I feel drawn to explore the effect that the “lockdown” is having on our personal relationships and the behaviour adjustments we can make to keep our sense of connection with our romantic partners intact.
As far as I can recall the “old times”, for many people, including myself, the usual way of connecting with our romantic partners was largely based on “contrast energies” between being together and apart. When we are together, we happily share stories about what happened between us and “the world” as well as our feelings and self-discoveries that we had when we were apart. Also, our sexual desire tends to build up when we are away, and subsequently gets channelled onto our partners when we finally see them. This dynamic creates the ongoing novelty in a relationship and our intimacy’s natural breathing cycle.
Now, many of us are “locked down” in the same space with partners and, as great as it may seem at first, I can imagine that, sooner or later, this continuous exposure to being observed and related to becomes “too much”. The novelty in another is diminished, there are not many stories to tell, and the voice of sexual desire gets muffled and weak in the face of concentrated mundane and endless availability. Instead, we may begin to notice and voice our partner’s shortcomings and our mind starts chewing on the negative aspects of the relationship rather than positive.
Unfortunately, it is probably true that many relationships will fall apart under the catalytic pressures of the “lockdown”. And maybe it’s not a bad thing as it can help people get clear with regards to where they stand and, therefore, save precious energy and time.
In my own relationship so far, irrespective of what happens in the future, I am noticing that some natural organismic adjustments have happened to our relating, which I am finding quite helpful for maintaining the novelty, personal interest and physical attraction. Here they are:
- Asking for personal space as and when each of us need it, preventing this need from accumulating and building up as polite resentment.
- Connecting quite frequently with the outside world – friends, family, classes, online gatherings, etc. It also creates the needed space and separation as well as gives us new stories to share.
- Abandoning the usual routines that we used to have back in the “old times”, such as eating together, going to bed and waking up together, walking together, kissing frequently. Of course, we still do all these things, but less than before and only if it arises spontaneously and naturally, not out of habit.
- Releasing any pressure to “perform” for each other: smile, talk, having a friendly or sociable face, etc.
I would say that, probably not surprisingly, the “lockdown” forced us to become more authentic and spontaneous with each other – as if out of “survival necessity” – which helps us maintain a healthy amount of mystery and surprise for each other.
If you notice that some other adjustments help you keep your relationship “fresh and flowy” while you are being inseparable with your partner, will be glad to read them in the comments.