Tips for Putting Out Relationship Fires During a Pandemic
Confined to our homes for the past few months, the amount of time many of us have spent with our families or significant others is unprecedented.
Personally, my boyfriend and I have been bound to our 700-square-foot apartment as I navigate working remotely and he continues to wrestle with his furlough and decisions about his future career. This time together came as a major shift from his previous 10-hour workdays and our constant on-the-move lifestyle.
After a pleasant honeymoon phase during the first couple of weeks of quarantine, stress settled in and I think our patience began to wear thin. As we struggled with this unfamiliar reality, small fights broke out here and there, mostly over unimportant issues that hadn’t taxed our relationship in the four years prior.
Eventually, after much trial and error, we came to realize we couldn’t always avoid these little spats. Instead, we’ve both come up with better ways to release our built up tension and make amends when things get out of hand.
Now, when I find us arguing about even the most minor issue — like when he decides to loudly wash dishes during my one work call of the day — these methods have been effective in deflating the problem before it becomes more serious.
Silently stewing across the room from each other never does any good. It’s typically best if one of us takes a time out on the balcony, goes on a run or walk, or heads to a friend's house for a while.
Talking to one of my sisters or friends about the argument helps me release some anger and saying it out loud usually makes me realize how trivial it sounds.
Don’t Let It Drag On
I’ve always heard you shouldn’t go to bed mad. As much as I hate to admit it, my boyfriend is better at this than myself and typically makes the first step toward a truce.
Take a Drive
Hopping in the car and driving aimlessly has become our mutual favorite activity during quarantine. And who can stay mad driving with the windows down while music from your favorite artist blares on the radio?
Actually saying the words "I’m sorry" is key. But what’s even more important is expressing why we became annoyed or upset in the first place to help prevent future incidents. Topping it off with a quick hug or kiss also never hurts.