One of the weapons we have against the pandemic is by keeping our emotional connection (or emotional love tank) to others at a healthy place. The anxiety that many experience, due to this strange situation with COVID-19 in our lives, and the uncertainty of how long it will last, can be reduced by having good relationships. Is our relationship dead? Do we communicate? Do we talk abruptly to one another? By spending quality time with one another, we will avoid conflicts. Communication and honesty also will help to fill one another’s emotional love tank. You can imagine your emotional love tank as an empty box. You can keep it empty and remain sad and unhappy or you can fill it with love and emotions that will keep you joyful.
Low Emotional Love Tank
According to Dr. Sue Johnson, criticism, demands, and resentment are calls for emotional connection. Couples with enduring and happy relationships have a strong friendship, deeply know each other, and have more positive moments connecting than negative, according to Dr. Gottman’s research.
If you feel unwanted in your relationship, unappreciated, if there is lack of passion then something is amiss with your emotional love tank. If you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed and you are not in a mood to talk even to your partner your relationship will not be able to flourish.
Ways that contribute to the emotional love tank being low:
- Lack of communication
- No connection (physical and mental)
- Feel depressed
- Feeling lonely
- Lack of trust
- Bad mood
Due to the pandemic and the whole uncomfortable situation that COVID-19 put us in, people are locked indoors. By living under these conditions we have to face another problem. Distance. We may have a relationship that is far away. Not being able to see as much as you would want to see your partner is frustrating. What can you do? Although difficult, if you really want to keep your love strong there are always paths that you can follow. Thankfully these days we can use video chat! Or you can arrange to meet outdoors for a walk just to connect for a little while. Under “normal” conditions no one would believe how important those simple things are. COVID-19 came and made us understand and appreciate our free time out of the house, and the freedom to see each other.
Ways to feel better during the Pandemic
Start by making your life easier. During the day, on weekends or as soon as the workday ends do things with your partner. For example, cleaning the house where you both contribute and you each take your part in can be a good way to come closer by making your daily space a comfortable and inviting space; cook together, make a meal and sit together and encourage conversations; go for a walk in nature, take your pet with you if you have one, do a funny prank and make your partner laugh; play some board-games.
Fill your Emotional Love Tank
Staying at home every day because of the lockdown is not easy. Moreover, it feels like a daily test that couples are going through. Many people are “failing” this challenge and this has caused an increase in relationships struggling. Lack of communication brings stress and anxiety, feelings of detachment, lack of appreciation.
In order to succeed and conquer what this pandemic brings you could change some things for the better such as:
- Be patient.
- Remain calm and walk away from emotionally charged conversations that will not get resolved when feelings are high.
- Show understanding.
- Create positive thoughts.
- Give time and space to your partner.
- Don’t lose physical touch (hugs, kissing, sitting close to one another).
- Spend essential time together.
- Create surprises/ be spontaneous.
- Feel secure.
Hearing the words “I love you” can have a deep impact, even more so if we have forgotten to say it. A kiss shows your love, tenderness, and care for your partner. Give a hug. A nice compliment can change someone else’s whole day. It just takes a second to make the entire mood positive and happy.
As the days go by and we still are locked in, negative thoughts and emotions can turn to be stronger than positive ones. An empty emotional love tank will bring only complications. As a result, your love will struggle during the pandemic. Despair and unhappiness will prevail. A couple needs to fill the emotional love tank to have an emotional connection. Show your love to your partner. For most parts of the world COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation. Instead of having an emotional disconnection, we can take advantage of this hard time that we are going through and stick together.
Below is a video to watch by Dr. Chapman as he talks about the love tank on Oprah (Dr. Chapman is most noted for The Five Love Languages book series regarding human relationships):
If you are struggling and do not know where to start; if you feel stuck or one person wants to try more than the other, then feel free to contact me, Sophia Nicoli MSc, RMFT at Willow Roots Therapy. I provide counselling to couples, individuals and families and am located on 323 Chapel Street in Ottawa, Ontario. You can contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 613-620-0660 or you can find more information on my website at https://willowrootstherapy.ca.