In this era of anxiousness and uncertainty, we turn to our closest friends and loved ones for support. But tensions have been rising and all types of relationships have been tested during this pandemic. Since March, a 34% increase in divorce sale agreements has been reported. Many people have come out to speak on how their friendships that have lasted more than a decade, have ended due to the negligence of this pandemic. And others have expressed that they have gotten so good at being alone, that they found it difficult to work through their relationships. This disease has already taken so much away from us. The fact that it is affecting our relationships is something we should not take lightly.
Testing Our Friendships
Seeing people I consider my “close friends” go to parties, bars, raves, and do anything non-essential hurts my heart. Maybe having family members who work on the front lines of this pandemic puts it into a different perspective for me, but what many of us need to stop doing is giving these negligent people an excuse for their careless actions.
Everyone is entitled to do whatever they wish; however, some actions just feel selfish. Here I am, along with numerous others, staying home as much as I can, only going out when it is absolutely necessary. And then I see those I consider “friends” go out as if 200,000+ people have not died from this virus. It makes me question if I can truly rely and trust on these so-called friends.
The carelessness amongst my friends makes me question everything from their morals to their ethics. I also question the kind of people I am letting into my life. Although, seeing my friends act with laxity does help me in an interesting way. I have become more adamant about setting personal boundaries with my group of friends. On the rare chance I decide to hang out with them, I will only spend time with the ones who I know are consciously safe and have been tested – which unfortunately is not many.
I am still having a difficult time not letting this impact many of my friendships. However, what many need to accept is that everyone has their own level of risk tolerance; they should not be shamed for it.
Intimate Relationships Taking A Toll
One of the biggest obstacles I genuinely hope I never have to experience is a long-distance relationship. Being apart from a loved one is without -doubt difficult and takes a toll on one’s emotional well-being. But with this pandemic, it is as if I have been apart from my partner for almost 10 months now. Along with the normal challenges and stressors of a relationship, the anxieties of a global pandemic make a relationship feel nothing short of impossible.
The biggest challenge maintaining a relationship in these unprecedented times is figuring out how to co-exist together…while being physically apart. Humans need social interaction, and for months we did not get that. When it comes to relationships, not seeing each other for so long causes friction. Arguments become more prevalent, assumptions will be made, and miscommunication is, unfortunately, inevitable. And I can personally attest to that. Not being with your S.O. can be detrimental to you and to your relationship. It makes the idea of breaking up seem like an easy way out of the pain of separation. This pandemic has definitely put an end to many relationships that could be at a different place if it simply did not hit us.
Whether you are in a long-term relationship, getting acquainted, or somewhere in-between, the pandemic has definitely hindered the way we are socially and intimately interacting with each other.
Tips to Keep Relationships Healthy During this Pandemic
After enduring almost 10 months of pandemic life, the relentless routine of socially distanced interactions leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth. Dealing with negligence from loved ones and separation anxiety from significant others has many of us questioning, “When is this going to end?”
Below are a few tips on how to deal with stressful relationships while coping with the effects of the COVID-19:
- Identify Your Needs, Be Assertive, & Set Your Boundaries: Let your friends, family, S.Os know how you actually feel regarding the pandemic and your relationship. Most of the time, we fall silent because we feel like our best friends or partners should “know” us. However, it is our responsibility to discover what we need and how they can help accommodate that.
- Work On Self-Realization & Acknowledgment: This is as simple as realizing what is good for you. If a certain friend is being careless with their endeavors and you are not comfortable with that, it is ok to not see them. Realizing what you need should be your number one priority. It is ok to be a little selfish, especially during this unprecedented time.
- Communication Is Key: Talk about the way you feel. Being able to verbally speak on it with your loved ones is so important. Make sure to find opportunities to communicate and connect. Work through your feelings, and find ways to deal with these painful situations.
From a realistic standpoint, this global pandemic has definitely taken its toll on the various types of relationships and will continue to do so. Just like our efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19; we can only hope that this is enough to save our relationships from this pandemic.