Ways COVID-19 "Social Distancing" Can Refuel Your Relationship
We’ve all been there — in the relationship rut, when date night consists of two front row tickets to the television in pajamas or dinner-for-two at your “local kitchen” or takeout spot. These dates can be sweet on occasion but on the regular, they start to be too routine and create disconnection. So what do you do, during this time of quarantine, to beat the possibility of getting in a rut? How will you use this time as an opportunity to get creative about stay-at-home dates ideas!?
Before we get to the date ideas, here are four tips to get into the right mindset while quarantined:
- Be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone — remember that connection and bonding come through experiencing newness together.
- Take advantage of the break in your daily / work routine
- Think creatively, but don’t try too hard — what’s something you love to do but haven’t ever shared with your partner and vice versa? What’s something you’ve both wanted to get done together but always put off? Now’s the time. Lean in.
- Allocate time for separateness and time for togetherness. During this time it’s equally important to maintain your independence and inter-dependence.
Ok, so with that in mind, here are 10 Stay-At-Home date ideas for couples:
Date Idea #1: Do a new-to-you mid-day outdoor adventure. While you’re working from home, you’ve gained extra time from your lack of commute so take the opportunity to design your ideal mid-day adventure. Pick a day this week and block off two to three hours mid-day. Schedule all work around it. This could be a hike, or a bike or even just a hand-in-hand walk around the neighborhood. What’s makes this special is the break in the routine. Upon returning home, share with each other the highlights of the adventure.
Date Idea #2: Collaborative Art Projects — this is one of my favorites to do with a partner. Grab a piece of paper and some colors — crayons, markers, even two different colored pens or pencils — and alternate adding on to eachother’s work. Partner A draws a section, Partner B adds on, then Partner A adds on. Continue adding until you’ve filled the page. Try to not look at the macro, and stay focused on the individual contributions, then when you’re “finished” look at it from afar to see what you created together.
Another connective art activity is single-line drawing. Look at your partner with the pen on the page, draw his/her face without looking and without lifting the pen/pencil! This one is bound to make you laugh and gives you a chance to really LOOK at your partner.
Date Idea #3: Play Happy Partner Project’s Relationship Check-In Deck but go deep on one-two categories category or create fun outcomes for every card answered!
Pick one category that you’re both comfy with and pick one that pushes your comfort zone. Here are 3 ways to use the card deck.
“Big tub, little person.” — SATC
Date Idea #4: Spa Night At Home — Set up your ideal spa at home — is that a candlelit bubble bath with the two of you in it!? Is it mud masks, massages, aromatherapy? A former boyfriend and I used to do Full Body Massage Fridays. Whatever your favorite spa setup, recreate it at home and indulge. Calm and serenity are what the world needs right now more than ever. Tip — use coconut or olive oil as massage oil and after a couple’s bath, it’s sensuous and conveniently edible. ;)
Date Idea #5: Couples workout — Movement and getting the blood pumping are excellent for boosting the immune system. Equinox is streaming workouts, yoga instructors are hosting livestreamed downward dogs; there’s even livestream dance and movement classes. Pick one and go for it solo or even better, design a workout circuit together that integrates stations and partner work. Here’s one courtesy of MadFit:
Date Idea #6: Create restaurant vibes at home. If you can’t go to your favorite dinner spot, bring the romantic restaurant vibes home. Alternate nights planning and cooking romantic dinner for your partner. Set up a table as you’d see in a restaurant, dim the lights, maybe light a candle. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy, what matters is you’re setting up a new context for dining together at home. This is also great because the partner cooking gets to be in service to the other and create the experience. Make sure you both do at least one night each.
Spend a little extra energy dressing the table and making it feel like your fave restaurant.
Date Idea #7: Have your partner teach you something he / she loves. Straight forward — he loves to play Call of Duty? Have him teach you. She loves to macrame, let her show you how.
Date Idea #8: Remix a board game by creating fun outcomes / consequences. Loser takes off an item of clothes, winner gets an extra hour of time free from the kids the next day, loser does dishes for the week, winner gets a massage. Whatever the terms, make it fun, make it sexy, make it together.
Date Idea #9: Play Truth or Dare. Bring back that playful teen energy back into your relationship! I bet there’s something you’ll learn about your partner that you didn’t know and healthy stakes can generate the good kind of tension. Remember to practice radical transparency and let go of your (unhealthy) limitations when it comes to dares.
Date Idea #10: Themed Double-Feature or Movie Marathon — Similar to date idea #6, make sure to create a special environment for watching movies together. Maybe do a Bond Movie Marathon and watch a couple Bond movies back to back, do Oscar Winners Night, or My Favorite Movie Night where you each pick your favorite flick and watch back to back. Order your typical movie candy or treat from Amazon or make a quick trip to the convenient store. Part II of this date idea is to share your thoughts — was there something that you loved or surprised you about the Bond movies? Why did you love a certain movie if you did Movie Favorites? etc. Engage in a discussion and plan time for this into your “date time.”
What are some of your favorite date recommendations?
Tell us what you’d add!