By Match’s dating expert Hayley Quinn

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Whilst it may have kept us safe from COVID-19, lockdown has put inevitable pressure on relationships. If your relationship is currently on the rocks, you may be wondering whether it was always destined to go that way, or whether it was a victim of circumstance. 

If your relationship was relatively new when lockdown started you may have been forced to push it one of two ways; accepting a long distance romance until social distancing eased, or moving in together prematurely to make sure you didn’t go through lockdown alone. Whilst it may have felt romantic at the time to go through with a rushed move-in, undoubtedly this manoeuvre would have come at a price. 

Moving in together is a major milestone because it usually comes after months, if not years, of testing the water with sleepovers at each other’s houses. Over time you get to know someone’s idiosyncrasies, true personality, and preferences over how to load the dishwasher! Without this foresight, the glow of the ‘honeymoon’ phase could soon have worn off if suddenly you’re thrust into each other’s company 24/7. 

Think of it this way: it is simply not sustainable to have heady romance all the time. Living together will mean you’ll have to also be together at times when things feel mundane, boring, or stressful - this is a lot of pressure to put on a new relationship. If you’re in this situation right now, remember moving out doesn’t have to mean a white flag of defeat for your partnership. It may give you the space you both need to reinvigorate the romance. 

What if your relationship headed in the other direction when lockdown was announced and suddenly you find yourself with a long-distance lover who has grown progressively more distant? 

If lockdown meant you were apart for a long period of time, the social glue of a courtship may not have been able to hold you together. 

Video dates, phone calls and social media can only go so far to sustain a romance: but they’re not a replacement for seeing someone in real life. If you’ve found that your love interest’s enthusiasm is waning and they’re drifting out of contact now that lockdown has been eased, this could be a red flag that they were more interested in a way to pass the time than a serious relationship. 

What everyone needs first and foremost in their partnerships (beyond good looks, or the ability to organise a good date) is someone’s continual willingness to make an effort to build the relationship. If someone is inconsistent or showing that they’re more of a sprinter than a marathon runner when it comes to building a bond with you, you may want to swap your focus to finding someone new. 

Remember, if someone has run hot then cold this isn’t likely to be anything to do with you. Instead take it as a reflection of what they’re able to offer you right now, and set your sights on finding someone more aligned with what you want. 

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