While we all understand that a minute’s silence and a national doorstep vigil form a natural part of the day of reflection planned to commemorate the anniversary of the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown – March 23rd, there are other forms of reflection happening too.
Reflection on relationships – seeking, starting, & keeping them
Starting a relationship, and keeping it vital, always takes time, honesty and vulnerability. Testing times can challenge or strengthen relationships and few experiences have been so testing as the COVID-19 pandemic. For some of us it’s spelt the end of a long-term relationship, for others it’s strengthened a relationship that had fallen into a rut, and for yet more of us it’s been the impetus to find a new love and launch ourselves onto the uncharted oceans of a new relationship – despite the current difficulties.
Relationship stresses and how to manage them
Every romantic relationship has been challenged in some way over the previous year, but perhaps not always as we’d anticipated.
A recent study by a UK law firm found that half the existing couples they spoke to felt that the lockdown(s) had helped their relationship and caused them to become closer.
On the other hand, many people have found difficulties with navigating a relationship during the lockdowns. The most common causes of relationship stress include:
- lack of alone time 17%
- mental health 16%
- financial difficulties 16%
- finding your partner annoying 13%.
I think even the most committed and loving of us have some sympathy with that final point – having our partners at home/underfoot/in the way/in our face has caused many of us to lock ourselves in the bathroom and ask ourselves why on earth we’re still with this person!
But the challenges this year have been incalculable and a day of reflection on the state of our relationships and what we truly desire could be the springboard to the future of our dreams. Some of us have experienced loneliness, grief and loss, birth, mental stress or illness. Others have had to contend with working from home, workplace stress during the pandemic, home-schooling or being home-schooled. Some of us have discovered new reserves of fortitude and humour that we didn’t know we possessed. Many have faced the constant presence of somebody else in our personal space without the relief of quality solitude.
We’ve all earned a moment of rest and reflection.
One thing the pandemic has done is change our perception of what matters. Many of us are no longer willing to just ‘jog along’ in a relationship that isn’t meeting our deepest needs for connection and mutual support. While everybody is reporting ‘a spike in divorce rates’ it’s definitely too soon to have any data, and most news reports are actually based on the ONS 2019 figures which came out a year before the pandemic and relate in part to the clearing of a backlog of cases from 2018. The jury is still out on 2020’s effect on relationships.
However, not settling for second best has become a real feature of many people’s futures. This means that in the next few months, as restrictions ease, people will be looking for a relationship in a completely different way – building on their experience of the past 12 months to define what they are looking for, what they have to offer and how much they are ready to commit to creating a strong partnership.
At Select Personal Introductions we’re already seeing this wave of passionate, enthusiastic individuals stepping up to find the partner of their dreams and it’s exciting to be able to help them start that new journey.