Ever wished your partner would spend more time with you? How quaint! This is the universe’s way of testing our relationships. And if the data from China is any indication, we’ll be seeing a wave of divorces once people can get to their lawyers.
Not me, though; one nasty divorce was enough for a lifetime. But since 24-hour togetherness can strain any partnership, I’m trying to follow a few rules.
- Spend time apart. Encourage separate activities to create some alone time; for instance, I’ll bake or write while my husband paints or works on his computer. And if you live in a studio apartment, try to at least identify separate work spaces. With luck, this will give each of you something to talk about every evening besides the virus.
- Share a laugh: a book, video, joke, photo or film. We’ve just gone through all three Cage Aux Folles movies (note: the subtitled versions are funnier than the dubbed ones).
- Plan things to look forward to once life returns to normal — a trip, dinner at a special restaurant, going out with friends, etc. Fantasizing encouraged.
- Connect with others. We enjoyed a Zoom cocktail hour with two of our favorite couples the other night and are going to make this a regular routine. Cheers!
- Make a big bowl of popcorn and find something fun on TV. We’ve been watching old Nick and Nora movies from the ’30’s and adventure films such as the James Bond, Kingsman and Indiana Jones franchises. Pretty much anything that bears no resemblance to today’s world is a good choice.
- Stop obsessing over the news. It helps nothing and makes both parties depressed, which isn’t conducive to a happy home. Being informed is one thing; worrying about anything outside your own control is counterproductive.
- Go for a walk. It’s reassuring to see the flowers blooming and hear the birds chirping as if the whole world weren’t going to hell in a handbasket.
- Take deep breaths whenever your beloved is getting on your last nerve.
My mantra: “Whatever doesn’t make you want to kill your partner makes you stronger.”