Being stuck inside together with your partner should be a romantic dream, right?
Don’t feel bad if your relationship isn’t thriving right now. You’re not alone. In fact, in these unprecedented times, even the strongest of couples can find it challenging to stay happy while stuck inside together.
When at home 24/7 with your partner, your regular routines are gone. This means the usual boundaries that every relationship needs to be happy are gone, too.
It can be difficult to maintain typical healthy habits you need while stuck inside.
If you find yourself thinking that this time together should be smooth and full of love-filled bliss, you’re probably buying into one of the damaging myths about relationships.
You’ll inevitably experience the fallout from being stuck inside. You might find yourself arguing more, or maybe the fun activities you used to share suddenly feel less meaningful. Perhaps you can’t help but feel irritated with your partner regularly.
Don’t get me wrong, you still love your partner. But let’s face it. No couple should be spending every minute of every day together.
Fortunately, there are ways that couples who are stuck at home together can still find balance and love in their relationship. In fact, nine specific habits will help you maintain a strong relationship while stuck inside.
9 Habits for Strong Couples While Stuck Inside Together
1. Find daily routines to do together – and break apart for the rest
Every couple falls into daily routines that they enjoy. Maybe you read the news together in the morning, or you walk the dog after a long day of work. These little routines give us sacred time to share something with our partner.
When you’re stuck inside together for the whole day, however, it can be easy for these routines to slip away and lose their value. Think about it. Two hours a day together feels special and meaningful. Fourteen hours a day together suddenly feels long and mundane.
Establishing intentional daily habits can help strong couples still value time together. Find daily routines to do with your partner, and then break apart for the rest. It’s in the separation that you will develop a greater appreciation for time spent together.
2. Carve out separate spaces in your home that you can get away to
I don’t know about you, but I’m someone who needs my space. Having my partner around the home constantly doesn’t put me in the best of moods (and we live in a small apartment).
Even a few hours of physical separation can do wonders for a couple. It allows you to collect your thoughts and settle into a room with yourself. Unfortunately, these times make it challenging to get this separation. No matter how your home is set up, having two people stuck at home, 24/7 is going to change how you exist in your space.
While stuck at home with your partner, try to carve out separate spaces in your home that you can get away to. Both you and your partner must have a “getaway” room that can serve as a healthy escape.
Depending on the size of your house, you might need to get creative. Maybe the bedroom becomes your home office, and the den becomes his gaming room. Perhaps one room becomes a shared getaway, in which you take turns slipping away.
It might sound silly, but this reprieve from each other is a must-do habit for strong couples to survive being home together.
3. Be intentional with planning a weekly date night
As the days stuck inside turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months (gulp), it can be easy to lose all semblance of calendars. Why do I need to worry about planning, when I can’t make any plans?
Don’t be so sure. You can make plans, and it’s the act of making plans that will help keep your relationship thriving while home together. Every couple can use something exciting to look forward to, even if it’s inside their own house.
A super simple habit for strong couples is to plan a weekly date night. Be intentional with the day and time; set it ahead of time and count down the days. Can’t go out? That’s fine. You can cook for each other or order a special take-out meal. Perhaps you can dress up or plan a fun evening with dinner, drinks, and a movie.
A weekly date night will not only give you something to look forward to, but it can help you celebrate your love for one another in a fun and creative way.
4. Create a list of fun ideas and activities to try while stuck at home
With the world in its current state, many of our usual forms of entertainment are taken away. And as easy as it is to turn to binge-watching shows, you can use this extra time to bring new life into your relationship.
Sit down with your partner and create a list of fun ideas and activities to do together. If you want to get fancy, you can put the ideas on a vision board or get artsy with your labels. Not sure what you can do? There are endless possibilities for at-home date ideas that can bring new energy into your days.
Don’t feel like you have to get through your list of activities in the next week. Instead, post it somewhere that it can inspire you. When you or your partner are feeling particularly restless or disconnected, look over your list and choose a fun option.
5. Hold a weekly meeting to discuss your budget and financial health – but don’t discuss it outside of these times
A benefit of being stuck at home is that we can finally take care of all the financial responsibilities we usually neglect. You also might need to reevaluate your financial health and spending, given the current times.
The time to tackle these decisions with our partners can feel like a blessing. My partner and I can finally sit down at the table and hash out these things! Don’t be fooled. Especially in our current uncertainty, these financial conversations can begin to slip into daily interactions. A constant focus on finances can be incredibly draining and stressful.
