As it turns out, there can really be such a thing as too much time spent with another person — even when it’s our loved ones!
If you’ve been spending this Covid-19 season cooped up with your partner, you’ve probably started to notice little things they do that just drive you crazy over time. Like when they leave their clothes spewed all over the floor. Or when they forget to replace the toilet roll. Or when they constantly check their phone when you’re both having yet another Netflix-binge to pass the time.
While these may be easy enough to deal with normally, being locked down together means having to deal with these annoying bits a lot more. Worse, that can sometimes lead to a big fight, which is painful for everyone involved.
To survive the lockdown together with your partner, maintaining a strong, happy relationship will be essential. Here’s a few tips to not go absolutely crazy:
1. Talk to them about it!
If something that your partner is doing bothers you, and it’s not something that can’t be helped (e.g. snoring…), just have a conversation and let them know (nicely)! Good communication is really the key to solving most disputes. Furthermore, given that you two already care for each other, it becomes far easier to give and take, and find a solution you’re both happy with.
Of course, make sure you go into such conversations with reasonable expectations. People can’t change overnight, so it’s important to give them sufficient time to change habits that they’ve probably built up over the years.
Above all, always remind yourself: they’re not trying to annoy or hurt you on purpose, and most of the time they’re probably not even aware that what they’re doing is annoying! So pick your battles, and resist the urge to nitpick every single thing that you find irritating.
2. Spend some time alone.
If you’re an introvert, you’re probably already nodding your head vigorously here.
But wherever you fall on the extrovert-introvert spectrum, having some time to yourself and away from your partner is still always healthy. This is especially true when their face is the only one you’re seeing all day, every day!
Despite being confined together, there are plenty of ways to have alone time. The easiest way is to do work or your hobbies in separate rooms for a set amount of time. Be warned: it can be very tempting to break this ‘isolation’ by simply walking over and knocking on their door, but hold back! It’s important to set healthy boundaries and stick to them.
Even if you’re both sharing a cramped space, it’s still possible to have alone time. Make an agreement with your partner to
3. Play fun games together!
Of course, when you do have to spend time together, why not make it a good time?
Board games or card games are always a great choice, since they are interactive, fun for all ages, and often quite intuitive to learn. Remember the hours of fun you had playing Monopoly, UNO and other games with your friends? Pull out the old games sitting in your dusty cupboard or if you don’t have any, buy a new one.
Here are some of my favorites during this time:
- Exploding Kittens
- Ticket to Ride
There are also a new breed of games that are designed to be played both offline and online via video conferencing during lockdown. Check out Bye Bye Virus, a hilarious card game designed to keep players safe and sane!