HomeBeauty and FashionBeing cooped up with my new boyfriend in lockdown is ageing our relationship in dog years – The Sun
Being cooped up with my new boyfriend in lockdown is ageing our relationship in dog years – The Sun
WHEN you move in with a partner, there inevitably comes a point when you will have the dishwasher argument. You might not have a dishwasher to fight about.
For you, it might be changing the sheets or cleaning the toilet.
But there will always be one chore that one of you feels they do incessantly, and the other person doesn’t do at all.
Normally, this row kicks in after about six months, when the honeymoon period of enjoying each other’s quirks has slowly worn off. But under lockdown, this has taken my boyfriend and me all of six hours.
We weren’t one of the fledgling couples who were told by the government to shack up or stay apart for the duration of this crisis, but my boyfriend Guy, 37, and I had only recently moved in when Covid-19 struck the country.
Now we’re spending every waking moment together, I feel like our relationship is ageing in dog years.
It’s like I woke up and we’d been married 30 years
We’re slobbing out on the sofa, binge-watching TV every night and having the same conversations over and over: “Have you washed your hands? Did you see the queue for the supermarket?”
Thankfully, we haven’t had any huge humdinger fights yet (what’s the point when there’s nowhere to storm off to?), but even tiny niggles get magnified when you’re trapped within the same four walls.
When you’re suddenly dependent on this one other person for all your social stimulation and entertainment, you find things annoying about each other that you never would normally. “Why don’t you like mushrooms? Who doesn’t like mushrooms?” “And could you just dial down that incessant whistling, please?”
Yes, it’s nice that we’re so comfortable with each other already, but I hope this won’t mean that we lose our spark. Healthy relationships depend on having separate interests and space from one another, on not getting stuck in repetition and routine. That’s kind of impossible at the moment.
'LOCKDOWN IS NO FRIEND TO LOVE'
Plus, we’re both suddenly working from home. Guy is a production designer, and so normally spends long hours on set, and I used to love him coming home and telling me all about his day. Now, we are co-workers in the smallest shared office in the world.
Many of us are discovering new aspects to our partners’ personalities, having never witnessed them in work mode before. Maybe you’ve just realised you’re married to a “Let’s circle back on this for some blue-sky thinking” kind of guy? Hopefully not.
Whatever your current relationship status, lockdown is no friend to love. There are single people who’ve had their dating lives put on hold (wondering when they’ll ever have sex again).
There are couples who weren’t ready to take the plunge but decided to panic-move-in together. There are long-distance lovers who’ve gone months without seeing each other in person. There are too many people who feel unsafe, but have nowhere else to go.
So it’s good to remind myself that I’m lucky to be living with someone I love and to have hugs on tap when I feel anxious. Maybe we’ll even look back on this time as the making of us.
We’ll be grateful that we had this strange break from normal life to get to know one another more deeply.
Although that feeling may not last much longer. We’re cutting each other’s hair tonight.
This week's picks
Listening to… Where Should We Begin?Therapist Esther Perel gets couples to chat about life under lockdown in this podcast.
Learning… how to knit Thanks to Stitch & Story’s kit of wool, needles and patterns, I’m making a scarf!
Loving… Neom Hand Balm Made with essential oils, this is the calming tonic my over-washed hands (and brain) need.