The pandemic has been hard on everyone in a variety of different ways. On many levels, it’s showing people what they’re truly made of and often for the better, but the opposite has been true as well. Quarantine was especially hard on relationships for one simple reason. Voluntarily spending a lot of time with your partner because you choose to is one thing, but being compelled to be together 24 hours a day is another.

Circumstances like those are bound to put a strain on even the best relationships, so if you feel like things just aren’t the same between you and your partner now that things are a little more relaxed, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for getting things back on track as you continue to adjust to current circumstances together.

Restore Balance to Your Lives

For some couples, quarantine wasn’t just challenging. It made them question whether they should even be together at all, so it’s understandable if you and your partner are currently going through something similar. Don’t be too hasty when it comes to throwing in the towel though. Sit down together and talk things out first. If you think a moderator would help, there’s no shame in considering counseling as an option.

Don’t feel obligated to spend more time together than feels comfortable at first though. Give yourselves and each other space to get back to doing things on your own again as well. Reflect on the things that have happened and consider where you’d like things to go next with your relationship. Then bring those insights up for discussion with your partner, as well as invite them to do the same.

Acknowledge What Occurred

A global pandemic and multi-month quarantine period aren’t normal occurrences by any stretch of the imagination. They’re certainly far from the typical stresses placed on a relationship, especially if one or both of you also lost your job as so many people did. Step back for a moment and acknowledge the magnitude of what’s happened before doing anything drastic.

It’s also important to understand that change comes with the territory when you’re in a relationship. Most people’s relationships underwent a few changes and adjustments. It’s how you and your partner respond to those changes (both as a couple and as individuals) that matters in the end.

Focus on Reconnecting

Once you’ve both had a chance to let the dust settle a bit, it’s time to look for ways to reconnect and rebuild the bond you once had. Set aside some time to get back to doing the things you used to love doing together. Recreate your first date or plan an activity that you haven’t had a chance to enjoy together in a while. Alternatively, this may be a wonderful time to come up with something new to get excited about doing together. It’s up to you!

Rekindling things in the bedroom is important as well, so take advantage of opportunities to bond in that department when they present themselves. Now is the time to allow yourself those extra-indulgent Sunday mornings in bed or the naked Saturdays you used to love. This is a good time to add some new things to your sexual routine as well. Think role-playing, erotic massage, or sex toys!

See Where You Stand

Eventually, the two of you will reach a place where you’re over the shock of how quarantine affected your relationship. Hopefully, you’ve also let go of the hope that your relationship will ever be the same way it was. That’s when it’s time to take a look at what you’re working with going forward and ask yourself some questions.

How do you feel about the ways your relationship has changed? Are these changes you can accept and move forward with into the future? If not, are there additional changes that could be made that would fix the issue? Are there any changes that could be viewed as blessings in disguise? Remember, it’s all about how you handle change that makes the difference.

Check in With Your Partner

Once you’ve figured out how you feel, talk to your partner about how they feel as well. Don’t simply assume they feel the same way you do about everything that’s happened. Ask them and do your best to accept what they tell you without judgment. Then move forward from there.

Relationships are always a two-way street with two people involved. Communication is important anyway, but it’s especially so when a couple’s just been through something challenging and stressful. Such occurrences are a part of life, so quarantine likely won’t be the last one you face together. However, now that you know how you deal with outside stressors as a couple, you know what you’re working with moving forward. Use what you’ve learned to grow stronger together, as well as separately.