Things to Take With You From Quarantine

Our exact timelines will vary, but we’ve all been in this for a while now. Quarantine, lockdown, shelter-in-place, or whatever you want to call the new normal we’ve been living. Depending on where you live, you could be pivoting towards opening up and going back to something resembling life “before.” For some of us, life will continue to unfold in restricted, socially-distant reality. We hope that over the last weeks and months, you’ve been able use some of your time at home to invest in your relationship. As you prepare to step back into the hustle and bustle of life, we encourage you to reflect on the things you want to take with you and carry on from this time. Yes, we know there are probably many things you’d like to leave behind, but there has been some good that has come out of staying home and slowing down your pace of life.

Simplicity in dates
Remember how, just a few months ago, date night seemed impossible to get figured out. You had so many decisions to make and logistics to coordinate. Find a sitter, decide on a restaurant or activity, contemplate the struggle to find parking, or the expense of taking a Lyft. And then- what to wear?? And all the work that goes into getting yourself and your partner ready to go and your kids into a state that the sitter can manage. All to feel exhausted by the time you got home. There were so many options back then, and while we may view it as a luxury now, all those decisions and details could sometimes cloud the real purpose of the date.

In quarantine, dates became a different kind of challenging. How do you make them happen when there is no sitter, there are no places to go, and we’ve already been spending all of our time together anyway? We figured it out though – and in doing so, discovered the magic of simplicity. A picnic in the backyard, cooking a new recipe together, watching a movie snuggled on the couch with your favorite theater snacks. We got creative with our limited options, and that allowed us to focus on and rediscover the importance of intentional time together – truly being present and enjoying each other’s company, instead of just sitting in the same room. So as we move forward into the next phase of this, remember: dates don’t have to be big, stressful events. Just be intentional with your time together and make it about really connecting with each other.

Asking more than just, “How are you?”
Pre-COVID-19, it was easy to ask your partner, “How are you?” or “How was your day?” and expect a simple answer. There certainly could have been more going on in your partner’s world, but we maybe weren’t very diligent about checking in and pushing deeper to see how they’re actually doing. Frankly, some of us don’t always have the right words to ask the questions that get us there, or we don’t know how to answer beyond the “I’m good” or “Doing fine” responses.

Quarantine has prompted many of us to come to terms with the fact that some days, we’re actually not good. We’re not fine. And that’s okay. The lesson comes when we discover the importance of being able to express that to your partner, even if you don’t use the perfect language to get you there. Share your feelings and inquire about each other’s emotional state. There likely were days where you or your partner needed a little extra hug, or space, or something different because of feelings. And there will likely be days ahead in your relationship that require something similar. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to encourage us to share our feelings and emotions with each other, but if this strange time gave you a little extra practice, take that and keep exercising those habits.

So as we begin the slow transition back to a more “normal” pace of life, consider the things you’ve learned during your time at home, and how you might carry them forward to keep your relationship strong. There is still a lot of uncertainty we’re facing- what will our lives look like weeks or months from now? We don’t know. What we do know is this: this won’t be the last challenge you’ll face together, but you’ve proven you can support each other through the most unpredictable of circumstances, becoming stronger as individuals and as a couple. We hope you’ll take that confidence with you, too.

11 thoughts to “Things to Take With You From Quarantine”

  1. As retired widowed seniors, we sold our previous homes more quickly than expected, moved in together in a new community then our May 2nd wedding date was delayed due to pandemic. We took the compatibility exam through our new pastor and scored highly. It has been an interesting journey these past weeks. I’ve been here 6 months, him 2 months. Combining two households, deciding whose framed art to hang where, meal planning etc., has been a task. And, while I’m generally patient and persistent he’s more high strung and becomes frustrated with feeling confined. Thankfully, we both have hobbies and family. I ordered the Couples booklet because having more indepth conversation could be beneficial!

  2. Thank you for sharing, Learning a lot during this time, of really making feelings a priority and allowing to ask questions, and listen for the answers. I hope this new creativness leads us into differnet realms.

  3. My husband and I married almost 3 years ago. We are OLDER than most (now 73 and 93!), having 20 years in age separating us, and have had some similar experiences though we shared them with others. The COVID-19 parameters shut down our lives as we knew them. All of our volunteering and socializing shut down over night! We were aghast! We were drifting! “What would we do for interest together?” and “How could we survive without personal contact with others?” Those were the questions at hand. Because we live in the country, we have land that requires upkeep, which we had not done due to our other activities, so we started there, and gained satisfaction as we saw progress. Long hair and growing toe nails gave us a new opportunity to trust one another and to become more intimate, too. After all, cutting hair and toe nails at our ages, is usually trusted to professionals. My husband and I took up gardening. At our advanced ages, our gardens had requirements: 1) We should not have to bend over much. 2) We should grow what we like. 3) We should mostly take care of our own gardens. So, he grows vegetables and I grow mostly flowers with a few veggies thrown in for good measure! We also found that we COULD NOT do without some personal contact, so we modified how that would happen. We began to have small groups to our home. There was one exception to this small in road in socialization, which also brought great joy! Our friends, our extended family with whom we spend all holidays, came to the country, drove in our driveway blowing car horns, shouting greetings, and waving signs! A drone recorded their social distancing from us and gave us a keepsake too! I cannot honestly say that I am grateful that we have the COVID-19 pandemic–quite the opposite! But, I can say that with a basis beginning with your testing and our pastor’s counseling at that time, and with our maturity, my husband and are THRIVING with the grace of God! May all of you also thrive and be able to make the proverbial “lemonade out of lemons” during this trying time! God Bless!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your journey and creative approach to caring for yourselves and safely connecting with others.

  4. My husband and I are child-hood sweethearts. We have been married 18 1/2 years. In the last several years our marriage has been strained but, we maintain our Faith to help us get through. During this time called “pandemic” we have gained so much in our relationship but, there are still topics we have not touched that I hope when we leave this time, will not cause the place division to remain. I hope we take what is most important to our covenant relationship. Together but, separated on any issue leave room for upset. The most important thing to leave this quarantine with or whatever situation we enter is face-to-face at all times. I believe our Faith in God and turning to His word has been the foundation of us not caving into what divides us. We are together but,, divided if that makes sense, This time has caused us to be closer in ways we needed to regain. We have worked on many projects during this time, I have been taught the basics of chess and domino’s and we have had some memorable family time. I am truly afraid that if we don’t settle what had separated us, we will just go back to the way things were. That would be unsettled, separated at some point, living without recovery from it.

    I know God does not want that to happen. I want to thank Prepare-Enrich for the encouraging blogs.
    My husband and I even took the couples assessment. We were able to see the fact of where we are. We have been offered Godly counsel to begin the healing process. I hope and pray we walk in agreement.
    In this time called “pandemic” I am Content right here, right now. It has been a good place for our marriage.

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