( ENSPIRE Feature ) How to Stay Connected During COVID-19
ENSPIRE Contributor: Re’Dreyona Walker
Many of us are socially distancing to keep our loved ones safe, but with this added space come challenges with physical intimacy, such as limitations on activities people can partake in together and restrictions on a many other things that often make a relationship work. Routine activities that couples look forward to, including going out to brunch, seeing a movie, or meeting up with a shared group of friends, are no longer entertainment options, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Couples can use this time without the normal day-to-day distractions to connect with each other and discover new insights about their relationship. Here are a few ways relational partners can strengthen their bond and appreciate one another amid the unprecedented circumstances.
Touch Base With One Another
The uncertainty of when social distancing will end can be stressful, which is why it is so integral that you take the time to touch base with your significant other to see how they’re doing mentally, emotionally, and physically. Open dialogue is imperative for setting boundaries and maintaining personal space while quarantining together. For those doing the distance, honest and transparent conversations can help ease the anxieties each of you may be experiencing afar. Discussing the challenges you both are encountering personally, professionally, or relationship-wise can offer an opportunity for the two of you to discover commonalities that can bring you closer together. Take advantage of the downtime and use this period to approach and communicate about topics you don’t normally have time to go over or that you’ve been neglecting. If these conversations become overwhelming, seek professional help, as teletherapy can also be a valuable and productive way to leverage this spare time.
Keep Things Exciting With Creative Date Nights
Access to activities outside of the home is restricted for the time being, and couples are having to become creative, planning unique and non-traditional dates. These alternative makeshift dates can be a great way to try a new experience and discover each other’s hidden talents. Virtually share screens and tour a destination you’ve both wanted to travel to using websites like Ascape, or download Netflix’s newest Party Chrome Extension so you can binge-watch your favorite shows together — almost as if you’re in the same living room! Tap into your creative space by building a photo album together from past experiences using the Shutterfly share feature. Then, to get to know one another on a deeper level, download DateNight Club’s 50 questions guide to help steer the conversation in new directions. If you’re feeling so inclined, set up a board game you both share and see if you can coordinate a virtual game. Multiplayer computer games like JackBox.TV is also fun for groups, so you can plan a virtual double or triple date with friends.
Dedicate Intentional Time For Your Partner
With all of this downtime, it’s easy to become so immersed in personal devices and work tasks that you forget to set intentional time for you and your partner. After all, personal time doesn’t count as ‘personal’ unless you’re fully engaged with what your partner is saying or doing. Whether it’s in-person, over the phone, or via video chat, carve out an hour every day to devote to your partner with no distractions. Practice acts of kindness by complimenting each other on things they’re good at or by cooking their favorite meal. Reminisce about shared memories or plan a future trip to keep each other excited. After all, this is time together that you may never get again!