How to Rekindle Love In a Quarantined World

In the span of just one year, my partner of four years and I went from doing two years of long-distance across the country to living in a one-bedroom apartment in Washington D.C. to packing up and moving again to North Carolina. Our relationship has survived two big moves, two career changes, and a

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching (and in the oddest and devastating set of years yet) I want to talk about — you guessed it — love. Except I want to talk about the real side of it. The ugly side of it. The beautiful, deeper side of it that can emerge from a dark time if you both let it.

Here are some things I learned about myself and my relationship during quarantine and isolation, and how we both grew from it individually and together for the better.

Spend intentional time together

My partner and I met at work and grew a foundation as friends before we unexpectedly started our relationship. I remember telling him early on, “I never get tired of spending time with you," and I still don’t, which I’ve (funny enough) figured out is a problem, too.

Working in the same room, going on walks together, and eating every meal together is a lot. We’re both pretty independent people, but quarantine put us in the trap of thinking that just because we’re in the same house, we had to have the same. exact. schedule. Before we all fell victim to the pandemic, most working professionals were used to going into an office or workspace and spending at least eight hours of the day apart from one another.

Truly, it’s abnormal to spend so much time in the presence of someone else, even someone you love! I’ve learned the hard way that you have to spend time apart so you can spend real, intentional time together. Now the quality of our conversations when we come together at the end of the day is richer and our time together feels so much more special!

Cut the ego and say what you need!

I tend to get upset when I have to explain what I want or need in a situation because in my head it takes away from the “soulmate” feeling of my partner just knowing what I need (and after four years!!!). Well ladies, gents, and non-binary peoples, my mom informed me that that does not go away, no matter how long you are together.

Go figure.

Clearly, I’m stressed and I want you to make dinner tonight.

Clearly, I need a hug.

Well one day, it hit me like a ton of bricks. What is worse: not getting what you want or need or the fact that you had to say it? Our egos are not our friends.