Quarantining with a Partner: Lessons and Growing Pains

As I write this, my partner and I are rounding out our eleventh week in self-quarantine. During our nearly two year relationship, we’ve never spent this much uninterrupted time together, so naturally, we had an initially steep learning curve. Over time, though, we learned some lessons that helped us connect with each other better so we could actually enjoy each other’s constant company. 

Of course, before I begin, I want to note that we consider ourselves very privileged to be able to stay home and isolate during this time. We know that there are many health care providers, sanitation workers, grocery store employees, and other essential service providers that don’t have that privilege, and other houseless persons who struggled to find shelter amidst shelter-in-place orders. We’re grateful that we are able to navigate quarantine in safety, which removes many potential obstacles from our relationship.

1. Take some time to unplug.

We’re definitely guilty of letting our daily screen time creep up in isolation. It’s been hard not to, when we don’t have social gatherings and our usual work schedules keeping us busy. We found that when we kept our noses in our phones, it made us more irritable with one another – whether it was because we got frustrated when our show was interrupted with conversation, or we were reading something upsetting online.

After a few days we realized we weren’t connecting the way we usually were, so we made the conscious decision to leave our phones at home during our walks* and spend the time talking and reflecting. This made us feel closer and allowed us to be more patient with one another.

*We go on walks while practicing social distancing, staying at least 6-10 feet away from others on the street. Check your local ordinances to make sure going for walks is permitted.

2. Make room for friends.

Our sleep schedules have been all over the place during quarantine, which made it hard to find time to connect with friends via FaceTime or Zoom. My partner and I are at our best when we are actively connecting with our own friends; chatting, decompressing, and getting some laughs in on a regular basis.

Scheduling and prioritizing conversations with our friends didn’t just give us an opportunity to feel our best again, but it also allowed us to bring fun tidbits of our conversations back to one another to discuss. Whether it was a clever joke a friend shared or a new movie recommendation, we get a moment to share in something beyond our moments alone together.

3. Getting our game faces on.

Luckily, my partner and I have been quarantined with my family, so we’ve all been playing games together as much as possible. Our current favorite is Uno, which can be played as a group or a pair. Getting competitive gives us something to distract ourselves from anxiety we might be feeling, so we don’t unintentionally take it out on one another. My partner happens to be a Leo, so there’s competitiveness abound when it’s time to play.

4. Create space for love.

While confined together, we initially found it difficult to differentiate between our day-to-day life together and time just for our relationship. Creating dedicated times for romance gives us a chance to try to impress one another, especially in a time when we have very little reason to keep up with our appearance. We’ve set aside time to cook together, watch movies together, and even run out to the drive through at in-n-out to indulge in some fries; those little “dates” keep up the spark between us.

5. Emotional support.

There’s no shortage of fear during this pandemic. On the news and via social media, we’re constantly updated with scary statistics and heartbreaking stories. More personally, my partner and I have both experienced loss of income as a result of school closures and event cancellations, which has been stressful at best. We also each have concerns about family members that are at high risk, which adds to our worries.

Being a source of positive emotional support to one another has been more important than ever. We have been actively remembering to be mindful and give each other a little extra patience when stress gets the best of us. For example, I know that if my partner is being short with me, there could be any number of things upsetting her besides what’s happening in the moment we’re sharing.

We’ve been taking time before bed to check in about things that are on our mind, about our relationship or otherwise, which gives us time to reflect together. Taking the time to listen to each others’ fears and commit to tackling our concerns together in whatever ways we can makes both of us feel a little more stable in this time of uncertainty.


It’s been a difficult process adjusting to our current reality, but with a little extra work and compassion, we’ve been able to give each other our best selves. If you’re currently quarantined with a partner, how have you been handling this together? Let me know in the comments!

21 Comments

  1. Slu
    May 25, 2020 / 11:39 am

    ngl my relationship is going 💀 this actually brings a lot of insight tysm

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 25, 2020 / 11:59 am

      don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s rough right now!!! sending you love, we’re in this together ♥️

  2. christine
    May 25, 2020 / 11:43 am

    my partner and I are long distance even when we’re not quarantined, and that last paragraph rings true: give a bit of extra compassion (both to ourselves and each other). with cancelled plans and additional emotional stress, it’s been hard to find a new rhythm that feels good for us both, but we are at our best when we listen to one another and shift to fit we need. thanks for sharing your story <3

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 25, 2020 / 11:57 am

      thank YOU for sharing yours with me! we were long distance for a while too – so I know what you mean! I’m so glad you’re taking the time to really hear each other while you figure out what works best for you.

