Katie and Pete live in London and have been dating for 8 months - three of those months Katie was living back home in Sydney (pre planned) and they did the long distance thing. Within weeks of Katie arriving back in London, the UK government announced a country wide shut down and they decided to ride it out together, with Pete moving into Katie’s apartment. This is what it's like to live with a new partner during the lockdown.
Pete and I had only discussed the possibility of moving in together a week before we were forced to decide - stay at our respective homes or bunk down together. We chose the latter without thinking too much about it (like, what do we do if we break up?) and have been winging it through week one. Great news, we’re still together!
We (me) decided to set some ground rules and get into a routine. I should point out that both Pete and I are not working during the lockdown. He runs a pub, which obviously had to shut and I run a consultancy agency so most of my work has been put on hold. Sticking to a routine will likely be our saviour.
Having “me time” is important. We take ours sitting next to each other with our headphones in, listening to separate podcasts / audiobooks. This is London, we’re short on space.
Meal planning is both required and provides some healthy competition. Part of being in a new couple is discovering who is better than who at everything, and the kitchen is the most competitive arena. We (me) are keeping score with points assigned for presentation, taste and how clean you can get the kitchen afterwards.
We decided we’d both start online courses to pass the time and pick up some life skills that will come in handy once this is all over. So I spend my afternoons mastering TikTok, while he’s studying home brew coffee tutorials on YouTube.
I think it's important to take an interest in your partner's interests. So we’re watching the Star Wars films from start to finish, in the order George Lucas intended. We have to pause every 20 mins so I can ask a question about his beloved galaxy (which is far, far away, did you know), and I like to think that shows how much I’m paying attention.
It’s great to meet each other's friends and families … over Zoom. He specifically asked that these be planned so there would be no surprises. Cue the first Sunday morning, me introducing him to 6 of my friends from Australia on a Houseparty call whilst he was still in bed.
Food shopping has become an adventure. We’re lucky that we have a nice mix of big name and independent supermarkets in the area, with varying levels of stock in each. So our one-per-day Government sanctioned shopping trip might mean we need to visit multiple stores. At each, it's a one in - one out policy and we have to line up outside the shop keeping at least 2m between us all. Once inside, it's a luxurious experience with near empty aisles and satisfyingly stocked shelves. Of course, I tend to panic buy and come home with an odd assortment of ingredients, none of which he eats (I honestly don’t know how many more times I need to be told he doesn’t eat bananas before I stop buying too many bananas).
Waiting in line to get into Tesco- one in, one out rule
And don’t worry, we’re still celebrating important 'new couple' milestones. Though in lockdown it's not so much the first time you say I love you, rather it's after the first time you fart in front of each other that you crack open the special occasion wine.
Like everyone else, we’re taking each day as it comes and keeping a sense of humour about the whole experience. And drinking a lot of wine.