We Asked Twitter For Tips To Help Co-Working Romantic Partners Not Kill Each Other During Lockdown

Being stuck at home while self-isolating has tested many people's ability to work from home, but the coronavirus has thrown a new obstacle to couples that are working from home together. Newsweek asked Twitter how people are making their relationships work from home, while working from home.

Social-distancing and staying home trying to flatten the COVID-19 curve could be enough to put a strain on a relationship on its own, but bringing the regular stresses and challenges of a job could add another hurtle, but people on Twitter have found that even more distancing, internal-social distancing if you will, seems to be the most useful in separating life and work and keeping relationships in tact in the time of coronavirus.

While so many people wrote that working in separate rooms or giving each other space was key, many people also tweeted that open communication was also important to keep relationships strong during COVID-induced WFH.

Audio Engineer Seth Metoyer wrote that he's worked from home with his partner for nearly a decade, and the couple go to separate offices, while coordinating dinner and "sleepovers," where they've recently been watching Downton Abbey. He also wrote that they check in on each other via DM during the day. The Debt author Tyler King also wrote that her partner and her embrace the separate rooms, but meet for lunch and check-in from time-to-time.

My partner and I have been working at home together for almost 10 years. We work in seperate offices & still coordinate our dinner time and communicate via DM through the day. On top of that we still have nightly "sleepovers", which lately has meant binge watching Downton Abbey.

— Seth Metoyer (@SethMetoyer) March 24, 2020
work from home
Two parents telework from home with their two boys aged two and seven years, due to schools closing because of the Coronavirus outbreak on March 19, 2020 in 15th district of Paris. Xavier Laine/Getty

Open communication was a running theme of the suggestions that Twitter users had. Writer Genie Leslie wrote that her partner and her give each other notice, when they have to take calls, especially video conferences, so no one walks by a camera fresh out of the shower. Comedian Gus Constantellis wrote that updating each other on moods and metal states was important "so as to not take things personally." He also wrote that he and his partner were going to bed early and taking alone time. One user, who is a stay at home mom, wrote that her husband keeps her updated on call schedules so she can "make sure the kids don't go bonkers."

Working in separate rooms, giving warnings when joining calls so no one walks in after a shower or something with cameras on. We are also working on a creative project about the experience. it’s cathartic, acknowledging the little grievances and turning them into comedy.

— Genie Leslie (@genieleslie) March 23, 2020

We've also been working in separate rooms, checking in on each other occasionally. We're also being really good at updating each other on our moods and mental state, so as to not take things personally. We also have been going to bed early and giving each other alone time.

— Gus Constantellis (@ConstantlyGus) March 23, 2020

We’re lucky his work is super understanding and kids and pets are allowed on video calls. At night we decompress with Animal Crossing, snacks and catching up on our long to be watched show list.

— Trish says fuck a lot (@hazeleyedhobbit) March 23, 2020

Relationship coach Keith Dent said he has "White Table Talk" with his wife where they "talk about stuff [they] will do during the day and [they] make sure to laugh."

My wife and I do what we call White Table talk. We talk about stuff we will do during the day and we make sure that we laugh.

— Keith Dent (@S2SinMarriage) March 23, 2020

Laughter also was a consistency in people's suggestions. Leslie wrote that "turning little grievances into comedy" was "cathartic." Other users found comedy in other aspects of their daily lives, with one user responding that her and her partner have taken to calling their cat and dog "co-workers" and blaming any issues on them.

WFH w/my husband from our 1-bedroom NYC apt (bc we’re saving to buy). It hasn’t been an issue so far and we both take a lot of calls and can work intense hours.

We’re just trying to keep making each other laugh throughout the day (which we normally do).

— Laura Bedrossian (@LauraBedrossian) March 23, 2020

We’re lucky to have separate offices in our house. We’ve also taken to blaming the cat and dog (our “co-workers”) for little things that irk us.

— Katie Hughes-Pucci (@hughesywhatsit) March 23, 2020

Of course, with the recent Animal Crossing release, some people have taken solace in that, like comedian R. Alex Murray, who said it's hard to be angry during "island time."

Animal. Crossing. Can’t be pissed on island time.

— R. Alex Murray (@ralexmurray) March 24, 2020