Covid-19 is still a very real, very dangerous thing. However, the world has for the most part begun to open up. Getting drinks with your friends, traveling, and meeting new people is a possibility again. It feels as if the whole world has been sleeping and everyone is just now emerging from deep hibernation. Everything is new and different- including relationships.
While many people are soaking in their newly regained social freedom, the ongoing transition back to normality is not without difficulties. And for relationships that formed right before or during the pandemic, this time can be particularly difficult.
Covid Romances, Pandemic Relationships- they’ve been called many things. During covid, there was a burst in new relationships developing very quickly. People who had only known each other for a few months, and dated for less, were suddenly moving in together, spending all their time with each other, and living through an unprecedented, traumatic time. Bonds were formed stronger than ever. Now, with the doors unlocked and windows opening, many couples are finding the “real world” too much for their pandemic relationship.
What Problems Might a “Covid Romance” Face?
The pandemic brought many people closer. They rode the chaotic waves of lockdown and developed a healthy, powerful relationship. And then, everything shifted again. Relationships that were comfortable staying in, being in each other’s space, and working from home have to adapt once again to a post-pandemic world.
Now, you might be saying:
- “They never knew the real me.” – We all became slightly different people during the pandemic. We couldn’t engage in the same hobbies, go out to our favorite places, or pursue our dreams in the same way. For 2 years we were living under different rules. Now that the world is opening up again you might be feeling back to yourself, and it’s surprising your partner.
- “We can’t function in the real world.” – Daily routines, communication styles, and the day-to-day pressures on a relationship change after the pandemic. Many relationships aren’t used to solving these kinds of issues.
- “Our lives are going in different directions.” – Let’s be honest, most of us had to put our life on a partial hold during the lockdown. Now, many of those opportunities are reaching out again, and you might find your partner saying no while you’re saying yes.
- “We have different friends and hobbies.” – Even if you met your partner’s friends during the pandemic, you likely didn’t hang out with them as much as you would have in a pre-pandemic world. The hobbies your partner likes to do, their favorite hangout places, and even the way they act around other people are likely things you are just now experiencing fully. It can change the way you see them and the way your relationship works.
How Can Our Relationship Survive?
Couples across the globe are asking themselves the same question: do we fight to stay together or is it time to let go? Your answer will be unique to your situation, but here are some steps you can take to keep the romance alive:
- Set intentional time. – With many people going back to work and being able to hang out with friends outside of their homes, you might be missing your special person. This can be a huge shock to the system after 2 years of being near-constant companions. Take extra energy during this time to set intentional dates together. And yes- call them dates! Get flowers, open a bottle of wine, and bring back the romantic gestures.
- Figure out what you love about the relationship. – What is it that makes you feel so comfortable around your partner? Is it when you sit in the same room engaging in different hobbies? Is it the great conversation or physical touch? You survived a worldwide pandemic together- that is a feat that takes a strong connection. What made it so strong?
- Over-communicate. – ask your partner every day how their day was, how they’re feeling, and what they need. You don’t have to provide for their every need but understand that they are going through this change right alongside you.
- Be prepared for change. – Your relationship will not be the same as it was during the pandemic. Try to change it together, intentionally. Go out to a new bar, try that new hobby, and adapt
- Don’t be afraid to show them the real you. – Tell your partner when you feel like you are changing and in which ways. Be honest with them about what parts of yourself you want to get back. Are the changes you see in your partner something you can learn to love? Or are they deal-breakers?
- Be realistic. – They want to move to New York, but you want to raise a family on a farm in the Midwest. Are your dreams compatible? How much are you willing to compromise?
Couples Therapy Can Help Your Relationship Flourish
Relationships are hard work, and in this ever-changing world, it can be even harder. Remember why you started your relationship to begin with. Over-communicate. And always remember that it is okay, even great, to grow in a healthy new direction. Hopefully, your partner and relationship can grow with you. If not, remember that losing something does not make the love any less real or the time spent any less precious.
As always, RIVIA Mind is here to help facilitate these conversations between you and your partner. We want to help you both transition into this time as a healthy functioning team. Browse our list of specialists to find the right therapist for you or call now to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.