Your Guide to Helping Your Relationship Survive Isolation

By: Zeinah Hesham

Google defines Quarantine as a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed. The government defines it as a time for us to stay isolated in our homes with minimal contact with people in order to avoid spreading the virus. 

However, personally I describe it as an utter nightmare. Not only is it a nightmare for me as a person who struggles with mental health but it’s also a nightmare as a person in a committed relationship. And if you’ve been in a relationship for more than 6 months then you probably understand how horrible quarantine has been for us. As if relationships were not already difficult enough, isolation has made it so much more difficult to believe in its survival, which is why I’ve assembled a list of things you and your partner can and should do in order to make sure your relationship survives this pandemic.

1 – Communication: Now, communication is really hard for me and I would much rather ignore the problem until it goes away or best case scenario wait until I can talk about it in person. However seeing as we’re in very peculiar circumstances, both options may have horrible consequences. So now is the time to learn to voice any insecurities, anxieties or problems you may have whether that’s regarding your relationship or something else in your life. Both are equally important to talk about because a) talking about your relationship troubles will leave room for improvement and b) talking about other problems in your life will lift a weight off your shoulders and also bring you and your SO closer together! 

2 – Fun Activities: Remember bowling in bandar and going to chili’s? Remember watching a nice movie at Vox and sharing a large popcorn? Or literally just walking around in Zamalek? Well we can’t exactly do that anymore but you can do so many fun things virtually. For example, Netflix party where both of you can watch the same show/movie together and you can even make popcorn and turn off the lights to give it a more authentic feeling. Or you can do things such as game online or play some multiplayer game like 8-Ball and to add an interesting twist, maybe the loser will have to do a dare or answer an embarrassing question. Or go completely old school and host a trivia night with the help of Sporcle.com to bring your knowledge to the table and see your partner’s more competitive side.

3 – Date Night: At this point Zoom is the new Capital. Obviously video calling has become an essential way of communicating during this time. My advice is to try to video call as much as you can. Cook together on FaceTime and follow the same recipe and then place your device in front of you and have a conversation just like any other date. However, if you and your partner are busy with work or school then add a more authentic touch and schedule a time weekly where you will video call and do a virtual activity together or just sit there and chat about your week as if it’s another Thursday night.

4 – Alone Time: Being in a relationship obviously has its ups and downs and one of its downs is that we become so emotionally invested in the relationship that we often forget that we need to take some time off to take care of ourselves. This however does not mean that you need to completely isolate yourself or ignore your partner. This means that you need some time to recharge and focus on yourself. Alone time will also allow you to do more things that you could perhaps tell your partner about and perhaps that will strike an interesting conversion and in the end the ultimate goal of alone time is to regain some of your energy as well as adding more value to you and your significant other’s quality time.

5 – Finally, ask yourself if it is worth it : As I’ve mentioned before, relationships are really difficult and if one of you is continuously not making an effort which ends up reflecting badly on the relationship then this may lead to a downfall. Make sure that not only is there love but there is also support, respect, understanding and effort in order for the relationship to be healthy instead of morphing into a toxic one.

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