The lockdown has brought us closer to our loved ones, physically and emotionally.(Unsplash)
The lockdown has brought us closer to our loved ones, physically and emotionally.(Unsplash)

Here’s how to maintain a loving relationship through the coronavirus lockdown

Like most things worth your time, love and relationships require that extra bit of effort. With these simple gestures, you can show just how much your partner means to you no matter how long you have been together.
By Jahnavi Gupta | Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 06, 2020 03:32 PM IST

Navigating relationships can seem complicated as you are dealing with a person just as complex and unique as you are. Love, however, is universal. No matter who you are or where you come from, we all understand what it is to love and be loved in return. Like all good things in life, love and relationships require that extra bit of effort. With these simple gestures you can show just how much your partner means to you no matter how long you have been together.

Relationship expert and bestselling author of Couples in Sync”, Shailesh Kumar says “Don’t live by default, live by design”. With the lockdown, everyone is going a little stir crazy, but ironically this serves as the perfect occasion to spend some time with your significant other and work on your relationship.

Conversation

Communication is key in every relationship. Talk to your partner even about the most mundane things, your significant other won’t know what makes you happy and what doesn’t if you don’t open up to them. More importantly, listen to them, genuinely pay attention to what they say instead of just waiting for your turn to speak. Talk about love, philosophy, why you hate the neighbour’s pet iguana, your hopes and dreams, the possibilities are endless.

Spontaneity

It’s simple, you snooze you lose. Sometimes people tend to get too comfortable in their ways and the relationship feels like it’s losing its spark. Get the excitement going by being spontaneous, whether its dressing up and cooking for an impromptu date in your balcony or playing your significant other’s favourite game, surprise your loved one by doing something cute and out of the ordinary.

Engage in activities they like

Maybe watching sports bloopers or cooking new recipes every day is not your thing but try to make a slight bit of effort to participate in things your better half enjoys. Perhaps, overtime you might start enjoying it too. This, however, does not mean you have to change your own likes and dislikes, just that sometimes an open mind can go a long way.

Discuss fantasies, act on them and be intimate

Speaking of open minds, share your unconventional fantasies with your partner, and be open to theirs as well. Trust is the foundation on which experimentation is built, its important to have clearly negotiated plans when acting on these fantasies. Your partner will certainly appreciate you taking charge! It may seem corny but take the time to kiss them, bathe together, or simply go walking hand in hand. Physical touch is an important love language.

Celebrate big and small occasions

If your partner is the kind who enjoys parties and celebrations, take the time to organise and surprise them with the occasional party, although it will be virtual. Whether it is to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, or even a promotion, your small gesture will make your partner feel truly appreciated. A simple gift-card just doesn’t say ‘You’re special to me’ in the same way.

Express your affection

Say it like you mean it. Take the time to let your partner know just how much you love and appreciate them. Relationship expert, Shailesh Kumar says that you should not become complacent in your relationships, “the power of appreciation is essential to any good relationship”. Even small gestures of kindness and appreciation can help maintain a balanced relationship.

Cook for them

Make them breakfast in bed occasionally, plan and cook an elaborate dinner for the two of you, and better still make it a group activity and get them to help you around. Put in that extra effort and your partner will go weak in the knees. The key to everyone’s heart is truly through the stomach, and most of us have gotten increasingly attached to food through the lockdown. So treat yourself and your significant other to a lovingly-prepared meal.

Take time out for just the two of you

The best part about being in a relationship is having someone to share your life and time with. From simple things like doing errands together to going through life’s biggest milestones together. Companionship is one of the greatest joys that life can afford us, take time out to genuinely experience it. So while you may be stuck together for most of the day doing your separate chores, take the time out and unwind together, just the two of you. Watch Netflix, workout together, share a drink with each other, paint or play games together, staying in doesn’t have to be boring.

Be consistent

Oftentimes, the big and dramatic gesture is not enough. All relationships require consistency. You have keep showing up each and everyday. It is about being there even when it is not convenient. It is about giving your partner the faith to be able to depend on you and them doing the same for you. A big apology after fight is nothing compared to not having that fight in the first place. Anticipate the needs and wants of your partner, although this doesn’t mean you need to fulfil all their whims and fancies if they are being unreasonable. Be their shoulder to cry on, their ear when they need to talk and by their side, when they need you.

Become an Us instead of a Me

All relationships are a merger between two individuals. Relationship expert Shailesh Kumar says that people in relationships should ‘talk like an organisation’. “It is all about our time, our money, our work, our chores, and our house, etc. It is when we start using me/mine that the problem of ego arises and that can put strain on the relationship.” He also talks about how it is important to set relationship goals together.

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