Lovehacker: How To Take Care Of Your Sick Partner

I’m at home rocking the summer cold from hell. Meanwhile, my partner is checking out a bunch of cool tech at CES in Vegas.

Suffice to say, I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.

We’re pretty good at being caretakers when we’re in the country though. We’ve both played nurse while the other was excreting a whole manner of unholy bodily fluids.

But it doesn’t always come so easy. Maybe you’re in a newish relationship, haven’t dealt with your partner being sick before or just aren’t sure what to do to help.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Respect Their Boundaries

We’re all different — some of us liked to be coddled while we’re sick, others barely want to be looked at.

Although it’s sweet to stick by their side, even if that means getting sick yourself, they may actually want some space.

Open the line of communication and find out what’s best for them. If they want lots of attention — be there. If they want to hide under the covers from the world, there’s still plenty you can do to help in the background.


Sometimes people just need a sympathetic ear. This is not the time for overly logical assertions or unhelpful “advice”.

Everything certainly is the worst and you’re sorry to see that it’s happening to them.

Don’t Bring Up Sex

Honey, no.

If your partner feels like death warmed up, it probably isn’t the best time to try and get some. That goes for sexting too.

Maybe try giving them some relaxing head/hair stroking instead. I’m sure there will be plenty of other stroking when they’re feeling better.

Cook For Them

Not only is this a good way to get nutrients back into your partner, it shows a deep level of love and care. You’re taking the time to create something for them, which will be appreciated.

Soup is of course a classic option, but I would also suggest something spicy like a curry. Chilli’s are known to have desensitising effects, and the capsaicin in them can also clear out the nasal passages.

Throw some garlic in there too to take advantage of its antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Do All The Housework

Whether you live together or not, this is a lovely gesture.

Nobody wants to do chores while they’re sick. Let them rest and relax. They’ll be grateful to come out the other side of a fever to a clean house.

Make Up A Care Package

Both cute and practical, I’m a big fan of the care package.

Not only does it show you care, it saves your partner from having to venture out for these items.

Some suggestions:

  • Cold and flu tablets. The good stuff from behind the counter.
  • Painkillers. In case you can’t get the good stuff
  • Tissues. I opt for the ‘man sized’ ones because there’s no pretence of daintiness
  • Lozenges/cough drops. Numb that throat
  • Vicks VapoRub. It smells like sickness incarnate but it’s great for congestion
  • Soup. Homemade is preferable but packets aren’t bad in a pinch
  • Juice. Fresh if possible — more nutrients!
  • Tea. Because it fixes everything
  • Some of their favourite snacks for when they’re feeling better
  • Something to binge on. TV show, movies, games — whatever they’re into
  • Ginger tea/ginger beer. It’s great for settling stomachs
  • Lemons and honey. I swear by an old fashioned hot lemon and honey drink
  • Chapstick and moisteriser. For men and women — nobody wants dry and flakey skin
  • New Pyjamas. It feels really good to get into fresh, clean PJs when you’re sick