Has lockdown changed your relationship for better or worse? Life coach and relationship expert Malminder Gill discusses 5 common relationship issues such as ‘how to keep the passion alive as we go back to normality’, to ‘coping with anxiety after being dumped during lockdown’…
A relationship expert on 5 common issues
How can I keep the ‘lockdown passion’ alive as we go back to normality?
“For many, sex has been the most natural way to sublimate ‘cabin fever’ during home confinement and a lot of couples have rediscovered their authentic connection”, explains Malminder. “With lockdown lifting, many fear that their newfound passion will be threatened again by everyday commitments. My suggestion is to save time for your partner and schedule at least one date night per week: take your time to choose what kind of cuisine you want to try and in which part of the city you want to spend the night. It will bring you back to when you first met, igniting the romance once again”.
I’ve been dumped during lockdown and I experience anxiety about facing the new normality by myself. What can I do?
“This may be the most inauspicious time to end a relationship”, says Malminder, “as some need to be surrounded by friends or meet new people to overcome a breakup (while others heal better by themselves, then the current situation is more of a breeze than a battle). If you fall into the former category, you could find hard to distract and not overthink about the end of your relationship. Hypnosis and meditation are powerful tools capable of slowing down the automatic overthinking process.
“My advice for people trying meditation for the first time is to start meditate for 10 minutes every morning: sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus only on your breathing. Breathe in for 7 seconds and breathe out for 11. You’ll notice thoughts still come and go, and that is ok. Just try to always get back to focus on your breathing. If you struggle to fall asleep, then try to meditate at night instead”.
I realised I don’t want to be with my partner anymore. What should I do?
“For certain people, lockdown brought an epiphany: ‘I realised I need to end this relationship’ or ‘I have come to the conclusion that my partner and I have very different projects for the future’” tells Malminder. “Reflecting on your relationship during this unprecedented period is totally normal. However, I’d invite you to consider that the situation we’ve been through is extraordinary and has pushed our relationships to the extreme. Instead of making hasty decisions, be honest with your partner and tell him or her how you are feeling about the relationship and your future. At the end of the conversation you might reconsider your position or have better clarity on what your new priority as an individual are”.
My partner and I have been apart during lockdown. How can we get used to each other again?
“Couples that lived in separate household might have been unable to see each other for the longest period since they started dating. This could have made them doubt the relationship or, on the other end, realising how much the love and miss each other”. In any case, Malminder recommends a phased reconciliation.
“Start meeting your partner once or twice a week for a brunch or a night out, and remember that it’s normal that you won’t have much to talk about at first: all our lives have been quite uneventful lately, so do not consider this negatively. Instead, talk about future projects”.
My partner and I have been dating for a short time before quarantine together for months. What now?
“For those who had only been dating a short time, it may be their first experience of seeing each other in the wider context of their normal life. Certain common emotions – such as jealousy or the feeling of not being your partner’s priority – could emerge now that lockdown lifts”, explains Malminder. “My suggestion would be to take this chance to dedicate some time to yourself, friends and family. Meet your partner twice a week, possibly with other people as it is important for you to see how they behave in other’s presence as you’ve been insulating for such a long time. Group situations will give you a better perspective on your partner and are useful for you to understand if your long-term projects are compatible – in the end you’ve skipped the ‘knowing each other’ phase to jump into the ‘living together’ one”.
Main image: Shuttershock
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.