Couple & confinement: how to prepare for the end of quarantine?

So, you must have got used to the confinement. All of a sudden you were told, “Well now you’re going to have to spend 24 hours a day with your partner”.

At first, you might have thought it was a joke. But eventually you realized it wasn’t a joke at all. Besides, it was nothing funny.

In spite of yourself, you have listened to the advice of the government and you have “chosen” to remain confined. It took you a long time (and errors) to find it working.

You have had to completely change your routine, adjust your behavior, and become much much more tolerant.

But you have succeeded! You have gotten used to this new rhythm and you have found your marks. Then now everything suddenly changes.

Deconfinement is a new step for your relationship. You and your partner have to get back to work and you have to relearn how to live “like before”. In short, you have to adopt (again) a new routine.

But returning to work is far from routine.

Indeed, it is full of uncertainties and it raises emotional and practical concerns.

People feel sadness, fear and have a lot of questions about health and safety. Besides, they’re also worried about how this will all work out.

By the way, everyone I spoke with raised the same issue: They are afraid of losing the deep sense of connection in their relationship.

In addition, the fear associated with the possibility of being exposed to the virus is very real. Yes, it is not because we are in full deconfinement that it means that there is no more danger.

In short, the feelings are mixed and almost contradictory. We are happy to go out and interact with other people but we are afraid of the disease and the impact it will have on our bond with our partner.

Ultimately, this transition is very stressful. All of the logistical challenges are exacerbated by the tension and disconnection in the relationship, leaving each person feeling a bit lonely at a time when they particularly crave support from their partner.

The following four steps are designed to help you and your partner weather any storm with a strong sense of stability and the pleasure of feeling a warm connection.

1. Take the time to identify your concerns individually.

Make a list of your fears! Don’t be afraid to put a name on what is on your mind and give yourself permission to talk about it openly. Start with the most important.

But don’t forget the most insignificant ones either! Go over your list and group what you have written into categories. For example, anything that talks about your fears about being affected is a category.

Another category could be sadness because your time together is going to end. Then you can have the category of financial concerns.

2. Then take the time to be with your partner and organize your time.

During the lockdown, positive things happened. So don’t hesitate to list them! Take turns sharing what worked well during the time you were stuck at home.

Express your gratitude for your partner and your relationship. In short, be grateful for having had the privilege of living this experience together.

Then take turns sharing your concerns about what happens next. Refer to your Category List from Step 1. It is really important to listen compassionately and hear what your partner has to say.

Now is not the time for comfort or problem solving (or judgment); Now is the time to witness the other’s emotional truth and respond by saying, “Thank you for telling me how you feel”.

It is only after everyone feels fully listened to that you will work together to solve problems and put strategies in place to alleviate your concerns.

3. Express your hopes and dreams, for yourself, your partner and your relationship.

It is inevitable to think about the future. Let go and remember that you are partners who have known each other for a long time.

You are making memories and at some point you will be able to travel and laugh at some of the awkwardnesses of that time.

So talk openly about what you would like to do in a month, a year or ten. Let your imagination travel and ask your partner to voluntarily participate in your madness.

4. Plan dates in your respective timetables to do this check again.

Be sure to allow more time. What does it mean ? In anticipating the return to work, we are all pioneers because none of us has ever experienced a pandemic before.

However, these four steps are universally relevant in any important transition, and they will bring you closer to your partner.

When you feel like you’re on the same team and tackling challenges together, it will ultimately create more joy and set the stage for more passion in your relationship.

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