Even in matters of love, a lot is now different: How do I get to know someone now? How can we better prepare for a possible second lockdown in a relationship? And how can I best deal with lovesickness if you can't "celebrate" away your frustration? 5 questions to ask a relationship psychologist.
Wieland Stolzenburg is a relationship psychologist and author of several guides. He accompanies people on the way to fulfilling relationships and a satisfied life - with his books and in his work as a psychologist and therapist. His work focuses on topics related to partnership, life satisfaction and personal development. So exactly the right interview partner if you want to know what exactly happened to our relationships during the quarantine period:
During the exit restrictions, many couples spent significantly more time together than they are actually used to. It doesn't always work. Why is there more stress now?
Wieland Stolzenburg: During this time, couples were confronted with two new challenges: On the one hand, the uncertainties and fears about the effects the pandemic will have on their lives, their existence and future plans. This inevitably led to more tension and stress, which has a direct effect on the couple relationship. And on the other hand, the long period of time in which couples could not avoid each other unintentionally. There were fewer or no more opportunities to do sports, meet friends or just do the things to switch off, gain strength and have time for yourself. Couples were then forced to find a way to deal with this new situation: Some were more welded together, with others the difficulties - which often had existed for a long time but were not resolved - only really became visible.
It often helps to let a conflict cool down first, to spend some time apart from one another and then to calmly seek the conversation again. What can you do if that doesn't work because you have to stay together in the same apartment?
Wieland Stolzenburg: There are several ways to master such a challenge. I often worked out routines for the day with other couples: each of the two, for example, gets the study to himself for 2 hours and is not disturbed, or both go for a walk separately so that they can at least take a breath. Such little islands of personal time can be incredibly helpful. In addition, communication is even more important: open and appreciative exchange. It is important that couples do not tackle the big hot topics that may have been dormant for years, but deal with what is currently showing up, how they are currently doing.
And if it really comes to a breakup, how do I best deal with it during this time full of uncertainties?
Wieland Stolzenburg: Almost all of us had the impression that there were more separations after the end of the lockdown. At least from China we know numbers that also point to increased separations and divorces. Ending a relationship during the Conona pandemic can make it easier or more difficult to come to terms with the breakup. For example, being able to distract yourself less can be painful - or it practically forces you to really deal with your own feelings and you may get out of the valley of tears faster. Or friends suddenly have more time to support you - even if it's just on the phone. Fears of existence or the future can of course be much greater if there is uncertainty in many areas of life or if there are losses.
Going out and partying away the frustration falls flat at the moment. What's the best alternative?
Wieland Stolzenburg: Lovesickness is individual for everyone and yet there are many similarities in the manufacturing process. All newly separated are asked to find the things for themselves that help them the most and to inform themselves. In my book "Healing Lovesickness" I have compiled the most important topics in step-by-step instructions. One of the most important things is to let in your feelings and not to fight against sadness, anger or powerlessness. There are many exercises and tasks to make this challenge a success. Because we often do not learn in our life how to deal with so-called negative feelings and then, unfortunately, often behave counterproductively. But the good thing is: If we take the right and important steps, we can overcome lovesickness and find our way back to life stronger.
When I'm ready for a fresh start, how can I get to know someone during the corona phase?
Wieland Stolzenburg: Getting to know potential partners these days is of course not as easy as it was before. In my experience, you get to know someone especially when you don't try to force it. Perhaps the Corona time is the best opportunity to let go of the idea of having to have a relationship and to use this time for yourself: By finding your life satisfaction independently of a partnership or by dealing with yourself and your personality development. That is one possible way of dealing with it. Otherwise you can of course also use online dating. I would recommend that you phone after a few emails, because then you can find out much faster than by email whether it could basically work.