Relationships VS Quarantine — The Answers to Your Questions

After a successful live on Frederica's Instagram , during this quarantine, Carolina Costa Granja , love relationship coach , answers some of the questions most asked by our readers.

Below, find all the relationship expert's advice and try to adapt it to your reality. Relax! Everything will be fine. And remember: in the end, you always have your company (and we're sure it's the best of all!).

How to deal with homesickness and frustration in this quarantine?

It is natural that the distance from the person we love brings pain, discomfort, longing and frustration. And it is also natural that in this context each party expresses their emotions differently: there are people who cry, others who become more conflicted, others who isolate themselves.

Therefore, it is essential that, from the outset, communication habits are maintained or created that support each member of the couple to express what they feel and understand what the other feels, in an empathetic, honest and vulnerable way. In this sense, they can, for example, adopt the practice of every day, at the end of the day, talking for at least 10 minutes and sharing how the day was, what their thoughts, emotions and challenges were. In order to strengthen the union between the couple, they can also ask each other how they can be more present and support each other the next day, expressing gratitude for something the partner said or did that day or for the fact that , despite the distance, continue to be part of each other's lives.

In addition to communication, which is undoubtedly one of the essential pillars for healthy and balanced loving relationships, it is also important to find alternatives to the absence of physical contact that promote the connection between the couple. They can, for example, prepare a romantic dinner and have dinner face to face via video call; watch the same film at the same time and exchange impressions as if they were side by side; try something new together (a yoga class, an online workshop , a recipe or any other option that you both like); surprise someone else with a gift delivered to their home; If they feel comfortable, they can also send more daring photos or videos and masturbate at the same time. Be creative and adapt your routines to this new reality.

What to do in an argument?

Arguments are inevitable between couples. After all, they are two distinct human beings, with their own personalities, stories, values, visions and beliefs. In this sense, the expectation should not be to avoid any and all discussions, but to adopt healthier dialogue habits.

Firstly, communicating with each other in a clear, honest, empathetic and vulnerable way is essential to discuss issues that cause differences between the couple in a way that brings them closer together and not distances them.

Secondly, it is important to be aware of the major communication pitfalls between couples:

  • Criticism: attacking the character of the other. Example: "You're always so selfish." Instead of criticizing, which will create in the other person the need to defend themselves and/or counterattack, express what you feel and clearly express your needs. Example: "I feel sad when I don't receive your attention, can you listen to me and give me a hug?";
  • Resentment: expression of superiority through insults, sarcasm, cynicism or hostility. It is the factor that distances the couple the most and can most quickly lead to a breakup. Example: "You're an idiot, you don't do anything right." Try, alternatively, recognizing the other's efforts, showing your respect and admiration. Example: "Thank you for trying, it means a lot to me";
  • Defense: self-protection, “justified” indignation, victimization, blaming others. Example: "It's your fault that we were late, not mine." It is important that you accept and recognize that you are also responsible for the conflict. Example: "I could have told you that we were at short notice";
  • Isolation: avoiding the conversation without resolving the conflict. Example: "Forget...". When the conversation intensifies, you can walk away for a few minutes or as long as you consider necessary to calm down. Then, when they feel calmer, return to the dialogue.

How can we maintain connection with our long-distance partner?

Whether it's a relationship lasting years, months or weeks, it is possible to continue to nurture and strengthen a long-distance relationship, with the necessary adaptations. These are some of the alternatives you can use to compensate for the lack of physical contact:

  • Talk about topics you have never explored or those you haven't talked about in a while (the people who are important to each other; the biggest challenges and fears at this moment; the areas of life in which you feel most and least satisfied; the trip you would like to take do; short, medium and long term goals; preferred sexual position, etc.);
  • Being present, even from a distance, and showing interest in each other (how they feel, how each other's day was...);
  • Create something together, for example a digital photo album of yours; a playlist with your favorite songs; a timeline of your relationship since the day you met; a vision board with images that represent your goals and dreams as a couple;
  • Maintain moments together, with the necessary adaptations: romantic dinners via video call; movie nights where they exchange opinions about the film; do physical exercise or a prescription at the same time; if they feel comfortable exchanging photos, messages, voice messages and intimate videos and masturbating at the same time;
  • Surprise each other, for example, sending a gift to each other’s home;
  • Create rituals of connection in which you share your thoughts, emotions and challenges in a vulnerable and empathetic way, in which you are present and entirely available to each other and in which you express your gratitude for the fact that, even from a distance, you are part of life from each other.

If the partner does not show openness in relation to these alternatives, my suggestion is that you communicate your needs honestly, lovingly and vulnerablely, clearly expressing why it is important to connect with him/her, and that you find a balance point that is coherent and comfortable for both. Being in a relationship also means moving towards each other and negotiating the aspects on which you do not agree.

How to overcome the end of a relationship in quarantine?

The end of a relationship is always a painful moment and, being in isolation, this pain can intensify, as we have fewer distractions at our disposal and we are also less likely to find a new love to fill the empty space.

Still, and despite recognizing that it is, without a doubt, distressing to experience this moment of rupture in this context, the fact of being in isolation allows for greater contact with how we really feel. So, feel whatever it is you are feeling, without repressing it, without brushing it under the rug. Everything is ok and whatever you are feeling is valid.

In addition to being an opportunity to connect more deeply with your emotions, it is also a time to reconnect with yourself. Take care of yourself, allow yourself to do what gives you pleasure. Invest in yourself, in your hobbies , in your interests, and rediscover yourself, because you're probably not the same person you were before getting into that relationship. Reflect on what this relationship brought you and taught you about yourself and what you want in your life. And don't isolate yourself; It's all right to want to have moments of your own, but it's important that in this moment of grief you feel supported by the people you care about, even if it's through messages and phone calls. If it is too painful for you, also seek support from a professional. You are not, nor do you have to be, alone, and everything becomes lighter when we share some of the burden we carry with us.

Follow Carolina on Instagram : @Carolinacostagranja

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