Why It Is So Difficult to Let Go of Love During the Pandemic
Is your relationship struggling and are you wondering how you could possibly let go of love during the pandemic?
Times are incredibly difficult right now and making a big move in any direction seems daunting. Letting go of love is difficult in the best of times, and now here you are, miserable and wanting to let go, but struggling to do so.
There are many reasons why it’s harder than usual to let go of love during the pandemic. Understanding them might help you get the strength to make a move so that you can be happy!
#1 – Relationships make you feel grounded.
I have a friend whose husband died last year. We were just discussing what the hardest thing has been for her. She said that not being in a relationship has made her feel less grounded, less sure of herself in the world.
When we are in a relationship, we have someone who we know is always there for us, even if sometimes it’s not in the way we want. My client was very unhappy in her marriage but she was happy that she was part of a pair because she didn’t come home to an empty house, there was someone to cook for, there was someone to talk about her day with. Not having that has made her feel a little bit like she is floating around in the world without a purpose. Without having a relationship that tethers her to the earth.
In these crazy times, when all of us are feeling ungrounded because our lives have been turned upside down and inside out, being in a relationship, even an unhappy one, give us a sense of feeling that you can be stronger, together, to take on what is happening right now.
#2 – You are questioning yourself.
Almost without exception, people I know (myself included) are struggling in a big way. We are in month 6 of the pandemic and our patience is wearing thin. We all want to get back to ‘normal’ and that doesn’t seem like it is happening anytime soon.
Interestingly, in my experience, this uncertainty and frustration is causing many people to question themselves, to question the choices that that they are making (and have made in the past), to question who they are in the world, to question those who love them and to doubt that they have the strength to get through all of this.
This personalization of what is happening in the world is making it so people aren’t sure of how to make smart choices. They are questioning their ability to see clearly. They wonder if perhaps they are wrong to think that their person isn’t for them.
People are questioning literally everything in their lives and, as a result, deciding whether to let go of love during the pandemic is a incredibly difficult.
#3 – Uncertainty about the future.
I am guessing, from where you sit right now, you are wondering what the future holds.
Who will win the election? When will our kids be safe at school? Will we be able to travel for the holidays? When will there be a vaccine and will we take it? Will we be able to still pay our mortgage without a stimulus check? Will we ever be able to date again?
This uncertainty about what the future holds makes it harder for us to let go of love. In better times, if we got out of a relationship, there were certain things that we always did to recover. We would go out with friends, go on a trip, workout at the gym, start dating again. All of those things are not readily available to us right now and so we wonder how we will get past the breakup if we leave our relationship.
Furthermore, not knowing what the future holds makes it scary to walk away from a partner. Facing the future alone can be way scarier than facing it with someone else, even if you are unhappy!
#4 – Fear of being alone.
I have a client who has been dating during the pandemic. While she has met some men who she enjoyed, none of them have stuck. She isn’t in the relationship that she hoped she would be in right now, one year after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend. And, as a result, she is scared.
Winter is coming, schools are opening and Covid cases are spreading. It seems to many of us, particularly those of us who are about to get hit with cold weather and flu season, like the world is going to lock down again. We are going to go back to the way things were in March when we had to hoard groceries and stay home 24/7.
And she doesn’t want to do it alone. Again.
For many people who are struggling to let go of love during the pandemic, this fear of riding out the winter alone is a big one. Winters are hard enough and they will be even harder this year. And the holidays are coming and being alone during the holidays is going to be a whole different thing this year with travel being limited.
So, if you are struggling to let go of love during the pandemic know that part of it might be your fear of being alone, both in the short and long term.
#5 – Boredom.
This might seem like a silly one but it really is important.
Many people are staying in relationships that they shouldn’t because they are bored.
Being in a relationship means having someone to do things with, even if you aren’t getting along particularly well. I know that during my unhappy marriage we still did things together and were somewhat happy.
Being in a relationship means having someone to eat dinner with, to binge watch The Boys, to wake up with in the morning, to take walks with when staying home gets to be too much.
Furthermore, I have a client who finds herself creating drama in her relationship to break the boredom. Things that might not have bothered her before might bother her now and she makes a big deal about it with her boyfriend. They have a fight, emotions are aroused and then they have make-up sex. For a short, or long, period something else is going on other than the long stretches of nothingness that are happening right now.
For many of us, being alone and bored, with no one to interact with, either positively or negatively, is untenable and that makes letting go of a relationship that isn’t working even more difficult.
Knowing why it’s so hard to let go of love during the pandemic is a very important part of making the decision about whether to let go or not.
Knowing that you might be struggling not because you should be with this person but because things are so crazy right now, because you might be questioning yourself across the board, because you might be unsure about the future and bored and scared of being alone.
Think about where you are at in the world. How you feel about yourself and those around you and see if you are choosing to stay with your person because of any of the above reasons or because you know that you truly aren’t meant to be together.
You can do it! You must do it. So that you can be happy.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.