Being locked in the house together means couples have to find creative, intentional ways to spend quality time with one another. Whether it’s a game night, movie night or something more romantic, nurturing your relationship and cultivating meaningful connection, especially in the midst of a world crisis, is critical.
Tips for connecting
Michelle Herzog, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist at The Center for Mindful Living in Chicago, says spending intentional time with your significant other is important for your relationship’s health.
“It’s especially important right now because we can go throughout the day without connecting,” said Herzog. “It’s also a time where people are really grieving a lot of losses. If you have a partner available to you, it’s such a good time to say, ‘Can you just sit with me,’ or ‘Can we talk?’ and really just be in this moment and be present with each other — that’s how connection builds and sustains itself.”
If you’re going to prioritize a date night at home, all the distractions have to be put away, said Herzog, like no TV or phones. Herzog also emphasized putting in effort.
“Dates are not going to just happen, they have to be planned,” she said. “It’s important that couples take turns and really put the effort in: set the mood, order the food, get the game, sign up for the class, whatever it is. Put the effort into that just like you would outside of your house.”
Ideas for date nights
Below are a few date night ideas and relationship tips for if you’re feeling stumped on ways to connect during the stay-at-home order.
Sightsee: “I love the idea of traveling around the world without a passport,” said Spira. “There are thousands of museums with virtual tours, and you can take turns in selecting what city or country you’d like to visit.”
Fort Fridays: It’s as simple as it sounds — until you actually try to keep the thing from caving in, but that’s a part of the fun! Grab some chairs, old blankets and start rearranging those couches to create an indoor fort. Place a few extra blankets on the ground for cushioning purposes. Grab a few board games and favorite snacks, or pop in a movie to watch from your new temporary abode.
Indoor camping: Very similar to fort building, but here you already have equipment. Set your tent up in the living room or basement, microwave some s’mores and turn on a YouTube campfire video.
Club quarantine: Every so often, musicians and DJs will take to Instagram Live and give tens of thousands of people hours of free music. During your favorite artist’s next set — a popular one has been DJ DNice’s recurring sets, which he actually dubbed “Club Quarantine” — turn the lights down low, crank the sound up high and pop a few bottles to get that real nightclub feel.
Backyard picnic: Synchronize your work-from-home calendars to have lunch at the same time. Pack a small meal to take to eat outside together, whether at a nearby picnic table or in your own backyard.
Get active: “If you enjoy bike riding and the weather permits, there are bike trails that you and your partner can ride on, as long as you’re wearing masks,” said Spira. “If you prefer cardio, take a run with your partner. If you’ve decided to pick up carry-out from a local restaurant, take a walk together to pick up your order.”