“This makes it a little harder to mentally cope"
With the pressure of social distancing guidelines and lockdown in place, the relationships of Desi couples will inevitably be affected.
Whether you are spending more time than before with your partner or are being made to stay apart, the lockdown can have a real impact on your relationship in several ways.
These include distancing issues, keeping the romance alive, lack of privacy and more.
Undoubtedly, increased stress levels during this uncertain time will impact the way you feel, behave and perceive aspects of your relationship.
We explore how the lockdown measures have put a strain on Desi romance and ways to survive this difficult time.
Dealing with Distance
Trying to keep your relationship intact when you must abide by social distancing measures is a strenuous task.
Typically, couples who do not live together would regularly meet up to go for dates, drives, weekends away and more.
This would allow them to spend some quality time together and enjoy each other’s company.
We understand Desi couples, whose parents are not aware of their relationships tend to sneak around.
Usually, they would have used work or going out with friends as an excuse to see their boyfriend or girlfriend.
It goes without saying, trying to leave the house in lockdown is no longer easy as people are working from home. You are left with no such excuses.
We must also acknowledge it is just as difficult for those Desi couples who are out in the open.
However, with the strict lockdown rules in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus, regular dating norms have been thrown out of the window.
The government have advised people not to meet up even if it is with their partner. Social contact is only permissible with members of your household.
Unfortunately, if you do not live with your partner you cannot meet them to maintain safety measures.
Being asked to stay away from the person you love is truly difficult and can negatively impact the bond you share.
DESIblitz exclusively spoke to Raj who revealed how he is struggling with not being able to see his girlfriend. He said:
“Usually, I used to see my girlfriend every other day. We would meet up after work and on the weekends. We would go out for coffees, food and even the cinema.
“But during the lockdown, we have not seen one another at all. We are having to rely on video calling. There is no doubt that this is a tough time for us.
“I have found we have been arguing more over petty things. I know this is because of not being able to see each other.
“I know we will get through it, it’s just a trying time.”
But since we could be in this situation for quite some time, it is crucial to take necessary steps to limit the strain that your relationship is probably already suffering.
The main aim if you are dealing with distance is to bridge the gap. Various alternatives can be utilised to interact more.
This includes opting to video call with your significant other. This way you can see one another and even set up virtual dates.
For example, watching films together while on a video call or eating dinner together over a video call.
This will allow you to maintain a sense of normalcy in your relationship as well as giving you something to look forward to after a long day.
You could even make plans with your partner for after the lockdown. It is crucial to understand the gravity of the virus, but also realise it is not everlasting.
Keeping the Spark Alive
Another significant aspect of many relationships is the element of intimacy. Unsurprisingly, numerous couples are questioning their sex lives amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It is important to maintain a healthy physical relationship in order to keep the spark alive. But this is only applicable if you live with your partner.
Alongside an emotional connection, it is imperative your physical connection is also being acknowledged.
It is important to understand that no evidence indicates the sexual transmission of COVID-19.
However, coronavirus can be transmitted through saliva which is present during kissing and this is a common practice during sex.
Although, if you and your partner are symptom-free then having sex during this lockdown can, in fact, help your relationship.
Dr Julia Marcus, a professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School said:
“For people who don’t have symptoms and don’t have any recent likely exposure and have been staying close to home, I think that, if it’s within your own household, it’s a different story.
“If you live with a regular sexual partner and you don’t have any symptoms or likely exposure, sex might actually be a really great way to have fun, stay connected and relieve anxiety during this potentially stressful time.”
Unfortunately, if you live apart from your partner, like most young Desi couples this will be seemingly impossible.
In this instance, communication is key. Make your partner aware of your feelings and thoughts about the situation and how you can move forward from this together.
Even if you are going through a dry spell remember this phase will pass and you will not always feel this way.
Too Much Time Together
If you are both working from home then chances are you will be in each other’s faces all the time. You will be spending more time with your partner than ever before.
As much as you enjoy spending time with your significant other, sometimes spending too much time can have the opposite effect.
Stress levels are already at an all-time high. It is inevitable that you will start to pick up on your partner’s flaws. More than likely, these will be things that didn’t bother you before or things you had never noticed.
To avoid conflict, you may feel it is best to keep these to yourself. However, this can lead to feelings of frustration which can lead to resentment.
Instead, you will resort to criticising your partner’s behaviour.
Another contributing factor in this is the lack of privacy in Desi households. Typically, Desi couples reside with the extended family.
As a result of this, they must tread carefully before expressing their affection within the house.
Due to the number of family members living together, couples do not get the chance to spend quality time with each other. This is further heightened during the lockdown.
With all the family members being confined indoors, chances are tensions will be at an all-time high. This is because this new form of daily life has robbed us of having any time to ourselves.
DESIblitz exclusively spoke to Shabana about how she is dealing with being in lockdown with her husband and his family. She said:
“Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband but he is driving me insane! Usually, we would both work during the day and spend the evening together.
“We would share how our days went. However, because of the lockdown, we are both working from home.
“This has caused us to see each other all day, afternoon, evening and night. This has been hard!”
“Alongside, dealing with not having a routine, we are treading on each other’s toes, all whilst living with other family members.
“This makes it a little harder to mentally cope with what already is a terrible situation.
“In the last few days, we have decided to ease the pressure by taking time out for ourselves in the day and knowing when to give each other personal space.
“It is important to remember, this is not a permanent situation and it is nobody’s fault.”
There is no doubt other couples whether married or not will feel the same way.
To help combat this testing time it is imperative to make some changes. For example:
- Listen and understand your partner’s feelings.
- Monitor the positive and negative interactions with your partner.
- Express your feelings. It is better to have them out in the open rather than bottled up.
- Construct a routine which works for everyone. Fit it around work, your partner and extended family members.
- Reassure your partner. Sometimes hearing everything will be okay can boost your morale.
- Stop using the word “you” in an argument. Instead, choose the word “I”.
- Acknowledge that sometimes you will have an off-day but things will pick up again.
Despite the strain of the lockdown on Desi relationships it is important to remember this is just a hurdle in your path.
If your relationship can overcome such a testing time whether you are living together or apart it will only get stronger. Turn this crisis into an opportunity to better your relationship.