If your relationship is feeling the strain during the pandemic, you’re not alone.
You’re probably spending more time than usual with your partner during quarantine, which can feel suffocating, even if you really love her!
You might be worried about finances, your kids, your family’s health…the list goes on. Maybe you’re fighting more than usual, and everything feels a bit hopeless.
To top it off, the holidays are fast approaching. To say it’s a stressful time is an understatement.
But with a bit of thought, you can still make some great festive memories with your sweetie.
Here’s how you and your partner can survive (and maybe even thrive) during the 2020 holiday season:
Put your relationship first
No matter what’s going on in the world, you need to make your relationship a top priority.
Schedule quality time together. Date nights don’t have to stop just because you can’t go out. Put away your phones and reconnect for a couple of hours. Make dinner together, play a game, or just spend time talking over a coffee. You could even dress up for the occasion!
Try not to take your girlfriend or wife’s love for granted. When your partner does something thoughtful, take a moment to say “thank you” and make sure you do something nice for her in return. Gratitude is a powerful relationship booster.
Listen to your partner and validate her feelings
According to the Love in the Time of Covid Study, couples are more likely to stay together when they are responsive to one another and validate each other’s feelings.
So even if both of you are under a lot of stress, showing love, support, and care can protect your relationship.
Validating your partner means listening without judgment. This isn’t easy, especially if she says something that annoys or upsets you. But it’s worth the effort.
When you communicate, give your partner your full attention. That means putting your phone down, making eye contact, and taking in every word she says. And for heaven’s sake…try not to interrupt.
If you aren’t sure what she wants or need from you, ask directly. Simply asking, “What can I do to support you?” can be a game changer.
Create your own traditions
Holiday traditions or rituals help you bond as a couple, and they give you something special to look forward to every year.
Here are a few ideas for annual traditions:
- Bake a special dish or treat together
- Watch a favorite holiday movie
- Write a list of all the good things that happened during the year
- Decorate your home while listening to a special festive playlist and enjoying your favorite snacks
- Take a leisurely walk or drive around your neighborhood to look at the light displays
- Pick out a pair of festive pj’s or matching T-shirts to wear during the holidays
- Exchange ornaments
- Pick a charity together and make a donation
- Do a DIY festive photoshoot complete with holiday sweaters and decorations. Don’t forget to include your pets!
Arts and crafts are a wonderful distraction from your worries, and they can be an awesome way to spend quality time together.
Try some of these:
- Making your own decorations
- Holiday baking
- Knitting, sewing, or crochet
- Writing a poem, letter, or short story for your sweetheart
- Setting up a scavenger hunt with clues and little treats around your home
- Making or decorating a gratitude journal
Stay in touch with your friends and family
Social isolation takes a toll on our health and relationships. Make sure you stay connected with your loved ones this year.
You could send traditional or virtual cards, set up a WhatsApp or other chat group just for the holidays, or enjoy a shared meal over Zoom with friends or family. Don’t forget the after-dinner entertainment; you could all watch the same movie or play a game online.
Take self-care seriously
Even when things are hectic, make time to nurture yourself. Self-care isn’t selfish! It benefits your partner, too. Research shows that people who are kind to themselves have better relationships.
Try working out, meditating, journaling, or heading outdoors for some fresh air to relieve stress and stay fit.
Laugh at your favorite comedies or read a funny book. Humor is great for your mental health, and it can strengthen your immune system.
Don’t forget to take care of the basics: choose healthy meals and snacks, limit your alcohol intake, and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Finally, limit the time you spend watching or reading the news. Doomscrolling and refreshing your newsfeed throughout the day will make you needlessly anxious. Check the headlines each morning, then move on.
If your sex life has taken a hit, try other forms of intimacy
Lots of couples have less sex in stressful times, but you can still keep the physical intimacy alive in your relationship.
Try sensual activities like sharing a bath or shower, giving each other a massage, or lighting a few candles and cuddling on the couch. If they lead to sex, that’s an added bonus.
Get some alone time
Are you and your honey sniping at each other over minor stuff? A few hours apart might be all you need.
It doesn’t matter how much you adore each other’s company…Spending too much time together can drive you slightly crazy.
Treat yourself to an hour or two of self-care when things start to feel tense. Encourage your partner to do the same.
Why the pandemic could make your relationship stronger
Let’s end on a positive note…
Tough times don’t have to ruin your relationship.
In fact, overcoming adversity can bring you closer together. If you can make it through a pandemic, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to tackle other big challenges together.
That’s something to celebrate!