Whether you’re self-isolating as responsible citizens or under actual quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, doing so as a newlywed can be a bit more challenging than you may expect. Although you’ve now committed to building a life together (and hopefully spending the rest of it that way) being confined to one space early on in this stage of your relationship is likely to create strain.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so. Stressful situations such as the coronavirus crisis tend to bring people together in the end. So, quarantining as a newlywed couple can be viewed as an opportunity to build a stronger relationship, much like an extended honeymoon!
As a newlywed, you may be blissfully happy or even in denial that the future could be less-than-perfect. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you want to use this moment to improve (not damage) your relationship, it’s a good idea to have a realistic view of the situation. And, of course, a bit of helpful advice on how to handle things doesn’t hurt, either.
Write Down Household Rules
First things first; both you and your spouse need to set up a sort-of household routine or schedule, and a set of rules. This means deciding on when you wake up and go to bed, who does what chores, and what time you have dinner. Add to the list what’s relevant to your household and living situation.
You don’t want things to feel like a prison, but some sort of routine is necessary for your mental health—even if you’re the spontaneous type. As long as you have a basic outline to follow, you can be as flexible as you want.
Respect the Rules
We shouldn’t have to say this, but if you both agree on a set of rules, you have to respect them. If for nothing else, just out of respect for one another. Therefore, if you’re assigned to laundry duty, just do it!
In addition to the general rules, however, you should also put extra effort into abiding by your partner’s preferences. This might mean compromising on your comfort for the time being, provided that they do the same in return.
Pick Your Battles
You may not want to hear this, but you will likely end up fighting. The fight might be about something serious or it might be about something silly. Either way, you’ll need to be prepared for how to respond.
Communication and compromise are more important than ever right now. But given the circumstances, the two might not be enough. You have to be logical about when to let things go. Save all arguments that can be postponed for later. Focus on only the immediate issues right now. Remember: communication is key. It’s better to address an issue early on rather than wait for things to blow up into a catastrophe.
Don’t Forget Date Night
Being stuck at home under quarantine can quickly turn even the most ambitious person into a couch potato. As newlyweds, you should do everything you can to prevent this philosophy from taking over.
There’s nothing wrong with taking things easy for a week or two, but always make an effort to maintain basic hygiene and get out of your pajamas during the day. In addition, schedule regular date nights, where you can make an effort to look good and keep the spark alive.
Establish Personal Space
Even if you’re head-over-heels in love, you will need some time to yourselves. When setting up your routine, make sure to include a bit of personal time on a daily basis. If you have multiple rooms, use them! It’s a good idea to spend time away from each other.
Regardless of your schedule, always respect your partner’s need for time alone. Don’t take offense if they ask for a bit of privacy. It’s important for one’s sanity and will give you both a reason to look forward to time together later.
Enjoy Basic Bonding Time
Spending time at home, even if you’re working, will create boredom gaps during the day. You’ll likely need to find or revive a few hobbies. This includes hobbies you can do on your own and ones you can do together.
It’s a good idea to find an activity that you’ll both enjoy together. Ideally, it should be something new, but it can also be something you already do together. For example, cooking is a great go-to, but take it up a notch by experimenting with new recipes. Alternatively, you can learn a new language or try out a new virtual fitness course.
Look Forward to the Future Together
Although we don’t know how long the coronavirus pandemic will affect us and how it will change our lives, it’s crucial to have goals and ambitions for the future. Spend some time together coming up with ideas about what you’ll do after quarantine. Create a mood board for a trip you want to take once the travel bans are lifted. For extra credit, make a long-term plan of how you want to see your lives 3, 5, or 10 years down the road.
Having something to look forward to and planning it is both distracting and therapeutic. With a goal or dream to strive for together, it’ll be easier to deal with any difficulties that may come about right now.