by Julien-Pierre Campbell
Quarantining with roommates can be difficult. Quarantining with immediate family can drive you crazy. Quarantining when you’ve just moved in with a partner for the first time is wild! I moved in with my fiance in mid-February, and it’s been wonderful. They work full-time and perform on the weekends. I work part-time, go to school full time, and typically perform with them. We’re busy people! Now that our jobs no longer exist, however, we’re facing the dilemma of Oh, wow! This is a LOT of time together.
Of course, we love one another. In some ways, it’s been wonderful to be at home all day with the love of my life. In other ways, our lives have gone full-stop at a vulnerable stage in our relationship. We agreed to give one another lots of space and independence when we moved in together. No one could have prepared us to be isolated in the same house for the foreseeable future.
Here’s my best advice:
- Give one another space: My fiance is an introvert, whereas I’m super gregarious and high-energy. If I’m feeling social, I’ll face-time friends for a few hours in the living room. My fiance will hang out in our room watching TV, looking over tarot cards, or Facetiming their mom.
- Try to remember that the outside world exists: We have a high-energy pit bull who needs walks three times a day. Taking him out, taking a little walk through the neighborhood, or even taking the trash to the curb can be very refreshing.
- Compromise: I love my partner to bits! We are, however, very different people. Practicing the art of compromise is the key to making relationships work.
- Communicate:I cannot stress how important communication is, especially in these difficult times. Discussing our fears, hopes, and frustrations has been wonderful. Not being afraid to be vulnerable with one another has been key.
- Lastly, and most importantly, BE PATIENT: A home still needs to function, even in the apocalypse, and so do its inhabitants. Chores, cooking, and schoolwork can pile up. Be patient! A little understanding goes a long way, and is incredibly appreciated.
Times are strange and difficult. Being patient, remembering to take deep breaths, and not being scared to be vulnerable are key. So far my self-isolation with my fiance has been wonderful, and with hard work and patience, it will continue to be so.