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Navigating Healthy Relationships During COVID

Navigating relationships during normal circumstances can be difficult, so figuring one out during COVID is no easier. I’m no expert, just a 20-year old college student living life, but from the way marriage sounds, being locked up inside with your partner 24/7 doesn’t sound like it would be the most ideal situation. Not to mention the screaming kids and dogs who seem to never stop barking in the back of your Zoom calls. Those types of relationships aren’t so much
what I can relate to, but I can bring us back to the basics and tell you how I would go about communicating boundaries during this pandemic with my partner.

For those of us youngins who may not be living with our partners, one of the most intense expectations set today is being on our phones at all hours of the day. Fine, most of us are on our phones anyway but that doesn’t mean that we are automatically available, nor does it justify us always having to answer texts, FaceTime calls, snapchats, etc. Some of the biggest arguments are started over how much time it takes you to respond to messages, like if it takes
too long the other person may get offended and think you’re ignoring them or see it as having done something wrong. A tip would be to clearly articulate your expectations with technology in your relationship. It’s okay to let them know that ‘Hey I know I’m on my phone all the time, but it doesn’t mean I’m always going to answer right away, and that’s no offense to you, those are just simply my boundaries!’ If your partner can’t respect you for choosing to change your boundaries at any point in the relationship, and they don’t respond with the best reaction those may be red flags.

The other thing to remember is that conflict is inevitable especially during COVID. Emotions are running high and there is going to need to be a lot more adjusting than there typically was in the past for your relationships. As long as you can compromise and work out your conflicts in a healthy way you are on your way to navigating a healthy relationship during this unprecedented time. You and your partner should work together to create what looks like a new normal and new routine for yourselves, something that mutually benefits both of you. This may look like exploring new outdoor activities as opposed to your usual Netflix and takeout date nights. Just remember to communicate these new expectations and desires with each other, because as much as we wish they could, your partner can’t read your mind.