A lot of couples are in VERY close quarters during Coronavirus (Covid-19) times. Whereas during “normal” times couples might be challenged to carve out more time together, during shelter-in-place it’s a bigger challenge getting time apart.
In fact, that’s our first tip for keeping your intimacy alive while in such close quarters.
Take time and space apart.
It might sound like odd intimacy advice to suggest you take more time and space apart. But it’s important to understand that relationships need to “breathe”, that is time together – time apart, time together – time apart. We need both. It’s a common recipe for resentment when we use our spouse as our only social and physical “fueling station”. It puts too much pressure on our partner and on the relationship.
Whereas every individual has a different “comfy spot” on the apart-together spectrum, every relationship needs both. Too much “together” makes us bored and complacent. Too much “apart” makes us scared and lonely.
When you take space to yourself, make it count. There are many ways to take time and space for yourself in ways that nourish and replenish you.
You can …
- Take a walk on your own
- Hang out with your friends online separately
- Nourish your soul, body, mind by doing sports, exercises, nature walks, meditation, painting, building … whatever does it for you.
- Whatever you do, make sure it nourishes you (don’t just watch more Netflix:-)
Grow, learn, expand, and step outside your comfort zone.
This too might sound like peculiar advice for keeping your intimacy alive. You might be thinking, “Why aren’t we talking about deep conversation and touch and sex?” Not to worry, we will be, shortly. But strengthening your intimacy in close quarters is not just about cuddling up and sharing deep truths. There are a lot of things you can do which will inspire intimacy and build trust in your relationship. Some of those things involve your partner, some don’t.
It is really good for your intimacy when you keep growing and learning. Growing yourself as a person is “hot”, it gives you new material to bring into conversations and it keeps you on your toes. You become a more interesting and attractive person to be around, and by always growing and learning you demonstrate your willingness to take on new risks and step outside your comfort zone.
You can even ramp it up and use each other as a sort of accountability partners. For example, you might state a commitment to your partner like, “By this Friday, I’ll have read chapter 1+2 in my coaching book and completed the homework that goes with it”. This is an actual commitment Sonika made as part of a coaching course she’s taking.
Then give progress reports as you go along and talk about what you learned. This keeps your mind fresh, your curiosity open, and helps you avoid the very common trap of stagnation.
Sonika’s coaching course hence benefitted the intimacy in our relationship because she brought valuable teaching and new insights to us. This keeps us alive, intimate in sharing something new (did I already mention, not stagnant? 🙂
Carve out time to focus on your relationship
Even if you’re completely overbooked and corona has given you a boatload of extra responsibilities, it’s still essential that you find time to focus on your relationship. If all you can do half an hour a week, great, do that, but still, find time to focus on your relationship, and do it with joy and gusto.
You can look through our blog posts for lots of other suggestions for how to connect and deepen your intimacy. Here, we want to share a few good ideas.
When you take time to focus on your relationship, you can make it intimate and meaningful by doing things like …
- Ask each other Intimacy Questions
- Do vulnerable heart shares
- Use Repeated Questions to take you deeper
- Make eye contact
- Hold hands while on a walk
- Chase each other for fun
- Play games and make each other laugh
- Make love
- Take a relationship class
Any of those activities will help you keep your intimacy alive. And don’t forget #1, make sure to also take time and space apart.
Now, for taking an easy-access relationship class, here’s an idea for you:
We created a brand-new, 90-min virtual mini-workshop for couples, How To Replace Complaints And Criticism With Constructive Communication.
Would it help your intimacy if you could do that?
In this mini-workshop, we’ll help you:
* Stop the cycle of complaining
* Talk to your partner when you/they get upset
* Find compassion in disagreements
* Relieve tension and stress
* Learn techniques to de-escalate during arguments
* Use productive communication tools
* Get back to connection
Check it out and register here: https://loveworksforyou.com/how-to-replace-complaints-and-criticism-with-constructive-communication/