Relationships can be hard as it is, but with isolating and social distancing now being a huge part of our everyday life, where does that leave our love life?
Here in the UK, people have been in quarantine for around two months. Other parts of the world have been isolating for more or less. Unable to see members of family, can be heart-wrenching on the soul, and could potentially leave you fretting and fearful of what could happen, if they’re alone, or even if they’re accompanied, your mind can still run into overdrive Are they okay? Are they happy? Do they have enough essentials? But one thing you can hold on to, to reassure you, is that your relationship with them will always conquer all. They’ll be waiting to see you when all of this is over, and the emotions that’ll overcome you will be somewhat of an unknown feeling, as you probably haven’t been through or experienced such an ordeal, mentally and emotionally. On the opposite side of this, what happens if you have a partner, you haven’t seen for such a duration of time? Will the outcome be the same?
Being apart from your ‘person’ can be an entirely different feeling. You might start seeing cracks appear or widen if they’ve already existed prior to lockdown. Communication is one of the fundamental parts of a relationship, and if your other half isn’t making that time to call/videocall you, it can make you feel unimportant. Text’s are great for keeping up to date with day to day habits, but it’s very hard to translate emotion through text. It can be done, but the issue with texting is that it can lack a vital part of communication, which is body language. Realistic conversations can include: eye contact, smiles, even micro facial expressions and many more, these seemingly small elements can bond us to an individual. And all these factors are severely lacking when we indulge in this useful part of technology, texting, a bit too much.
Even a good old fashioned phone call can make you have a positive outlook on the relationship again. In 1997, an American study headed by psychologist Arthur Aron concluded that people can feel legitimately lovestruck in as little as ninety seconds. The study asserted that 55% of the development of this attraction is down to the body language of the potential partner: the brain can pick up on extremely nuanced behaviours that signal mutual attraction. 38% is down to the change in tone and frequency of the person’s voice. Only 7% of the development of this love-like feeling is based on what the person is actually saying. So imagine, scientifically, more than a third of the reason why you fell in love with the person is because of the sound of their voice.
Maintaining the spark
They always say there’s such thing as a honeymoon period going into a relationship; it’s actually real! And it’s down to this hormone – Oxytocin.
Oxytocin is immensely powerful hormone – a love drug, a romantic high, ‘the cuddle hormone’. Oxytocin is released when partners engage in physical contactIts release deepens and strengthens feelings of attachment and, over time, leads to a sense of tranquillity, security, contentment in the relationship. The couple feel safe and experience a much more profound, binding sense of togetherness. The spark has not been extinguished – the incandescence is just a little steadier. Couples may still report feeling madly in love with each other, still experience that same high when are together. So what happens if you can’t step up this hormone because currently, you aren’t the recipient of much to any affection?
You may feel like the relationship isn’t as it once was, and like you can’t help but wonder, “Is this person right for me if they’re not going out of their way to make me feel more secure emotionally?”. My answer is, there may be some validation in that.
There doesn’t have to be, and maybe you’re just going through relationship blues how many of us are in this moment of time, but due to the pandemic, we’re having to adjust how we live our life. And that may not go back to the way it was for quite a while, and you should prepare for the likelihood of there being a second spike of COVID-19. So I’d advise you to think about where that would leave the both of you? Will you be separated for another 2-3 months? As that’s around a quarter of a year each time, and this length of time can take its toll on marriages never mind long distance relationships. Will you want to put plans in action so you won’t be apart for if it were to happen again? But if your other half isn’t putting much effort in currently, moving in might just intensify the underlying issue as to why your partner isn’t making you content or even trying to. Plus, moving in together isn’t a set in stone action for any relationship to work out, and due to more stresses that are likely to emerge, could even make the situation worse.
Are you struggling with quarantine and isolating from your other half? Are you already isolating with them and it’s affecting the relationship in a negative way? Do you feel like the dynamics have changed? Did you find this post helpful? Could you relate to certain aspects? Comment below!