There is always a silver lining in every storm. And one of the areas of our lives that might actually benefit from this pandemic could be our relationships. Before Covid-19, relationships were instant; you see someone you like on social media, you DM them and in a few days you meet. We did not need to waste time “studying” someone. And then the pandemic hit. This meant we were not able to go out for thrills together or tell each other what we missed at our recent hang. Our basis for our relationships started unravelling fast.
Naturally, the forms of relationships started to evolve with almost immediate effect. The breakdown of the relationship was a pandemic of its own and how could it not be? Even in the best of times, most of us struggle to manage our relationships effectively. When you add the weight of a global pandemic where you are trying to adjust to the new way of life, limited movement outside the home, working from home and gaining the discipline required for those tasks, it becomes incredibly difficult to prioritise your romantic relationship.
We as a society are never given any formal training on how to manage relationships and, therefore, are terribly underqualified when it comes to navigating them in trying times.
Coronavirus has brought about a new way of love and of being in a relationship, classified in two separate categories. We were forced into either excessive closeness (borderline suffocating for some) or extreme distance to avoid putting ourselves or loved ones at risk. The very measures we are taking to protect our bodies are seemingly destroying our relationships.
Some partnerships have gone from functioning well with plenty of time apart handling their respective responsibilities and having minimal interaction to being on lockdown 24/7 with each other having to learn new behavioural patterns about each other or have to deal with aspects of one’s character they otherwise never had to deal with or were not around enough to come into close interaction with.
On the flip side, you have individuals whose love language is presence or physical touch who have gone from zero distance in the way they usually interact to having to social distance or spend time in lockdown without each other for reasons out of their control. Some in completely separate countries others in close proximity but unable to make close contact, those are crumbling too, desperate with longing for one another, unable to cope with having to resort to phone calls and video calls as a means of maintaining normalcy in the relationship.
Covid-19 is unlocking new questions about how we navigate relationships, are we excessive in the way we spend time with each other and should distance be a part of our daily life schedule? Or are we doing too little and need to be more present in each other’s lives?
My personal take away is that coronavirus has shown us that distance is manageable. Majority of us are apart from loved ones as we wait for this pandemic to be over but are surviving for the greater good. The notion that we cannot do without each other is (simply put) a mind construct that we must free ourselves from.