How to Prep Your Relationship for Post-Pandemic Life

Experts share tips on how couples can adjust to spending time apart again.

By Maggie Parker

Remember how strange it was to be alone at home with your significant other 24/7 after the coronavirus first surfaced? Or how uncomfortable it was to get to know a new romantic partner with a mask on in what felt like a vacuum?

More than a year into the pandemic, many couples have finally found their footing. But don’t get too comfortable — all that’s about to change. Again.

Vaccinations are becoming increasingly available, restrictions are being lifted or revisited, and people are getting more comfortable with the idea of coming out of their cocoons. Many couples will face more adjustments.

“Most couples I’m seeing are looking forward to the post-pandemic period,” said Kimberly Panganiban, a marriage and family therapist based in San Diego. “Some of these couples I believe will be able to navigate this time well, as they are talking openly about it and the changes that may come. Others are unaware of how it may impact them as the excitement of other things takes the focus.”

How can you prep your partnership for the post-pandemic period?

“The conversation and negotiation of navigating a post-pandemic world is critical for couples and should occur as soon as possible,” said Jess Carbino, an online dating expert who has a doctorate in sociology. She is also a former sociologist for the dating apps Tinder and Bumble.

“If couples are unable to discuss and prepare for the challenges they may face, it may lead them to a heightened degree of conflict,” Dr. Carbino said. [Sign up for Love Letter and always get the latest in Modern Love, weddings, and relationships in the news by email.]

Experts suggest prioritizing communication during this time of transition. “Make time and space for ongoing discussions about one another’s feelings and needs as our lives change yet again,” Ms. Panganiban said. “We’ll all experience a range of emotions. Supporting each other through this time is crucial to the health of the relationship.”

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