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That makes sense. If you’re cohabitating, you could be in a tough spot. If you’re not, you’ve probably had to figure out ways to see each other — or not — that feel safe and nurturing for you and the people around you.
Or as Eric Spiegelman, a podcasting executive based in Los Angeles, tweeted in April, “My wife and I play this fun game during quarantine, it’s called ‘Why Are You Doing It That Way?’ and there are no winners.”
No matter who you are or how you are interacting, make sure you take care of yourself first. Then, make a plan. If you are both working from home, when can you take time to care for each other and feel normal and romantic again? What rituals can you implement to separate day from night, roommates from lovers? You might just have to impose boundaries.
If you were both at work before the pandemic, separately, during the day, you probably didn’t talk for 14 waking hours straight. Build in time apart, as if you really were at the office, so seeing each other is a nice break at the end of the day, rather than a droning grind.
“The traditional marriage vows are ‘for better or for worse,’” said Jean Fitzpatrick, a relationship therapist based in Manhattan. “This is for worse. And so how do we navigate a time like this? Our relationships will either grow as a result, or they will be harmed.”
But this time together might actually make you closer. So many parts of our lives have changed without our consent, and we may be feeling a kind of grief about it. Some people may not want to complain to their partners about these bad feelings, but if you don’t honestly share these feelings, you two might feel a sense of disconnect. Lean on each other right now.
And, you can still do nice, intentional, romantic things. Get dressed up. Foot rubs. Chocolate. You’ll be OK.