For couples and people in relationships who are living together, this social isolation period means being locked in together a lot more than one might have bargained for, and for people who had in the time before got used to having cooks, maids and other kinds of domestic help, now having to do all the household work themselves, is changing the dynamics of the relationship.
Even where the work load was generally uniformly shared, there is bound to be a lot more of being noticed. We see each other a lot more of the time, and see a lot more of how we are with things. Small things get the attention that they never did before.
One example could be in how things happen in the kitchen. Take cutting lemons. You might cut it length-wise and your partner might cut it breadth-wise. You might notice that one of you keeps the phone charger when not in use white the other waits for it to get completely empty. The way you dry clothes, the order in which you sweep or swab the house, the way you chop carrots and whether you peel the potatoes in a continuous spiral or in short sweeps.
The differences we see can trigger conversations on how different you are from each other. How these conversations go and where they lead is the determining factor. For some of us, it can be a warm curiosity, a continuation of the discovery each other, where we can delight in the way we are, take pleasure in our differences the way we might have if we were just beginning to date and looking at each other with desire and hope. On the other hand, they could also be triggering and make the small things balloon up into big fights that bring up everything from the past and you start thinking if you are too different, too dissimilar to ever really appreciate each other. "If we can't even think alike whether to cut carrots into round segments and then dice them, or by length first, how can we decide on the big things!" You might tell yourself.
These long periods of being isolated together have a way of making things clear one way or the other. Where earlier the times apart in each day created buffer zones that made it easier to ignore the differences, the forced togetherness reduces the buffer and makes things transparent. Some of us might try and recreate buffers to stay safe - we might be in different rooms for much of the time, or divide chores so we don't overlap too much. That works too a certain degree to keep the status quo, but for many of us, especially those who didn't care too much for the status quo in the first place, this period can be a trading period.
You might go through this and come out very much the same as before, but chances are that you are likely to come out more in love or wanting to separate.
As written for The New Indian Express
Ajanta, Mahesh and other InnerSight counsellors and guest contributors are happy to share their thoughts here.