The pandemic forced us to self-isolate in our homes. Even though there are many downsides to that, one of the upsides has been staying home and especially with your partner. However, it’s been more than four months and things aren’t turning out as you would have imagined. The love, spark, romance, and excitement that you had planned for is now the complete opposite. Instead, the room is filled with tension, frustration, and uneasiness every time you are around your partner.
This proves that being in the same space as your partner does not necessarily translate to being intimate. Rachel O’Neill, Ph.D., a Talkspace provider supports the above fact by saying that intimacy is of more value than physical proximity but rather is dependent on an emotional connection and closeness that is intentional and maintained. Despite being in the same room or apartment as your partner, having recently moved in together, or have lived together for years, the relationship highly depends on emotional proximity as well. It also needs maintenance especially during these times when relationships are struggling.
In regards to this new normal and the stress it brings about, it is normal to feel a shift or a change with your partner. Some of the signs to look out for include lack of communication between partners, increased petty arguments, disclosing true emotions, fears, and desires from the respective partner, a change in sexual life, and a lack of effort into the relationship by either or both parties.
Ironically, it has been proven that love thrives in some type of frustration. As the common saying goes, absence makes the heart fonder. The same happens when some distance is included in a relationship because it brings about desire, mystery, and passion. All these are lost or eliminated when there is a lot of physical proximity thus lack of intimacy.
What are some of the ways that this intimacy is regained? Couples should embrace the changing times by making their relationship dynamic. Avoiding the situation does not mean adapting but rather putting effort into making the relationship work. The same way people easily adapt to a new workplace or environment should be applied with relationships especially during these times whereby people are restricted to their homes with little or no activities to engage in as a couple.
Couples should encourage communication in their relationships. By accepting the current world situation has thrown the relationship of balance, both parties can begin putting effort into making their partnership better by becoming close emotionally. This will bring about a change and stability in the relationship by regaining the intimacy, both physically and emotionally. The couple should learn to embrace and express their feelings and needs while equally listening to their respective partners as a way to actively improve their relationship. Other factors such as sex life should be involved in discussions.
Regardless, don’t forget to have fun in your relationship. Engage in activities that will bring joy to both you and your partner. Rediscover yourselves while doing things together and enjoy the time you spend together. This will rekindle the flame and boost emotional intimacy. Talkspace provider, O’Neill encourages couples to find ways to meet their emotional needs through creative activities. She encourages people to find new ways in which they can connect to each other.
Finally, accept the situation instead of feeling miserable about it. Find opportunities that will make your relationship thrive during this period. Simple things such as setting aside some time to have a conversation with your partner or cooking together can encourage emotional intimacy. Despite the pressure and stress life has presented, embrace it, and live through it while adapting to the best lifestyle you can afford.
Put work into your relationship to improve it. This pandemic has presented itself as an opportunity for you and your partner to come out even stronger than before