How can I be with people

How you as a couple survive the permanent lockdown

Many relationships are put to the test in the quarantine. Our author Hanna Liesenfeld is a doctor in psychosomatics and gives tips on how to get out of the corona crisis together.

Realistic expectationstheisolated Togetherness to have: 

Some people may interpret the quarantine as a forced honeymoon, in which you can spend as much time together as you haven't done for a long time. That may be optimistic, maybe even romantic. But probably not very realistic. With a lot of time in a small space, the relationship can run out of oxygen and the quarantine can become a breath test for the partnership. And that's ok. You can also devote yourself to other things than your partner. We have put together a list of activities that you can do during the Corona crisis.

Spend time actively together 

Everyday life is often exhausting. We come home, want to relax, to be sprinkled. On some days, the television and the Internet communicate more unnoticed with us than the partner. You're online together. But side by side. The current house arrest could finally give us time together. If we know how to use it like that. Instead of scrolling absently through your own news feed at the same time, watch a concert in the live stream together. Listen to a podcast together, read the other's favorite passages from a good book. Or just talk. About what makes you afraid, for example. How nice it would be to bring active togetherness back to life at home in a time when social life is temporarily dead.

Give yourself space, distance yourself - even more than the prescribed 1.5 meters

At the moment a virus about 150 nanometers in size is forcing us apart. Keeping your distance seems the healthiest. But closeness actually makes people happy. It's already in the word. Distance is cool and edgy. Proximity, warm and cozy. In humans, physical contact leads to the release of messenger substances such as oxytocin and dopamine, which reduce stress and have a positive effect on mood.

At the moment we should still keep our distance. Even more than two meters. If the other person is watching the tenth Corona report on television too loudly or has used up the last piece of toilet paper. In quarantine times, the empty role can become a risk for the relationship. Then it's best to distance yourself, close the door (if possible) and enjoy solitude.

Communicate regularly with someone other than the partner 

Be it by phone, social media channel, email or via the balcony with the neighbors. Not because the partner is fundamentally insufficient. But because diverse human exchange has been shown to be good for you. In psychosomatic medicine, social connections are one of the so-called “green flags”. Factors that can have a positive effect on a person's recovery in the event of illness. In the microcosm of quarantine and the corona virus, it is nice to notice that you are not alone with your worries and thoughts, and not just as a couple.

Do not impose your own ideas about quarantine on the other

Everyone deals with an exceptional situation differently. How you and your partner react in such a situation you usually only know when you are right in the middle of it. For example, some would like to use the free time in quarantine, muck out, clean or do anything else that would otherwise always be left lying around. The other person would prefer to stay in bed (as far as the home office allows), to curl up. Surrender to your fears and worries as everything will go on. Instead of being productive, be passive. Different people have different mechanisms of adaptation to the new and the unexpected. Accept that and allow the other person to have their own crisis rhythm. Then you don't muck out your partner in the end.

More about Corona in Berlin

Also read the conversation with couple counselor Martin Jurock about sex, the corona pandemic, breakups and "corona babies". There are other crises during this period as well. What to do when partners believe in conspiracies. And time at home can be very difficult. Here you can find out how it feels when you have to be in quarantine as a shared apartment.

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