How to maintain healthy independence while social distancing with your partner

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One Love Heart Blue Written by Writer’s Corps member Ashlyn Jones 

With everything going on with quarantine there may be some worries about making your relationship work during this time. Although you might think the worst that could happen while in quarantine with your partner is arguing from time to time, think again. You could fall into unhealthy patterns of coping together (ie. lose your independence). However, there are things you can do to maintain independence during the pandemic, even if you’re quarantining with your partner.  

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Have your own space 

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Even during quarantine, having a space of your own is needed from time to time. This may be harder for couples who are social distancing together, but it’s still doable! If you live with your partner, a set time where you both can either be in separate rooms to decompress or relax is a great way to practice independence. Also, spending time outside to go for a walk or spending time in your backyard are other ways you can give each other space.   

Connect with friends 

Talking with friends daily is a great way to stay connected with people outside of your immediate relationship. You can even make new friends by joining an online social group. Sites like Facebook have private groups for almost anything. Just search by your interests and you’ll be sure to find a group you can join to connect with like-minded people.  

Don’t forget your fur friends! If you have any pets you can also spend time with them by taking them out for a walk or playing fetch.  

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Maintain your hobbies 

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Need an excuse to get out of the house? Pursue hobbies at a safe social distance. Doing what you love gives you much-needed time apart from your partner so you can connect with yourself and what brings you joy. If you are not comfortable leaving your home, try creative hobbies like painting or writing. 

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Plan time for self-care 

Pandemics are stressful. Mostly everyone is going through some change right now. To cope with these changes it’s a good idea to start a solo self-care practice. Meditation, journaling, exercise, or talking to a professional are ways you self-reflect and maintain your mental health.

Set healthy boundaries 

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Healthy boundaries during this time are crucial at every stage of a relationship and especially if you will be sharing a roof with you S.O. for an extended time. A healthy partner will understand, and most importantly, respect any boundaries you set for yourself, and the relationship. Do you need alone time at the end of each day? Is it important to speak to your mom every morning? A healthy partner won’t stand in between you and what you need to stay well. When you practice healthy boundaries. 

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Sharing a space with your S.O. will test the strength of even the healthiest relationships. But being stuck indoors doesn’t mean you and your partner have to be inseparable all of the time. Healthy relationships are about balance and spending an equal amount of time maintaining your sense of self and relationship outside of your immediate relationship is key to maintaining that balance. Instead of falling into unhealthy codependent patterns during quarantine use this time to establish stronger boundaries to maintain your independence and to know and love yourself better.

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