Relationships — whether it be romantic with our partners or platonic with friends and families — are becoming more and more difficult to sustain the longer the pandemic presses on.
Even as most of us have instituted new routines to get by, it seems too bold of anyone to claim that they have fully and healthily attuned their hearts to this new normal. Admit it or not, sooner or later, we will get fed up of seeing the same faces, and we will continue to ache from missing someone so bad.
But, as corny as it sounds, we still strive to achieve a happy and healthy relationship with, and for the sake of, those we love.
It’s the moments — not the miles — that count
Time together shouldn’t necessarily be good, and time apart shouldn’t necessarily be bad. Likewise, relationships aren’t enhanced just because two people are together, and they also aren’t suspended just because they are apart. Just ask anyone who has had to weather through a long-distance relationship to make it work.
Of course, things can still go sideways as we might have feared, but how we interpret the circumstance inevitably plays a huge part. When we adopt this mindset towards time together and time apart, we see more room for growth, discover more individual interests, and segment our routines better to feel less anxious.
Finding your emotional footing is a good first step
Just as identifying symptoms helps us heal our sickness quicker, we can also try identifying the biggest source of our anxiety whenever we’re together with or far away from loved ones.
What this does is help give things that are personally stressful a name, or a face. This way, we solve the source of our stresses more accurately, and we also stay kind to ourselves.
How? As lines blur between personal, work, family, and relationship affairs, we tend to blame ourselves for our anxieties because we lay right smack in the middle of it all. It’s possible that some family members are insensitive, or that work demands too much.
Don’t be too quick to blame yourself for overreacting, because that’s the kind of negativity we certainly don’t need right now.
Boundaries don’t just exist when you’re face-to-face
Identifying pressure points in relationships and resolving them only seem possible in person because that’s when things and people are within our reach. But what if they aren’t?
This is perhaps where our relationships will be most tested during this COVID-19 crisis. Zoom calls with workmates are already difficult as they are; now we have to strive to communicate how stable and predictable, or versatile and impulsive, we want our distant relationships to be.
But trust us, it pays off. Creating boundaries whether personally or distantly helps us move out of the mindset that critical discussions should always be deferred to live meetings.
Ultimately, what we’re working towards is a relationship with our partners, friends, and families where being apart for the greater good is the worst that we’d have to withstand.