Surface tension
MEGA|November 2020
While some relationships fall apart during the pandemic, others grow stronger
MARELLA RICKETTS

When reality as you know it is drastically shifting, you can’t help but feel unprepared. Let me share with you a few examples: I did not expect to still be working from home at my new job, where coffee runs with colleagues are replaced with Google Calendar invites. I didn’t think I would have to limit my encounters with friends and spend all this time at home. And I certainly did not expect to be broken up with in the middle of the pandemic. My ex and I entered these uncharted waters hopeful, holding on to each other. In the days that followed our breakup, questions floated around in my mind, one of them standing out: Does the quarantine corrupt one’s thinking or does it help you see things more clearly?

In a world without the coronavirus, I could’ve easily found ways to temporarily distract myself from the pain that comes after a breakup. There would be bars I would frequent, friends I would invite to join me, strangers I would potentially meet. But experiencing this in solitude forced me to deal with things head on. What was I so afraid of before? I thought. I pursued healthier outlets such as journaling and exercising, and friends proved to be a quick call away. And then suddenly, a wave of emotion would wash over me.

My parents have been married for 27 years. Perhaps this is why I gravitate towards them for relationship advice. Our topic for today? Conflict during the pandemic, which they’ve had their fair share of, like any couple.

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