Our dating and relationship expert talks all things relationships and quarantine - so many are wondering how they can survive during this time but Sarah Louise Ryan believes you can also thrive as a couple now and when lockdown is lifted. Here's what she had to say:
"We humans are wired for connection, it provides a sense of belonging and so when couples are separated during quarantine it can be such a trying time. There are so many ways in which we can stay connected intimately despite the fact that physical touch is not available between two people. It can be tricky to navigate especially for couples who are used to being in close quarters.
There are a few things which couples can do to not only survive this time of self-isolation but also thrive in their relationship afterwards. My first suggestion would be to communicate consistently but not constantly throughout self-isolation eg, in the evening over dinner and in the morning as you wake up and when you go to bed. Reason being is that couples will want their conversations to be meaningful and deeply connected and this can fall by the wayside if you communicate via texts or calls throughout the day. It might seem counterproductive to bringing the connection closer at first but when you are able to let talking about the mundane day to day and have a scheduled slot of time for a meaningful catch up, it can give you more structure and a greater sense of ‘you-time’
Lack of connection can be linked to low mood and so in order to keep mood and spirits high you should try to inject fun for you both during this time. An example being planning for the future which could be anything from the dates you would like to have all the way to the holiday you would like to have next year ect. This can be created into a fun game where each person writes down a place they would like to go, a date they would like to have and put it in a box. When couples come back together, because inevitably this time of self-will come to an end, they could combine their pieces of paper and perhaps spontaneously pick one out each date night.
Some other fun ideas can be having Friday night Quarantini happy hour, an excuse to get dressed up and join each other on video call for date night. Couples can have virtual picnics in the garden or on their balcony (or in the living room if they don’t have the luxury of outdoor space). Romantic connection in relationships really thrives off the unknown and the air of mystery so keeping up with innovative ways to virtually date is key.
It’s true what they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, it also creates an air of longing which might be an injection of excitement in the bedroom department too for when couples are reunited. Using this time to practise self-care and self-love could also be an exciting thing to communicate verbally within a couple that are currently separated apart, it might spice things up a little more and even ad a more fluid channel of communication about what couples want between the sheets for themselves and for each other.
Being apart also opens an opportunity to reconnect in conversation without distractions of a nice restaurant or cool bar so couples can really be their most authentic selves talking about how they feel and taking stock on what they want (and what they do not want) together. As long as couples are able to find the silver linings, inject fun and really communicate their feelings in meaningful conversations there is every chance relationships will stand the test of Covid-19 time."