Relationships in Quarantine
When quarantine first started it was a little intimidating to know that we would be spending 24/7 in the same household while working, among other things. We have been together for 6 years (a little less than 5 when quarantine started) and to be honest, we pretty much knew the ins and outs of each other’s personalities to the extent that would help us make it out of lockdown alive and still together.
We’ve heard horror stories of couples who went into lockdown together and after a short period of time quickly realized that the relationship wasn’t for them. Granted, this is probably for the best and why not figure it out while you can, especially when your stress levels are high. If your partner cannot support you when you are going through it, then say goodbye and on to the next. For James and me, it was different. We got engaged in 2018 and spent the majority of 2019 getting our lives situated before making the plunge into being a married couple. Months planning a wedding, me finishing grad school, James transitioning jobs and still trying to travel as much as we could; we had planned on our wedding being in October of 2020, and oddly enough the day quarantine started would have been the day we would be doing an engagement photoshoot and food tasting for our wedding.
When quarantine hit, we spent a lot of time worrying about every single family member as well as the whole of humanity as we watched the news and learned more about the virus. There are a lot of compounding crises happening at this very moment and for me in particular everything felt as though it was coming to a head. We called all our loved ones, friends, even talked to neighbors to reiterate how serious the situation is. (If you aren’t a believer in the pandemic, let’s talk) There is an overwhelming sense of responsibility as a human to make sure that we are taking care of not only ourselves and loved ones but each and every person we come into contact with. It was the first time that we were all reminded that our interactions with each person have consequences, not just because of spreading a deadly virus but also how we treat each other in our daily interactions.
James and I spent a lot of time talking about what was going on, making sure we were knowledgeable if conversations were to arise, and doing our part to prevent the spread and in the process were learning more about each other and how we handle a crisis. We haven’t been through a global crisis together (has anyone our age?) and it takes a lot of patience to meet each other where you are and not only support each other but allow yourself to be supported.
There is one thing that we’ve taken out of the entire seven+ months of lockdown in Los Angeles, and it’s that we each are going through waves of emotion, stress, anxiety, joy, happiness, depression, sadness, fear, guilt, etc. each and every week. We’ve recognized that in those moments we have to support the partner who may be having a rough day and allow yourself to be supported when you are a little bit off. When we both have rough days we may bicker more than normal, but we’ve learned to recognize those moments and try and grow from them and not dwell. In those moments where we are both happy and full of joy, it’s easy to enjoy each other and those moments are the best. As a couple, we have to go through all the different cycles of emotions associated with being unemployed, a global crisis, racial injustices, climate change impacts, civil unrest, and a looming presidential election that is quite honestly a make or break moment for mother earth and human decency.
I’m particularly grateful that through the pandemic we’ve risen to the moment of being there for each other, minus a few arguments, and taken each moment with stride and patience to meet each other where they are. It’s hard to know what the future holds but when we postponed our wedding there was a sense of peace in knowing that it wasn’t just for us but for all our guests to be safe. After about five minutes of being rather unhappy about having to postpone, the selfishness of that emotion wears off and you realize how tiny you actually are and how the only thing that really matters is the here and now and being there for everyone in your life both near and far. Life’s little victories are not measured in the big moments that may “change your life”, its measured in the little moments of working together, having tough conversations, and growing as a person.
I genuinely hope that through the pandemic everyone can recognize that we are all in this together and that we have a collective responsibility to respond to this moment and build back better, not just for ourselves but for the future generations that are yet to be born. Reminder to be kind to your partners, it took us a while to get on the same page but patience and understanding and constantly reminding yourself that there are SO MANY THINGS GOING ON helps.
At the beginning of quarantine, we decided to do a fun little activity to give us something to do and if you want to watch our “Quarantine Games” you can click the video links down below and see who wins the crown. I encourage every couple to find fun things to do together that aren’t chores, work, or responsibilities that allow you to just have fun together. If you’ve been doing any fun activities over the past few months, let us know! We would love to try some fun new things.