Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

5 Ways to “spring clean” your relationship during lockdown

Lockdown... 35 days at home, and nowhere to ‘escape’! How is your relationship going to survive this? You can use this time to do some relationship ‘spring cleaning’, and clear out all of the cobwebs and areas in your relationship that may have been neglected.

If lockdown and the threat of a serious virous does anything, it makes us grateful for our loved ones, and our health. It also makes us grateful for the simple things in life like hugs from friends and family, and spending quality time together.

If you’re feeling anxious about the lockdown, my advice is to take it one day at a time. Find something to be grateful for every day. Find something to appreciate in your partner every day, and don’t forget to TELL them!

While you’re doing some home ‘spring cleaning and DIY’, here are some ways you can also do some relationship spring cleaning so you and your partner can come out of this with a deeper love for each other, and a stronger relationship.

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I’ve put together a few tips below on how to spring clean your relationship. I will be following these too!   

1.   Give your partner a proper greeting

Don’t let your dogs be more excited to see your partner than you! While they may not be going out to work and coming home, you can still give them a ‘good morning’ greeting. How about making them some coffee and drinking it in bed together before you start your day.

Instead of checking your phone as the first thing you do when you wake up, check on your partner. Find out how they slept, and how they are doing. Plan your day together.

2.   Show your appreciation

We often end up taking things for granted in long-term relationships, particularly if there are kids involved. We often forget to acknowledge our partners, and heap all our praise and energy onto our children. While praising your kids isn’t ‘bad’ – don’t forget to praise your partner too! We all need a bit of acknowledgement from those we love.

During lockdown, try to be more conscious of the things your partner does, and show them your appreciation. This can be a simple “thank you” when they’ve cooked a great meal, or “I appreciate your DIY efforts” when they finally get around to that project you’ve had planned for months!

3.   Quality family time

Lockdown is all about spending time together. Yes, it might get ‘hectic’ after a while, but find some time to implement new family habits.

Sit down and eat dinner all together, NOT in front of the TV! Let the kids lay the table and try to get everyone to talk about their day. If you are tired of the usual, “it was fine” answers, then come up with a different way of asking. Instead of saying “how was your day?” ask, “what was the best thing that happened to you today?”

4.   Time-out!

A regular date night is always recommended as a great way for partners to reconnect. Obviously in lockdown, going OUT is not possible. But you can still find a romantic way to spend some quality time together.

Find a quiet space where you can just sit together, and talk about anything – except for your responsibilities! And the kids and work! Talk about your dreams, your favourite band, or a movie you’re keen on seeing, but keep the focus on the two of you, and your quality time together.

Whether this means a midnight picnic in your garden or lounge, or spending a ‘night away’ in the guest bedroom, get creative and enjoy getting to know your partner again.

5.   Be more aware of what makes your partner happy

Remember when you and your partner were dating and you went out of your way to try to find out what they liked just so you could share it with them… their favourite chocolate, band, food and movie.

Once you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s easy to forget about making an effort to make them happy. Pay attention, see if they mention anything that they are keen on that you might be able to help with. For example, if they mention that they like a new band, why not add it to your digital playlist, and play it during dinner?

It doesn’t have to be a big effort, you could even pick up their favourite chocolate when you go grocery shopping, just as a sign to say “I was thinking about you, and I care about making you happy, and we’re going to get through this together.”