Manning River Times
Friday, 1 December 2023

What we learnt about love and relationships in lockdown

What we learnt about love and relationships in lockdown
What we learnt about love and relationships in lockdown

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We certainly learned a lot about ourselves and our relationships over these past few years of lockdowns.

Whether you were engaging in virtual flings or faced the momentous milestone of moving in with your significant other, or perhaps experiencing your first time living on your own, love in the time of lockdown most likely had you thinking about how you interact with the people who mean the world to you on a daily basis.

And on top of this loaded question comes one that we realised was just as important: how do we prioritise our own happiness alongside caring for all the people we love?

If you were settled

One step that many long-term partners were making over lockdown was discovering each other's love languages.

Understanding how to make one another feel cared for and appreciated is one of the most vital components of a healthy relationship, and this understanding became especially vital in the context of COVID-19 lockdowns.

For instance, is your partner's love language gift-giving? If so, then purchasing personalised gifts for him or her, will ensure that they feel loved alongside also providing a much-needed moment of joy during a time that felt so strange.

Adhering to your partner's love languages principle should not be contained to periods of lockdown, however, and as such, many couples are currently navigating maintaining these mindful practices in their partnerships post-COVID.

Returning to the realities of lockdown for a stretch longer here, however, we can all remember that brief period in 2020 where the idea of a two-week lockdown was a welcome thought for many of us who were in long-term relationships.

The prospect of having endless quality time with your partner was certainly quite appealing to many of us. When smaller two-week lockdowns turned into six-month stretches, however, many couples were forced to reassess how they consider one another's individual needs in their shared space.

It is, after all, a lot easier to ensure your partner feels appreciated and respected when you are able to take them out for dinner or on any other kind of outdoor adventure.

Yet, as soon as you are settled and stuck inside, the need for love and romance can feel like an afterthought, and you can start to take one another's presence for granted.

With this in mind, another equally important factor to any relationship is spending dedicated quality time together.

Couples who survived lockdown were able to do so as they recognised that spending quality time with their partner was not the same thing as passively watching TV with them or simply sitting in the same room as them.

Whether you've been with your person for five weeks, five months or five years, it is always important to take time out to be together and do something as a couple.

If you were in a new relationship

The new year makes way for endless opportunities. The year is young and possibilities are everywhere. For many singles, a highly exciting possibility that 2022 has brought about is undoubtedly the possibility of finding new love.

If you remember correctly, this was precisely how 2020 started off for many hopeless romantics as well.

But with mid-March marking the beginning of the first-ever COVID-19 related lockdown, many fledgling couples who'd brought in their new relationship alongside the new decade decided to take the plunge and cohabit together.

After binge-watching TV shows and TikTok channels, undertaking all the crazy trends popularised by lockdown-boredom, and learning every single nitty-gritty detail about each other, you're suddenly thrown into a high-stakes game of house with your new partner.

Naturally, the couples who not only made it through but came out stronger on the other side were the ones with great communication skills. It can be difficult to learn how to voice your needs or set boundaries in a healthy way when you begin living with your significant other while still in the honeymoon phase.

But being able to discuss these things with a new boyfriend or girlfriend will ensure that your relationship is built on an even and respectful foundation and will thus, have a greater chance of standing the test of time rather than becoming a COVID-fling.

If you were on your own

All relationships deserve love and attention, and that includes the one you have with yourself.

As the pandemic presented us with a reality where we spend 99 per cent of our lives inside our homes and with very little variation in our day-to-day, it was incredibly easy to ignore your own wants and needs and disregard your own emotions as silly.

A lot of us rapidly discovered that doing this would simply lead to declining mental health and very little personal enrichment.

In this regard, consecutive lockdowns were a bit of a blessing, simply because it gave many of us the luxury of time to address your own personal make-up, and ascertain what was a non-negotiable for you in order to feel your best.

In a nutshell, lockdowns allowed us the opportunity to learn our own love language. Understanding your own love language and what makes you feel understood means you can teach others to do the same thing, and maintain a sense of self-awareness or maintain an ability to regulate your own emotions in any future relationship.

Developing an ability to do these things won't just lead to a better relationship with yourself, but more enriching relationships with others as well.


Love and lockdowns do not usually go hand in hand, but when COVID-19 inundated our lives, we were all thrown into a whole new reality.

And, whilst we adjusted our jobs, social interactions and outings, we also had to adjust how we treated the people we loved, and that included ourselves.

Whether we were alone, in a fledgling relationship, or enjoying lockdown with our life partners, whether we were learning the love languages of others or simply understanding our own and getting to grips with the way that we love, there's no denying that these past two years of lockdown certainly did teach us a lot about how we navigate our world as social beings, even if it didn't feel like we were being social at all.