If you and your significant other are thinking about breaking up while in quarantine, Shan Boodram wants you to pause, take a breath — and be mindful about it. Boodram is an intimacy expert and sexologist, who has hosted sex and dating shows on both MTV, Fullscreen, and Quibi, whose YouTube channel has over 40 million views, and who recently made a cameo on Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle. And she believes the increase in free time only presents an opportunity for couples who are struggling.
“Now is the time to try to take the time with everything,” Boodram tells Bustle. “Whatever it is you’re doing, you have a little bit more time. Look at this as an opportunity to explore this in a way that time maybe wouldn’t have permitted two months ago.”
Couples are weathering the stay-at-home orders in a range of ways. Some are growing closer. Some are struggling to work, live, and (for some) parent together 24/7. And some are splitting up. And that makes sense: The stress and uncertainty of living through a pandemic and economic collapse is taking a toll on everyone.
What’s the point of setting an intention of devoting yourself to another person if you’re not going to connect when things get real?
For the couples who are struggling, Boodram suggests giving each other some grace, even if you can’t give each other space.
“Anything should be taken with a grain of salt during this time,” Boodram says. “Being all right is a good benchmark these days. I would put a pause on finding new things about my partner that I would put in the dealbreaker category.”
In other words: Don’t dump your partner because they like to talk all day while you’re trying to work.
There are some couples for whom the pandemic feels like the last, massive straw on the broken down back of the ancient camel that is their relationship. But rather than give in to the pressure and break, Boodram suggests trying first to work through it together. Find an online couples therapist. Put it all out on the table.
“What’s the point of loving and living if you’re not going to examine?” Boodram says. “What’s the point of setting an intention of devoting yourself to another person if you’re not going to connect when things get real?”
As for the couples who just can’t do it anymore, Boodram says, “make this the most woke breakup ever.” Use your new free time to really work through what happened and why. “You don’t have to stay with someone, but you do need to unpack what happened, for your own sake,” Boodram says.
Shan Boodram, Intimacy expert and sexologist