Dos and don’ts for couples during quarantine

By: Abena Manokekame
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I SPOKE to three different couples over the past week. The first couple are married and living together, the second couple are married but not living together and the third couple are dating and not living together.

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The advice I gave them separately is what I would like to share with you. Hope you’re doing well. So,

1.The little things count
I remember when a friend asked me where I will spend Easter this year and I told her I couldn’t decide on whether to spend it in my kitchen or living room.

Living indoors for weeks means you will get so comfortable wearing the same clothes over and over (and not bathing because there’s no one there to smell you) that dressing up or doing any fashion becomes hard but do it for your partner.

Whether you live together or not, wear those earrings he likes or that Tshirt she told you she loves seeing you wear. Stop what you’re doing for a minute and call them to share what you’re doing.

2.Group up but respect whom you’re with
Texting has permeated into virtually every aspect our lives due to how easy social media apps have made them and there are fun people to meet individually and as a group.

Thus, a lot of couples find themselves in the same groups. Just because you’re in the same group with your partner doesn’t mean you can’t comment on other people’s comments but too much is too much.

Learn to give priority to your partner too as well as respect. Unless you’re sure your partner is okay with you calling someone “darling” or “sweetheart” don’t call others such endearment.

It is also off putting to joke with others over comments and asking to visit or invite them out. You aren’t married to your partner yes but it also doesn’t mean you should talk to other people as if your partner doesn’t exist.
NB: if your invites or visitation were harmless, you would have informed your partner first.

3.Common courtesies are important
I’ve had complaints over the years from people who think their partners don’t want them anymore. How can you come online for hours without bothering to find out how your partner is?

Some would even read the messages and take hours to respond. I believe in doing as you want others to do onto you so if you will hate to send a message to someone where they’ll read and ignore you, then don’t do that to another person.

Should you be no more interested in the person then dialogue, don’t ghost.

4.Control the PDA
Being under quarantine and with the social distancing rules is affecting a lot of us and couples are mostly getting affected because when one gets the virus, the other is over 50 percent likely to get it.

But unlike the common cold which can run the gamut of infecting one person after another in the home and they’ll all heal over time, this particular virus can kill so we can’t take chances.

Control the PDA and observe social distancing rules with your partner as much as you can. When you can’t, ensure you protect yourselves as much as possible.

5.Don’t get too caught up in activities
When we weren’t under quarantine, we had to set aside some time to spend with our partners because well work, school, etc took up much of our time.

So it will hurt that when you both have so much time during this quarantine, you will still be busy with other things at the expense of your partner. It’s time to plan activities with them and make them enjoy the time you now have for them.

Plan all sorts of activities like reading books together, learning online courses or new crafts with each other. The resources and ideas are endless so get creative.

6.Do something you’ve been putting off
As a couple, maybe there was something your partner was expecting you to do or something you both planned to do but never had the time. Hello?

This is the perfect time to do it. I’m sure you’ll be so happy finally doing it that you’ll ask yourself why it took you so long to do it.

7.Family up
It’s time to chat with friends but most importantly your friends. For couples who have yet to introduce each other to their partner’s parents, you can equally do so via video calls (no one will mind as these are indeed strange times we live in) and get introduced finally.

Do check on each other’s family frequently and create that needed bond.

Also plan to do stuff like donating to help people affected by the quarantine, surprising each other by ordering gifts to be delivered to them among others.

The writer is a Relationship Speaker
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