How to Not Be a Dick in a Relationship

Stressed and stuck together? Keep love alive, don't be a dick.

The world has gone batshit crazy. It’s Covid and we’re under quarantine, locked inside our homes, and navigating the minefield of fresh relationships. How the hell do we get through this without losing our shit?

Stores are closed, the police are patrolling the streets, and social distancing has become the new religion. It might feel like a sci-fi dystopia, but it’s not. Viruses are the textbook example of exponential growth, and we need to adapt.

So, whether you believe in the severity of the situation or not, quarantine has its own set of challenges. Fresh relationships can be particularly vulnerable to this government-mandated togetherness.

But fear not, my love-struck friends. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you survive the first pandemic together without chaos, stress, and flying plates.

  1. Accept the Situation You’re stuck together for an indefinite period. You’ll see each other more, touch each other more, and undoubtedly get on each other’s nerves. Get over your fairy-tale fantasies and embrace the reality.
  2. Speak Up About Your Needs Everybody needs personal space, but it means different things to different people. It could be playing video games for hours, taking a bath alone, or scrolling through dog GIFs on the internet. Talk openly about what you need to recharge.
  3. Overcome Fear of Rejection Many people avoid expressing their needs because they fear rejection or hurting their partner. But in the long run, suppressing your desires will only damage the relationship. Be brave and honest.
  4. Understand Adaptation and Boundaries A healthy relationship involves a balance of adaptation and boundaries. You don’t want to become too dependent on your partner, or you’ll lose your sense of self. Communicate and strike that balance.
  5. Know That Boundaries Are Healthy Having boundaries is normal and healthy. Don’t let anyone, even your partner, make you feel guilty for wanting some alone time. It’s essential for your mental health and the health of your relationship.
  6. Seize the Opportunity Look at the quarantine as a learning experience. Practice setting boundaries and respecting your partner’s needs. If you’re not living together, be grateful for having your own space to retreat to when needed.
  7. Avoid Real Rejection By not standing up for your needs, you risk exploding in frustration and causing actual rejection. Be proactive about expressing your desires and avoid unnecessary drama.
  8. Don’t Confuse Boundaries with Withdrawal of Love Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you love your partner any less. It just means you need to maintain your identity and interests, which will ultimately strengthen your relationship.
  9. Practice, Practice, Practice Recognize your needs, communicate them, accept rejection or disappointment, and stop acting like a child. Understand that having boundaries is a normal part of adult relationships.

So, there you have it. By following these steps, you’ll not only survive the quarantine but also strengthen your relationship. Remember, it’s totally okay to tell your partner, “Hey, I need some alone time today, is that cool with you?”

Be understanding when your partner needs space and practice empathy. We’re all in this together, and the reward is a healthier, more fulfilling relationship that can weather any storm, even a fucking pandemic.

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