Relationships in the face of the Pandemic

Relationships in the face of the pandemic;Afro woman working at home having a video conference with her boyfriend, during COVID-19

By Tekra Maina.  Lets talk relationships. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused great societal upheaval. It has presented unprecedented change to the way we live, work and socialize. People’s working lives, social lives and relationships have been affected. The presence of external stressors such as unemployment, economic hardship and unfortunate loss of life creates a strenuous environment.

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TRelationships in the face of the pandemic; aking a selfie in time of new vacation's conditions

Consequently it is more difficult for partners to be responsive to each other’s needs. When faced with external stress, individuals are more likely to communicate in ways that are overly critical or argumentative. Couples have been facing multiple challenges, overcoming obstacle after obstacle. However, this need not harm their relationship, and they should even grow stronger as a result of overcoming adversity together. Couples who are able to maintain good communication, are supportive and responsive to each other throughout the crisis will likely remain together. Indeed they will feel more connected for having weathered the storm.

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Never Forget About You

On the other hand, couples with limited resources and significant financial or personal losses may have a particularly difficult time navigating this crisis. The divorce rate is already higher for these couples. This is in comparison to middle and higher income earning partners. On the contrary, individuals should strive to communicate giving their partner the benefit of the doubt, trying to understand what their partner wants and needs, engaging in constructive problem-solving when needed and taking part in some enjoyable, intimacy-building activities together .

Divorce Rates and COVID-19

Relationships in the face of the pandemic;Social distancing in the city centre

People have a fundamental need for belonging. They are most likely to thrive in the face of stress when they feel closely connected to significant others. Marital and romantic relationships remain a primary source of support for many people. However maintaining broader connections with friends and family through phone calls or engaging on social platforms can help couples navigate through difficult times.

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It is well-established that having supportive close relationships reduces health risks, as much or more than well-known health-promoting factors such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and engaging in regular physical activity.

Couples who work to create or maintain a good marital relationship, despite the current stress surrounding COVID-19, are making an investment in their longer-term emotional and physical health.

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5 Tips to use quarantine to strengthen your relationship

  1.  Set aside time to have a conversation about what’s going on right now

  2.  Take turns expressing gratitude for what is going well in your lives

  3. Take some time on your own to do something you enjoy

  4. Use the time to explore and expand sensually

  5. Pick a new activity to do together, or one you used to enjoy in the past

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