This past year in lockdown is about to be revealed as the longest cuffing season ever. Especially now that, with the promise of a vaccinated summer, plenty of those ambiguous-looking situationships you’ve seen in your feed are set to expire. Likewise, if you’re someone who partnered up in the pandemic, you might understandably have some anxieties of your own at the moment to manage. So, as the world slowly begins reopening, how can you really tell whether or not your pandemic relationship is the real deal?
Well, in the same way you would check if a regular connection has run its course: by evaluating how compatible you two are genuinely, in a global crisis and otherwise. If you’re not sure your turbo relationship can stand the test of time, or you want to feel confident that you partnered up well, we have a little checklist for you. Below, relationship expert Susan Winter shares four questions to ask yourself to see if your pandemic relationship is true blue or not so much.
1. “Do I see a future with this person?”
For those looking to settle down or at least get serious, it’s time to reevaluate if this feels like a sustainable bond. You may be noticing certain character qualities or lifestyle choice may not have aged well on the other side of this pandemic. Think to yourself: If we were out in the real world today and able to have a wider selection, would we still choose to be with each other? “This is how to discern if your partner was ‘of the moment,’ or ‘someone for your future,’” Winter says.
2. “Was I choosing out of lack and desperation?”
It’s never good to operate in a scarcity mindset, the survival state a lot of us have been in as of late. In the before times, you might’ve held yourself to higher standards, but when stay-at-home orders hit, anybody with antibodies felt like a winner to a lot of folks. “The lockdown limited our romantic prospects and put everyone in a panic,” says Winter. “Between food shortages and jobs lost, we were all making crucial decisions with limited information.”
Check to see if you made a romantic choice from that same fear-based place that might have caused you to stockpile toilet paper. Potentially, that date that felt like unearthing a diamond-in-the-rough is maybe really someone you wouldn’t normally swipe right on. Time to figure out which deck of cards you picked your pandemic paramour from.
3. “Did we get along well during the lockdown?”
“An important factor in determining long-term happiness is day-to-day functionality,” says Winter. “How well do the two of you get along with each other?”
Look at your overall communication patterns. Can you speak your mind without fear? Are issues resolved? Is there a foundation of honesty? Also take a look at how you two relate to each other. See if there’s patience and graciousness between you too, if you have a grounded respect for one another. Being able to feel at peace in your relationship is a good sign that it’s headed in the right direction.
4. “Do we have complimentary dispositions?”
TBH, pretty much everything about this period of time’s been skyscraper-level stressful. Every day felt like a year…for a year straight. “If you survived your daily challenges with understanding and kindness, you definitely have a keeper,” Winter says. “Fear and uncertainty trigger our deepest degrees of reactivity. The pandemic should have clarified if your dispositions are a match. If you and your partner were able to maintain a healthy relationship during the worst of times, you’ve proven to yourselves that you can go the distance.”
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