With the stay-at-home order and more and more people working from home, relationships can be difficult and too much time together can be frustrating.
When you are frustrated, it is crucial to have patience and grace.
When we are stressed, bored, worried, we tend to have shorter tempers and may snap more often than normal.
It's easy to overreact to little annoyances when they pile up more quickly because you're seeing each other so much, on top of coronavirus worries.
Take a deep breath, empathize and try to see the other person's perspective.
Maybe your significant other is driving you crazy and you just want to do something by yourself, that's okay, but they might not see it that way.
Maybe they just want to help or feel like they are being neglected, maybe they feel like you are mad or upset with them. Don’t make assumptions on how the other person feels, assumptions can breed resentments and lead to false expectations.
In times like these, you need to communicate. Tell them how you are feeling, reassure them, come up with a plan or idea together on how to solve these problems. Set expectations and a routine together, designate areas of the house for work/play, be on the same page and respect each other's time.
Maybe you are the one that wants more quality time but your partner needs space.
Again, give them grace, they may be stressed, scared, sleep-deprived or overwhelmed and are unable to explain it. Just because someone wants time alone, doesn’t mean they don’t want to see or spend time with you.
Be patient, express your feelings/concerns in a calm, non-confrontational way and listen to their response.
Try not to be defensive, try to empathize and understand. Not all of us will thrive in our new environment, some of us need socialization and the lack of it can be devastating. This heightened anxiety can create negative emotions and anger which may be hard for you to understand, but try not to blame them.
Allow them to have time to meet up with friends for a walk or to have a zoom happy hour with the guys/gals.
Just because something isn’t as important to you, doesn’t mean that it isn’t for someone else.
Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean that you are obligated to interact more. You can continue to have, or maybe even expand, your solo activities and hobbies while being at home.
Find a project that needs to be done or pick up a new hobby like sewing, knitting, running, painting and do this on your own.
Set aside time each day for you and your significant other to work on things alone. This may mean getting up earlier to have quiet time before the kids get up or perhaps staying up later to read your book.
This could, also, mean taking turns with the kids and giving the other person space for an hour or two a couple of times a week.
Make time for each other, be creative and plan fun things to do together.
Just because the restaurants are closed doesn't mean that you can’t have a date night.
Set up a night where the two of you can order food in, go for a walk, have a movie night, just the two of you.
Make these times special, turn off the phones/social media and have meaningful conversations. These new circumstances are going to test all relationships but how we deal with that test is what really counts.