How you decide to navigate this time will depend on your relationship, and personal circumstances. Check in with each other about how you’re feeling about this news and to talk through what it means for you emotionally and practically. On the plus side this will be a good test for your relationship. You’ll find out some important things about your partner, like how they are in a crisis; whether they are supportive and perhaps what some of their biggest fears and hopes are.
We've put together some tips and advice for keeping your new relationship strong in these testing times:
If you’re living apart
- Even if you’re not in the same house, it’s an opportunity to get to know each other better and have some deeper conversations. Dating over video call, maybe with a glass of wine, will be a good chance to have some really fun chats, undistracted from anything else.
- Introducing your partner to some group chats/quizzes/games on Zoom or Houseparty could be a good way to hang out and take the pressure off you to do 1-2-1 chats.
- Reading to each other is a really nice way to do something intimate and sensual without the expectation that you’re going to come up with any hilarious or fascinating insights yourself. Try short stories or funny books or blogs that will take your minds off events.
- Some people are better at texting/communicating online than others. If you’re feeling like the traffic is all one way, perhaps agree a time each day that you’ll have a chat, rather than fixating about when your partner will reply.
If you’re self-isolating together
- If you are isolating together, you’ll be able to see how compatible you are as cohabitees, although do cut your partner some slack and understand they are likely to be more stressed than usual.
- Have a sit down and talk about what kind of person you are. Messy or tidy? Work in silence or with music? The more you can plan your behaviour in advance, the fewer awkward chats or arguments there will be.
- When you’re not working, be creative about how you use your leisure time together. Could you volunteer for the NHS? Could you work on a creative project together? Maybe something simple like decorating your window for the neighbourhood to enjoy.
- Give each other space. Even if just sitting in different rooms or taking your daily exercise outside, you’re both going to need an hour to yourselves to take the pressure off the situation.