Given the likelihood of spending a lot more time together as a result of restrictions imposed by the corona virus situation, relationships are possibly going to be seriously challenged, especially those already on shaky ground. If you are feeling concerned about your own relationship, then now is the time to prepare and plan ahead for how you are going to manage personal and shared space with your partner.
Whether you are struggling in your relationship or not, it can be helpful to maintain interests outside of your relationship, so that you have a clear sense of personal identity. Whilst it is common for couples to spend a lot of time together, whether eating, watching tv, listening to music, socialising or talking, for example, we are now facing unusual circumstances in which it may be difficult to find personal space away from each other, unless you focus on specifically creating some. Whereas in a typical day, it is likely that you have been separated by events such as work, socialising with friends or sport, these outlets are fast becoming less accessible with couples being confined to home environments for longer periods of time. In the short-term, this may seem idyllic to some partners but with increased exposure, such passion may start to wane as increased familiarity breeds irritation, annoyance and decreased tolerance.
Regardless of how much you feel you “love” your partner, it is worth reflecting upon the nature of “desire.” Generally, when we can’t have something that we want, we feel a sense of desire filled with hope and intent and exciting anticipation. This can apply to something like a food treat or an item of clothing or furniture…….think about how your attention becomes focused upon objects or events that you aspire towards, how much time you spend thinking about them, planning and passionately wishing for them to manifest. If we have everything that we want all the time that we want it because it is close at hand, easy to access, then what happens to the element of “desire, craving, longing for and wanting….” It probably ceases to exist and the object of our desire, may also cease to impress or delight us in the way we anticipated before. What if constant exposure to someone you dearly love, starts to have something of this effect……which may be unimaginable to you now but which might be very possible given this period of close proximity ahead.
To take care of your relationship so that you maintain an element of desire, then you might want to consider how to spend time apart within your own home and the daily activities that you are able to undertake. For example, rather than shopping, walking a dog and taking a stroll together, you might alternate and have time alone outside as well as inside your home. You may also plan to explore new hobbies or personal interests away from your partner in your home environment, developing space in which you spend time with yourself, listening to your own needs and preferences. Overall, a routine that caters for individuality as well as relational togetherness, may enhance the capacity of your relationship, in weathering the challenging times ahead…
If you’d like support in establishing such individuality, contact The Hove Counselling Practice for an online counselling assessment.