How to Live with Someone in Lockdown
Lockdown is really tricky. You're stuck inside all day, in the confides of your own home, which would drive even a perfectly sane person bonkers on a normal day. But this, this is the new normal. We have to adapt, to keep calm and carry on. And that's quite hard when you live with your other half. Despite how long you've been together and how long you've lived together, before the lockdown you had your own commitments, jobs, friends and other things that meant your lives were busy even without each other. But now, you're cooped up all day with the person you love. Sounds ideal, right? No, it's hard. It's hard not to go mad, start shouting, as all the tension from sharing the same three rooms for weeks on end builds up, but hopefully these (tried and tested, by P and I) tips and tricks will help in making your relationship work and thrive in confinement.
Respect you each have your own interests
Before, you probably though it was cool your partner was interested in post-communist Soviet Electro music, maybe a bit hipster and obscure but cool. Now, it's all you hear coming out of the TV speakers during the day as you each try and bump out some work whilst working from home, Maybe you have an interest in complete silence, the only condition in which you will be productive? It's important in these times, when you are likely both spending the days in the living room and nights in the bedroom together to respect that you both have different interests (there will be shared ones, which I'm not saying don't exist, but you both won't want to watch/listen to/experience exclusively these) and you will want to do separate things at separate times. Stick in some headphones for that obscure Soviet music, or read a book whilst the other completes seemingly infinite Playstation levels, because even though you're in a couple, you will still have your own outlets and ways of having fun and it's important not to forget that. If your other half doesn't fancy crocheting teacups for a knitted picnic, don't take it personally either. That being said though....
Schedule time into your (likely empty) diaries to spend some quality time together doing things you love
It's important to keep the bond alive and not forget what made you like (not just love, but like, tolerate, and even laugh with) your partner before lockdown began, and what better way than scheduling some time after work, your government approved one hour exercise of the day, or 40 min queue at the supermarket to do something you both really enjoy and can bond over? Whether it's making artwork, cooking together, or puzzles, it'll have you both realising you're locked up with the right person in no time, and cement your bond for the weeks of lockdown stretching out ahead of us.
Don't be afraid to need space
As said in point one, you are both your own people, and sometimes although we are social creatures, it's nice to have some time to ourselves, whether that's to decompress from the days events, have a good think or just enjoy a good book. Don't be scared to say you're going out for a run solo, or popping into the bedroom to read a book, and don't be offended when your partner does this either; remember, everyone need their own space, and your OH just as much as you.
Don't get into petty squabbles, or be passive aggressive (actually, that's a life rule not a lockdown rule but it needs mentioning)
When you're locked in all day together, it can feel like a hotbed for arguments to arise. Who didn't wipe the toilet properly? Who didn't do the washing up? Why do I put on all the washes? Why do I... Why do you... Can we just... It's not worth it. It's just not worth it. I am way to stubborn and passive aggressive than is good, and I know it and admit it and am trying to change, but being petty when you're stuck together for months on end is not a good idea. If you do have a valid concern, like one of you is pulling weight more than the other in terms of cooking, cleaning etc... than raise it in a mature adult convo and reassure the other person that it isn't an attack, but a conversation you should have.
FFS, BE CLEAN AND TIDY
Please, just shower everyday. Hell, every other day. You aren't leaving your house for anyone or anything. But, be clean and tidy and considerate of who you live with. You'd want your partner to do the same (and they probably do).
Support each other emotionally
These times are so hard on people and everyone's experiencing it differently. Be prepared for every emotion you can express to come from your partner or yourself, and be prepared to help them through it, especially the negative ones. Being stuck at home can really affect people's mental health negatively and when you throw in fake news and social media, it can be a catalyst for worry, anxiety and so much more. Your partner is a human (as are you) and you should do everything you can to help them and support them. And they should do the same. They love you and you love them, and these times will mean your bond will grow stronger and tighter than ever before through unconditional love and support.
And there we have it! I wish you all the best of luck, and I hope my little tips and tricks help to make these weeks a bit more bearable for everyone.