Relationships take work and patience and time, but — when they're good — they're worth all of that.
Lockdown has, for many of us, meant that even more than before, our romantic relationship has taken even more work as we navigated the idea of being around our partners 24 hours a day for a prolonged period.
But lockdown has also had a positive impact on our relationships — as reported on ITV's Lorraine — two thirds of couples reported they felt closer to their partner because of lockdown, and meant that we got to spend time with our other half, uninterrupted, in a different way.
As we now transition out of lockdown in England, the question is, how do we maintain this newfound bond?
We spoke to life coach and wellbeing expert, Dave Knight who shared his three top tips on continuing closeness even once we return to 'normality'.
There is a real balancing act to maintaining our relationships; things can seem perfect one minute and the next minute, it can all change. Just like our own emotional states.
Whilst not the cause of the challenges, there are certain factors that seem to contribute to relationship difficulties — such as work demands, financial pressures or a change in one partners circumstances perhaps.
Our period in lockdown, in itself, has led to all three of those factors along with others, presenting themselves for many couples.
As human beings, we of course experience those factors differently – what might be an issue for one half of the couple, might not be for the other person. That situation alone can cause imbalance in the relationship.
If we add in children to the equation, it’s a different ball-game altogether. Therefore, it’s a great time to consider how we can maintain our connections - as our patterns seem to be changing again, moving slowly out of lockdown.
Here are some tips that will help maintain our relationships as we move out of lockdown:
1.Recognise that change does not mean better or worse
If there is a shift in the balance of our relationship – let’s say, with one person working more; earning more or being at home more than the other, this is normal.
Change in our life is normal and inevitable. It doesn’t necessarily mean things have turned bad.
Quite often it is our own expectations of what the relationship ‘was’ or ‘should still be’ that can lead to us losing connection at some level.
As we move out of lockdown, perhaps our time together has changed or will change and therefore our own expectations might need to shift with that change.
2.Communicate from a place of acceptance
This is particularly important. If we’re accepting of our life, family and work patterns changing and our roles within the relationship, we’re more likely to communicate clearly with a knowing that this was an inevitable change.
Our connection will be maintained despite the possible shift in balance, as we’re accepting our roles, as well as each other’s.
This is as opposed to communicating from a place of rejecting the change, with innocent feelings of being resentful; either that or not valuing ourselves or the other person in the relationship.
3.Let love play its part
Love is obviously a vital ingredient to any relationship. With mutual love it can pretty much override any challenge that we might be presented with as a relationship.
As our circumstances change again coming out of lockdown, mutual love will guide our respect for each other. It will also drive our willingness to make it work and stay connected, as well as it steering our communication to find common ground in heated conversations with our partner.
To find out more about Dave Knight's Life Coaching and Wellbeing packages for individuals and businesses, please visit Sunday Setter.
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