be the one we get to spend the rest of our lives with. But we forget that as we go on with our everyday lives, whether it’s working, raising children, having a social life, finding personal time for hobbies, these can sometimes slowly steer a couple away from one another, from the base of the relationship, from the two of you.
The foundation of a relationship differs for every couple, but is often rooted on the initial connection and reason you came together in the first place. Perhaps you were both good at communication. Or your sex life was fantastic. You enjoyed each other’s company and interests. But with time you may have got too busy to catch up as frequently. Sex may have become routine and children or work may have distracted you from one another. We all know that even with the best of intentions this can happen. Life happens.
But now all you have is time for each other. Life has taken a break. You are both sitting at home looking out at a pandemic and faced with reality. The test is in how you both react to this situation.
This is probably the most time you’re ever going to spend with each other before settling back into your everyday lives as we all knew it.
I think that this is the perfect time to evaluate. To sit back and think of how you have changed as a person. Don’t make this just about scrutinising your partner. To be fair you have to look at yourself too. Are your needs the same as before, are you happy, do you still love or are you still in love with the same person you have committed yourself to? One thing for sure is that this is not the time to ignore these really heavy and important questions. This is the time for reflection and brutal self honesty. Ask yourself the tough questions; have you settled? Are you afraid of change? Can you be happier? Is this partner the person for you? Are you the person for this partner? Think about the next stage of your life because whichever way you look at it, this situation we are all in now is going to be one of those historical changes on so many levels, including perhaps for your relationship. After all, it could break or make you and the relationship that you are in.
Whether we want to face reality or not, the question remains, will you still be in this relationship when this is all over? Are you really going to be honest with yourself about where you are in your relationship? Will you be able to work these things out? Is the sex good or lacking? Or will you continue to live a lie? Only you have the answers to this.
Covid-19 has put a spin on life but at the same time it has slowed us down just enough for some of us to re-evaluate or friendships, relationships, and our self-worth. What are your changes going to be after this passes? Are you ready for the new you? Will it be alone or with the person sitting across from you?