While stuck at home together, don’t let these worries take over your daily conversations. Instead, develop the habit of holding a weekly meeting to discuss your budget. If a sudden change happens, you can always call an impromptu meeting.
Keeping these discussions to a weekly habit will help you maintain a healthy peace of mind. It can also encourage the dynamic of you and your partner teaming up to make decisions.
6. Ask about your partner’s time-wasting hobbies and learn to appreciate them
We all have our own time-wasting hobbies and guilty pleasures. These activities allow us to unwind and ease some of our stress. However, we’re usually able to enjoy these activities in small pockets of alone time.
Now, you and your partner are both stuck at home with endless time on your hands. Suddenly, you can see all of the hours your partner spends on his hobbies. It’s a natural tendency for us to begin to judge each other.
Does he really need to be spending 6 hours playing video games?
Hasn’t he already watched five movies this week?
You need to respect that your partner’s allowed to do whatever he wants with his free time. As long as it’s not coming between you and the relationship, then you don’t have a say in it. But it can still be tough to accept how he uses his time.
A simple habit to stay strong while stuck inside is to learn to appreciate your partner’s time-wasters. Ask questions to learn what he gains from the activity. Even if it’s different from your own interests, you can develop a better understanding of why he does it. This will help you quiet the inevitable judgments in your mind.
7. Connect with friends outside of the relationship
If you’re stuck at home, it can be easy to focus on the person you can see in front of you (aka your partner). After all, they’re the only one that you can really spend time with.
Your partner might be your best friend, your confidant, and your cheerleader… But they cannot be your only one. The best thing healthy couples do is to maintain strong relationships outside of their love life.
These friendships allow you to hear different viewpoints share diverse interests, and, if need be, listen to your complaints and concerns about your partner. I personally have a trusted circle of friends that I swap relationship stories with. These conversations aren’t loveless rants, but instead healthy outlets for advice.
Connecting with friends might seem difficult to do while stuck at home, but it’s more necessary now than ever. And, since everyone is stuck at home, your friends will probably have the time to talk.
8. Exchange kind acts with your partner
Do you remember any of the sweet, romantic gestures that you and your partner exchanged when you first started dating? As of late, you might be feeling a bit more like roommates than lovebirds. A simple yet powerful habit to change this is to exchange kind acts with your partner.
If you think I’m calling you out for being unkind, don’t worry – I’m not. Kind acts simply come a lot easier when our lives are filled with busy schedules and changing events. When one of you is working late, the other one can step up to help more around the house. If your partner just accomplished something big, you can celebrate with a dinner out. Kind acts might be as tiny as a caring phone call during the afternoon to “check in.”
These opportunities disappear when you’re both stuck at home. Kind acts give way to a division of labor around the house, losing much of their beauty. That’s why, to stay strong, couples need to make it a habit to exchange kind acts.
These acts don’t have to be big. They might be a small purchase, a surprise meal, or an extra round of cleaning. The point is that you’re giving something to your partner in a way that says, “I love you.”
9. Intentionally check-in each week about each other’s goals and emotions
It might seem odd to suggest a weekly check-in as a habit that strong couples need while stuck inside. You might be wondering, Don’t we check in with each other every day? This is probably true, but daily conversations can easily slip into the surface-level talk. After all, telling you how my day is going – when you’ve literally seen everything about my day – feels a bit worthless.
By intentionally checking in with each other once a week about your goals and emotions, you can help support each other through any changes. Being stuck inside will blur your days together. This can make it even more challenging to understand how you’re feeling.
Furthermore, if you and your partner have opposite personality traits, these conversations will be even more critical. Once a week, sit down with your partner and share your goals for the week. This will help you support each other. You also should share your emotions. Not only give you the opportunity for self-reflection, but it will keep your partner clued into how you’re feeling.
Especially when you have opposite characteristics.
Especially when we’re living in uncertain times and novel situations, these check-ins are paramount for relationships to stay strong.
Conclusion for couples stuck inside together
Being stuck inside with your partner is challenging for even the healthiest of relationships. Small issues turn into big problems as couples fall away from the everyday habits that make them work. Fortunately, there are habits that you can maintain to keep your relationship surviving while at home.
What’s more, you can use this time to grow as a couple and make lasting memories with your partner.
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