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How Intentionality Is Strengthening Relationships in Quarantine

social distancing grandma kissing grandson through window

Photo Credit: Cavan Images/Shutterstock

On an early morning walk — while social-distancing measures and stay-at-home orders were in effect — I spotted three vans parked in a parking lot, their trunks popped up facing each other with women wrapped up in blankets, drinking from travel mugs, laughing and connecting. This peek into friends’ lives demonstrates that this is just one of the new ways we are nurturing our relationships and creating space to connect with those we love. This is the intentionality that is being brought to our relationships because of the mandatory social distancing that is required during this pandemic.

Prior to COVID-19, connections with others were a given. It wasn’t a question of whether we could see someone — when we wanted to, we would just send a quick text. We wouldn’t think twice to walk up to them and greet them with a hug. We didn’t give a second thought to people that we would interact with every day, like the coffee barista, the colleague in your office, or the neighbor. 

Relationships feel more intentional as a result of COVID-19. While we continue to be busy, there is a different kind of connection that is being forced among people. We are no longer distracted with the last-minute errands to the grocery store or the runs to the coffee shop, the dinners out with friends while also texting others at the same time. We aren’t pulled to last-minute office meetings or weekend get-togethers.

So, what is happening in our relationships? For some, they feel a deeper sense of longing to know how someone is truly doing. The reply to the common question, “How are you?” has shifted from “I’m busy” to a deepened sharing of what is happening for them. The time spent together, either on a video call or through social-distance walks and driveway sessions, is felt with gratitude and appreciation. The forced physical distance reminds us that we are social mammals and we long for human touch. Perhaps now living in a world with COVID-19, we will continue to be more intentional in our relationships — devoting time to those we love and care about. 

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