You get close to each other by dealing with problems and pain together. You stand united in the face of tragedy. You deal with adversity together, whether it’s about family, illness, aging, unemployment.
You bond with each other through conversation. The communication channels are open. You listen to your partner and appreciate your partner’s ideas. You’re loving, considerate, respectful, giving, honest, and open in the way you communicate.
Second – Talk about which of these 7 types of intimacy are strengths in your relationship. Again – talking about the positives reinforces your love for one another and will help minimize irritation. This is essential if you want your time in quarantine to be as pleasant as possible.
Third – Decide which aspects of intimacy you could stand to work on together. You’ll likely find you want to strengthen at least one or two or the abovementioned forms of intimacy.
Fourth – Plan how you’re going to work on your intimacy goals. If you’d like to share more humor intimacy, perhaps you could Netflix a stand-up show? If creative intimacy feels important to work on, maybe you could try making music together, baking or playing a game together?
Problem #2 You’re both stressed out
A pandemic is, thankfully, not the norm. But because we’re not used to it, it can cause massive amounts of stress. Finding ways of dealing with this stress isn’t only paramount to your own health and mental well-being, it’s also important for your relationship.
Oftentimes our stress is taken out on our partner. We don’t mean to do it – but it’s our coping mechanism. While in quarantine, try out the solutions below as a means of finding new coping mechanisms.
1. Tell yourself relationship stress is normal – because it is.
Being together 24/7 for at least two weeks isn’t the norm for most couples – so finding it stressful is normal. Getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course.
Nothing is wrong with your relationship just because quarantine is getting to it. You’re stressed, worried and anxious – potentially on an existential level. Remind yourself that this too shall pass. We don’t know when or how, but you won’t have to be in quarantine forever.
2. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is all about being in the moment – regardless of what that moment looks like. It’s about learning to sit with your emotions and thoughts, even when they’re terrifying, exhausting or just plain annoying.
In times of stress, practicing mindfulness can help you acknowledge what’s running through your brain, and what is likely causing the cortisol levels in your body to rise. Once you acknowledge those thoughts you can let them go – and you’ll likely feel better because of it.
Are you trying to incorporate mindfulness into your relationship? Read How Practicing Mindfulness Improves Your Relationship
Problem #3 Your sexual problems become unavoidable
Being forced together for 24 hours of every day has suddenly made the avoidable – unavoidable. You were perfectly fine living in a sexless relationship or experiencing low libido – until quarantine hit.
It’s usually said that when we have sex it takes up about 10% of our lives. But when the sex stops – it takes up 90% of our lives.
This partly explains why sexual problems can feel insurmountable and all-encompassing – especially when we’re spending every waking moment together and we’re obviously not doing it.
1. Address it.
In order to deal with your sexual problems or differences, you’ll first need to address them. This is best done by talking about them.
I know – having a conversation about sex can be both difficult and embarrassing.
Maybe you’re afraid your partner will feel hurt by your non-existent libido.
Or perhaps you’re worried the whole conversation might turn into a fight.
All of these worries are completely normal. But it’s important to not let them get the best of you, so you end up avoiding the topic altogether.