  3. Soleil
    May 25, 2020 / 1:32 pm

    thank you for this ! it was a really nice and interesting read 😊. my girlfriend and i are long distance right now because of quarantine. we would usually see each other quite often before this so the time apart is kinda putting a strain on our relationship. i think it’s also because it’s been hard for me to make effort to check my phone regularly for messages because social media and even using my phone can be super draining. that fact that there’s a strain on our relationship is making me second-guess some things but i should talk to her about it soon.

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 25, 2020 / 2:52 pm

      thanks for reading! long distance is really hard on anyone – especially right now when it’s not really possible to make visits! I totally understand what you mean when you say social media can be draining. I hope you have a good conversation about it ♥️

  4. Madhumathi
    May 25, 2020 / 1:45 pm

    First of all…. I admire you both. That’s a lovely write up. You guys are huge inspiration. ur posts and videos gave me the courage to come out. But I couldn’t come out to my family yet. Struggling… Hope one day I will.

    We are in our parents place. Mental health has taken a toll on me. We spoke about it, we realized that we are not the one who’s struggling. There are so many like us. First of all we started giving space. To do our own stuff like playing video games ( my girl is Leo too, so u know how it goes ;)) , music, paintings etc. We make sure we give enough time to talk to our friends. Friends play a major role in this quarantine. We got different set of people to talk to. Friends are God sent angels bcos of them we survived. Emotional support is very important.

    We started to appreciate each others work even it is small and try to be more kind. We make sure that both of us will not raise our voices at the same time in a fight. If I’m hyper, my girl makes sure that she will keep her nerves in tact vice versa We make sure after every single fight we hug each other no matter what. That eases lot of agony. We don’t take the fights to next morning, we will sort it out before we sleep. Once we are in the bed, mobile will go silent. We are taking baby steps, we are in this together. Hope we all get through this soon. Take care.

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 25, 2020 / 2:54 pm

      Hi Madhumati, thank you so much for the kind words! I hope one day you’re able to safely and openly live your truth, when you feel ready. I love the ways you and your partner are taking care of yourselves in quarantine, and showing each other patience and love. Sending you both lots of love and hugs!

  5. Sarah
    May 25, 2020 / 5:21 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing I learnt a few thing I could use to better my relationship.

    • anjalich
      Author
      November 25, 2020 / 2:48 pm

      Thanks for reading, Sarah!

  6. Jancy jeno
    May 25, 2020 / 10:55 pm

    😍😍😍💛💛💛

  7. Elphaba
    May 26, 2020 / 4:19 am

    I’m not currently dating anyone, but this definitely made me think about how a lot of this rings true for parents and siblings also

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 26, 2020 / 11:30 am

      You’re so right! I think all our relationships could use a little extra patience and attention right now.

  8. Kanvi
    May 26, 2020 / 7:21 am

    I admire you guys so much. You guys are so pure🥺❤️ I love to see you guys together. You are such cuties🌈 All of the points are so good. Thankyou for sharing them with us. Love you both💕

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 26, 2020 / 11:32 am

      Aww thank you so much, and thank you for reading too!

  9. shruti
    May 26, 2020 / 10:04 am

    you’re lucky to be in quarantine with your partner, id kill to have these issues if that meant being able to be with my bf 🙁

    • anjalich
      Author
      May 26, 2020 / 11:30 am

      I’m so sorry you’re apart right now! Sending you strength and love!

  10. Pramitha
    May 30, 2020 / 9:34 am

    You guys are so cute and I’m glad I came across this blog. You both are an inspiration and I genuinely hope the best for you both. Thank you so much for writing such positive content considering all the things that are going on currently. Love you guys and stay safe:)

    • anjalich
      Author
      June 3, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words! Stay safe and healthy!

  11. Vaishali
    August 7, 2020 / 12:18 pm

    Hey Anjali! While reading the entire article, I couldn’t help but feel the love and understanding that Sufi and you share with each other. While the whole world is dealing with a pandemic, your content feels like a safe space that I can confide in for peace. I had been battling with my mental health over the last couple of months, but ever since I came across Sufi and you since the last month, I have found a new will to live, and start my life in a new way, and do things I really want to do. You both gave me the strength to come out to the most important person, which is ME, MYSELF. I started accepting myself the way I am and I realized it is not a crime to be homosexual. Obviously, you guys don’t know me, but there are so many people out there, like me, who are getting their strength just by seeing you two, being your true self. Keep writing stuffs like these, and uploading your YouTube channel with videos, because that’s my basic survival medicine right now. I hope to visit Oakland someday and visit Sufi and you in person some day. I wish you both stay like this forever and achieve great things individually as well as a couple!
    Power to you both!

    PS- I love how you acknowledge each comment on Instagram! Makes my day! <3

    -A fan girl from India! <3

    • anjalich
      Author
      August 23, 2020 / 2:25 pm

      Aww thank you for this sweet comment! I’m so glad you are on your self-acceptance journey and I feel so honored that you enjoy our videos! Sending you a big hug.

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