Skip to content
Gifting tips and advice to help you make the most of life’s special moments
Power of Everyday Moments / Securing Relationships

Tips for Maintaining Your Relationship During the Pandemic

January 29, 2021

Ready to make their heart flutter? Whether you’re looking for romantic gift ideas or tips on how to sweep them off their feet, Your Trusted Cupid brings you topnotch advice from relationship experts that’s sure to make your sweetheart feel adored. From thoughtful gestures to memorable date night ideas, we share the sweetest ways to say, “I love you.”

Amanda and Daniel pose for a photo
Amanda Isadore and Daniel Datolico

Maintaining happy, healthy relationships can be a challenge at the best of times. But in the middle of a pandemic, when many couples are separated due to quarantine or isolated from friends and loved ones for months on end, relationship success might feel downright impossible.

For some individuals in relatively new relationships, it may feel like your relationship was cut short before it even started. Amanda Isadore and her boyfriend of eight months, Daniel Datolico, made the difficult decision to quarantine separately because they did not live together and wanted to reduce the potential of spreading the virus.

Several weeks into the pandemic, Amanda returned home to live with her family and cut her living expenses. But that threw her relatively new relationship onto the rocks as she attempted to navigate a newly long-distance relationship comprised mainly of texting and Zoom dates under her parents’ roof. Fortunately, the couple was able to make some changes that helped their relationship grow.

“When work obligations pivoted to online and my commute time was reduced, we suddenly had much more time to connect throughout the day,” Amanda says. Recently, the couple has been able to reconnect in-person.

Daniel and Kathleen Reed stand outside their home.
Kathleen and Daniel Reed

For other couples such as Daniel and Kathleen Reed of Colorado, the pandemic has meant converting parts of their home into workspaces and adapting to spending nearly every moment under the same roof. This is quite a change for the military couple, and their stress levels have markedly increased as they have lost the ability to go out to the movies or visit friends around the state, along with other hobbies that are not possible due to social distancing guidelines.

“Finding a place and time to decompress and be alone is challenging now, and doing things like going out for coffee with friends or browsing the bookstore to take my mind off the tensions at home is no longer an option, which is really frustrating,” says Kathleen. Dan makes a good point about the double-edged sword of quarantine. “I want to keep everyone safe by staying at home, but the costs for our family’s mental health and happiness have been high,” he says.

For times as turbulent as these, normal relationship tips and tricks like “increasing communication” or “reconnecting with a date night” don’t always help. We spoke to a relationship professional about how her advice to couples struggling through the pandemic.

Expert intervention

Elena Darmenko, a cross-cultural psychologist and adaptation strategist, has worked with couples from all over the world, sharing her insights on how to maintain and improve romantic relationships. Even before the pandemic, Elena noticed an emerging trend that has forced many couples to alter their approach to romance. “Remote relationships are today’s reality,” she says. “I give tips and life hacks on how to stay close and feel closer.”

Remote relationships are today’s reality.

Elena Darmenko

Psychologist & Adaptation Strategist

Causes of relationship tension

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about in this new world of social distancing, we also must deal with increased stress and fraught relationships with loved ones as a result of everything going on. It can be natural to take out pent-up stress on those around us, and that can lead to the development of some issues in our familial and romantic relationships.

If you’re struggling with this in your relationship, you aren’t alone. “(One of) the lessons learnt in the year 2020 is that we can’t control our lives as we used to,” says Elena. “The future is unpredictable, and this provokes tensions and conflicts. Stress has become one of main disasters of this year. And people have lost many opportunities to lower (that stress) — the gyms were closed, the usual coffee with friends is not an option anymore. So, with fewer social outlets partners tend to depend much more on each other’s support which leads them to frustration.”

Complications of a pandemic

Elena has a plan you can put to work in your relationship that she calls the Three S’s: schedule, structure, and sense of humor. According to Elena, if you’re obliged to work at home, you need to get into a schedule. Start your workday as usual, have a break, then continue and finish in a due time. It’s not always, especially if you have a small apartment and you partner works from home, too. The solution is to discuss working hours and breaks. Get dressed more officially — that’s good for self-discipline and better concentration on your job.


Virtual Hugs banner

Structure is also an important element, because during the lockdown, your home suddenly became an office and a rest area. According to Elena, there are ways to ease tensions between you and your partner here. When it comes to meals, discuss the weekly menu on Sunday, so can save the time for cooking. Elena suggests leaving the weekend free of cuisine to order what you want. Make sure to fix lunch and coffee/tea, if possible, so you’ll be able to have some rest together. And just as important, find time for yourself. This may be a small walk after a workday, a morning workout or meditation, or an hour or two with your favorite book.

This strange year gave us the unique opportunity to bring colors in our relationships and to evaluate every single moment with our life partners.

Elena Darmenko

Psychologist & Adaptation Strategist

Finally, Elena recommends keeping your sense of humor. “It’s one of the main pillars of the happy relationships, particularly in the situation of conflict or when you feel tension,” she says. “Don’t limit your imagination.” Elena admits to being an optimist and has one important message that all couples should try to remember: “This strange year gave us the unique opportunity to bring colors in our relationships and to evaluate every single moment with our life partners. I’m sure that if we all act as a team with our partners, we can face every life challenge with a smile!”

A lifelong love to aspire to

Elena has a plan you can put to work in your relationship that she calls the Three S’s: schedule, structure, and sense of humor. According to Elena, if you’re obliged to work at home, you need to get into a schedule. Start your workday as usual, have a break, then continue and finish in a due time. It’s not always, especially if you have a small apartment and your partner works from home, too. The solution is to discuss working hours and breaks. Get dressed more officially — that’s good for self-discipline and better concentration on your job.

Structure is also an important element, because during the lockdown, your home suddenly became an office and a rest area. According to Elena, there are ways to ease tensions between you and your partner here. When it comes to meals, discuss the weekly menu on Sunday, so can save the time for cooking. Elena suggests leaving the weekend free of cuisine to order what you want. Make sure to fix lunch and coffee/tea, if possible, so you’ll be able to have some rest together. And just as important, find time for yourself. This may be a small walk after a workday, a morning workout or meditation, or an hour or two with your favorite book.

Finally, Elena recommends keeping your sense of humor. “It’s one of the main pillars of the happy relationships, particularly in the situation of conflict or when you feel tension,” she says. “Don’t limit your imagination.” Elena admits to being an optimist and has one important message that all couples should try to remember: “This strange year gave us the unique opportunity to bring colors in our relationships and to evaluate every single moment with our life partners. I’m sure that if we all act as a team with our partners, we can face every life challenge with a smile!”


Best selling Valentine's Day flowers and gifts

You Might Also Like