For some people, moving in with a significant other seems like no big deal. You’re at each other’s homes almost every night anyway so sharing a space together seems like the logical thing to do. It’s part of the natural progression of a relationship – something we see in romcoms, TV shows and romance novels. It’s picking furniture together and playfully arguing over paint swatches. Cuddling on the couch during late night movies and cooking meals together. But how has this idealistic living situation changed during the pandemic? Has living with your partner during lockdown impacted your relationship?
With widespread work-from-home orders and business shutdowns, so many of us have been spending more time with our partners at home. We no longer have the ability to do the activities we enjoyed as individuals outside the home – playing an organized sport, grabbing drinks with your friends or self-care practices. It can be challenging to maintain that sense of individuality while still creating memorable moments in your relationship. It requires us to approach our daily routines with spontaneity and respect for both ourselves and our partner. Finding a balance between enjoying time on your own and spending quality time with your partner is key and can take some practice.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and it’s totally okay to feel this way! It doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy spending time with your significant other or love your partner any less. It shows that you care enough to make both your well-being and your relationship a priority.
From personal experience, living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with my partner has been an incredibly positive experience but not one without challenges. Once we figured out our individual work from home routines, we would find time to watch our favourite shows and movies together as well as learn how to cook new and delicious meals. We’re a couple that’s always laughing. We love sharing funny moments from our work days and secretly texting each other memes. After binge-watching The Queen’s Gambit, we spent a few weeks learning how to play chess and competed in a variety of other board games.
As someone who’s content being at home, he doesn’t mind the lockdown too much as long as he has a good wifi connection and can go for walks. Being an extrovert, I had a harder time adjusting to staying at home and setting time aside for my own personal hobbies. For someone that spent the majority of her free time meeting up with friends and exploring the city, it was a bit disorienting for me to adapt to finding my simple joys at home.
I knew it was important to be open and honest with my partner about how I was feeling – a sense of self-disclosure. Letting him know I was craving that time to have a virtual games night with the girls, treat myself to an at-home spa day or simply be a couch potato and watch trashy reality TV shows led to a whole new level in our relationship. We learned how to be comfortable spending time away from each other which in turn made our moments together even more special. The experience led to a greater understanding and appreciation of my partner and everything that makes him who he is.
Living with your partner during lockdown definitely has its highs and lows. Taking the time to learn and understand your partner’s needs (as well as your own) can help develop a stronger relationship and a better sense of self. Having that transparency has been so important in my personal life and I hope it helps you as well. If you and your partner are anything like us, maybe sending a few silly memes throughout the day for a few laughs can help with that connection when you’re spending time apart. Set time aside to read that book, complete your workout or play your video games. Being your authentic self at home will probably just make your partner fall even more in love with you.
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