Reuniting your partner after quarantine isn’t always as sweet as you can imagine. After weeks or months of social distancing in various places, the new coronavirus pandemic remains. This means that every interaction is associated with a somewhat cumbersome protocol. Instead of jumping into each other’s arms, you could open your door and carefully return from a tiny hallway to let your lover into your home. You can watch them take off their mask and patiently wait for them to wash their hands for 20 seconds – and congratulate themselves on their birthday. Then you smile at yourself or your heart starts pounding so hard that you don’t know what to do.
Personally, I had an out of body experience when I first saw my partner. We̵
“In New York and some other hotspots [people have] Rachael Robnett, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, tells SELF. “So … in addition to the adjustment phase between the two of you, there are all of these other things that you want to deal with.” That makes sense. This dissociated feeling I’ve had is a common response to traumatic events. After all, this was no ordinary reunion. We didn’t have a long vacation. My partner and I had been kept apart by the danger of breath droplets. Life was and is in total upheaval.
Staying away from loved ones is an incredibly challenging part of this pandemic. And reunions, while generally positive, bring a jumble of mixed emotions. I settled into a groove again with my partner, but I was still curious about how other people reacted to their pandemic reunions. Below are six people sharing what it was like to separate from and reunite loved ones during the pandemic. I hope their stories help you see what I understand – there is no wrong way to react when you see your partner again.
1. The reunion could potentially end months of separation.
Even for couples who were used to spending time apart, the pandemic brought some unforeseen challenges. Gaby D., 32, tells SELF that she and her partner Mal were used to long-distance calls before the pandemic. The couple traveled between Los Angeles and New York City for a year and six months, she explains. However, after the pandemic, air travel was no longer an option. “Suddenly, the distance from our way of life became absolutely impossible,” says Gaby. Gaby and Mal couldn’t travel to New York to visit their partner. They spent three and a half months apart.
During this time, Gaby and her partner fought more often, but Gaby said she knew the added tension wasn’t a sign of major relationship problems. After all, Mal drove five days to see Gaby in California. “When I saw [Mal]I was just so relieved and so happy. I kissed her through her window before they even had time to open the door. All along I was hoping we would be fine, although it was difficult to be apart once we were back together and could figure out this whole pandemic. “
2. You can find that the time between you and your relationship has been good.
After her partner contracted the new coronavirus, Tiffanie C., 25, and her partner were separated for two months. To keep in touch, they talked on video until they fell asleep together. The distance was tough, but Tiffanie says to HERSELF: “Spending some time apart actually strengthened our relationship a little. It is important to be able to break up with your partner at times and focus on yourself. “During the two months apart, Tiffinie said she was interested in yoga and meditation,” which added to my general confidence (in and out of my relationship) and gave me the ability to be happy on my own. ” The reunion itself? That was pretty reluctant. “We stocked up on snacks and drinks and had a classic movie night when we were finally reunited,” she says. “[The reunion] consisted of a lot of time and cuddling. “
3. You could hug and cry … and pull together instantly.
Unsurprisingly, once together, many couples choose to quarantine in the same household. Alex H., 26, was a month and a half away from his partner after developing a persistent, low-temperature fever. It wasn’t COVID-19, but due to a lack of available testing, quarantine was the only option. “After such a long and stressful time, our reunion was all the more ecstatic and cathartic,” Alex tells SELF. “We hugged and cried.” But when they moved in together there were some challenges. “Basically, moving in with a new partner is stress-free enough without suffering a global pandemic – but we’ve adjusted to make it work.”