People have long been speculating about what would happen if couples who live together started to spend more time with each other and what would happen to couples who live apart.
Now the data is in. True Public have noticed several trends among the 16–34 age group.
Firstly, when quarantine started, most couples who lived together (whether married or dating) found the experience to be positive. However, in the last two weeks, 20% of these couples began to struggle and it seems that that number will increase as quarantine continues.
On the other hand, 15% of relationships have seem improvements, with older respondents in longer relationships experiencing most of these improvements.
For those who aren’t quarantining with a loved one, forty-three percent (43%) of respondents admitted to going to see either a partner, crush or friend.
Right now, it seems that despite some couples experiencing some struggles, others experiencing good times and even others defying curfews and isolation warnings to see their loved ones, most are relatively the same.
But this next statistic seems to predict that this 20% of struggling relationships is likely going to increase.
When respondents were asked what they thought was going to happen to other couples, 57% said that they believe that divorces will dramatically increase.
It’s bad enough that there is a pandemic that may have ramifications for the health of the human race forever, but can we also handle a social pandemic?
Not to mention the economic nightmare many of us are facing right now.
Having said that, I think the approach that healthcare professionals have taken to fight the coronavirus is a good example of how to approach the interpersonal and relationship dynamics that we may face.
1. We have to face it head on.
We can’t deny the existence of the problem(s). We can’t keep it to ourselves anymore. Only by addressing the things that annoy us about one another can we find any resolution.
2. Lockdown is required.
Eliminate the distractions of social media, the opinions of family and friends and the daydreams of being elsewhere. You’re here whether you like it or not. Might as well make the most of it.
3. Treat the symptoms.
There may be a cure, but maybe you won’t find it without the help of a counsellor. In the meantime, make a list of the issues you both are experiencing. Aim for win-win scenarios so that no one feels resentful that they got a raw deal. You may have to have your own private times for introspection.
If the relationship truly cannot go forward, you can at least let this time be as manageable for each other as possible. Set boundaries, create time tables of who can use what at what time and in this deeper time of isolation, treat your own symptoms.
Have you been in this type of relationship before? Have you ever seen this type of relationship in your life? What were the factors that led to the attraction? What were the factors that led to the demise?
This pandemic was always going to upset the structures in our world and the unhealthy ones are thrashing about trying to survive. We don’t have the luxury of escaping our problems or ignoring our values anymore.
Sure we could still drink our feelings away but now it’s more obvious than ever that alcohol and other substances or activities are being used to mask our problems.
We were okay because we could sweep things under the rug, but now the rug’s been pull from underneath us and now we’re facing the consequences of it.
Let’s admit it to ourselves once and for all. It’s time for some spring cleaning in our relationships with others and in our relationship with ourselves.