A little over a month ago, the President announced that we would be going into lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID19). This, of course, did not come without consequences on many aspects of our lives including our relationships with our families, colleagues, friends and our lovers.
The lockdown has affected most romantic relationships in positive and negative ways.
1. Moving in together during the lockdown
Some people decided to move in together for the duration of the lockdown as they were about to spend weeks without seeing each other. This definitely seemed like a good idea because we were all under the impression that the lockdown was going to last for only three weeks. Little did we know that after the three weeks, two more weeks would be added and after those weeks we are now on level 4 of the lockdown which can revert back to level 5 should the spread increase rapidly. Now, some of those lockdown ‘move-ins’ are not looking so good while others are flourishing. For the flourishing ones, it is bliss. Learning about each other is helping them move together. They are learning to accept each other as they are with their flaws, strengths and weaknesses. For the others, they are discovering that they don’t like what they are learning about each other and the lockdown can’t move fast enough for them to split indefinitely.
2. Long-distance during the lockdown
Everyone in a long-distance relationship knows that it is hard enough missing someone you will see in a few weeks. But with the lockdown, those few weeks or days are just turning to months. The phone calls become more important than they already were before lockdown. The video calls begin to seem like physical presence even more than they ever were. On the side, one could just fake a funeral and get a permit to travel. Jump in the car and go see your partner. On the other hand, you have those who rely on public transport. The one’s in one province can make their way during level 4 although still a risk. Those in different provinces might as well behave like this is 1960 where you had to wait for December to meet when mines and companies close as there’s currently no travel between provinces. This is also a critical time as they are learning a bit more about each other under the strain of possibly not seeing each other for the duration of 2020.
3. Living together
Some couples have been living together for some months. Most days are filled with going to work and spending evenings and weekends together. Now that most people are working from home, some couples are both homes. They are discovering more about each other and more time together is testing different aspects of their relationships. Some are in a good space and are getting closer and developing a strong identity as a couple. Others are beginning to realize that this will not work in the long term and they are planning their exit.
4. Breakups at this time
It is tough to break up with someone in a normal period of time. You can break up over a text or over the phone if you are somewhat cowardly or think it will hurt the other person less. You can meet up for a meal or at the park and explain why you are leaving if you really want to explain or you can just do the “I’m leaving you” piece and add nothing else. But now, lockdown plus break up. One doesn’t even get the opportunity to go and ask you why. People are just crying in their bedrooms limited by so much that they can’t even go buy KFC ice-cream or a McFlurry just to numb the pain. She or he can’t even go to your favourite couple restaurant for a goodbye meal on their own. This is the worst time to break up with anyone, over most reasons but if there’s abuse involved, any time is a good time to leave.
5. Domestic violence during the lockdown
Some partners are abusive. They are either violent in nature or became violent through nurture. Right now, they are stuck together in the house and with different frustrations building up; their violence is taken out on their partners. Too many have nowhere else to go and others have no means to leave. This renders them helpless in the face of their abusive partners. It might not be good to stay and hope your partner will change or to stay and hope for better days. It is not logical to stay in the relationship for the sake of the child(ren). Or just to keep up appearances in fear of what ‘people’ will say. I for one will never tolerate abuse, so I can say that you must leave an abusive relationship and you can say I’m not the one in it so I don’t understand. My hope is that whatever choice anyone in an abusive relationship makes is actually good for them.
There are a lot of good things happening in relationships right now. Also, there are a lot of bad things are happening in relationships. Hopefully, there are lessons being learnt. Lessons for both individuals and couples. When the lockdown is lifted candlelit dinners in our favourite restaurants will be the highlight of our days to celebrate new beginnings.