Now more than ever we have to rely on romance, creativity and imagination to keep our relationships alive. The COVID-19 quarantine has us resorting back to old fashioned courting styles to create connection with each other. Romance, style, and having an erotic imagination prove to be more of a necessity than a luxury these days. Last week, I attended a webinar hosted by Esther Perel to address the dilemma: how to eroticize your relationship while living on lockdown. It’s a four-week webinar series that shows you how to adjust your entire relational world while confined to one place. Keep reading to learn helpful tips on how to create mystery when living on top of each other.
Why Dressing Up For Date Night Is Essential For Romance Right Now.
Dressing up for a date night in is essential for not only keeping the romance alive, but for our mental health while living in confinement. One night last week I finished working and went to the kitchen to make dinner. I didn’t know what I wanted to make at first, but decided on a crab cake with sautéed wild-caught shrimp in a lemon garlic sauce over gluten-free pasta. I popped a bottle of wine, and lit a candle. I was dressed in my work clothes, and noticed I was still making dinner in to-do mode. You can easily spot my New York work ethic when I’m chopping garlic and onions in an energy-efficiency mode. I paused, put the pots on simmer, and went upstairs to change. I came back downstairs wearing a white dress and heels. Simply changing my clothes put me into a different, romantic mood. It’s a great way to change how you interact at this moment.
How To Create Mystery When You’re Living On Top Of Each Other.
Esther Perel is the queen of couples therapy. If you read her books, or have listened to any of her Ted talks, than you’ve heard her talk about the concept of erotic intelligence. Eroticizing your relationship during quarantine is the key to making sure you keep the mystery and romance alive during lockdown. Esther Perel wants us to make a very important distinction at this time. Please know that “just because you’re trapped by COVID-19 doesn’t mean you’re trapped by your relationship— be very clear that it can and will try to distort your reality.” Read Esther’s tips below on how to create mystery while quarantined to make sure this lockdown doesn’t get the best of your relationship.
Tip #1: Your physical space is limited, but your imaginative capacity is unlimited.
Just like in meditation, we imagine ourselves beyond our physical reality. Our capacity for imagination goes way beyond our physical reality or space. Use this time to creatively name and designate your space. You don’t have the gym, the office, the commute, the coffee spot to go to during the day. But you can clear the dining room table and set it for a fancy meal. You can create demarkations so you’re not exhausted by the end of the day. Keeping a designated space for each daily activity helps to create physical boundaries at home when you’re confined to one space. Talk about the meaning of each space. What has been the biggest challenge for you — what have you discovered that you didn’t know before, and what does it mean not to have your own room alone?
Tip #2: Be A Lot More Playful.
Esther Perel shared how she and her husband celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary last week. They got dressed up, went to the living room, and had it set it up like a fancy restaurant. They opened the front door of their home, and went back in like they were entering the restaurant. And they dined like they were out. They toasted champagne, and allowed themselves to pretend like they were having a party. This is one tiny example of how you’re going to have to reinvent yourselves in your minds. The New York Times has a great article for virtual date night ideas while quarantined. One couple had an annual tradition of going to a museum to celebrate their anniversary. In this article, they shared how they did a virtual tour of The Louvre in Paris, France for their five year anniversary.
Tip #3: Keep A Treasure Chest Of Ideas For Eroticizing Your Relationship.
Much like a hope chest, keeping an erotic chest of ideas of how to eroticize your relationship at this moment during quarantine will keep the romance alive. Write each other love notes while you’re sitting next to each other. Play with each other to cultivate that playfulness. Engage in character role play with each other. Playfulness doesn’t diminish because you’ve been together the all day. As I mentioned above, changing clothes is a great way to change the way your role, and the way you interact at this moment. Think of it like you’re a costume designer for a movie!
How To Handle Your Partner’s Elevated Anxiety During Quarantine.
Everyone handles stress differently. COVID-19 is without a doubt adding to that stress. But, it’s also presenting us with an opportunity to get to know ourselves, and our partners in a more intimate way. Having more time together during quarantine helps us slow down and learn things about each other that may have taken us years to find out. Keep your mind curious during this time. If your partner is experiencing elevated stress and anxiety due to the lockdown, try holding them if they like being held. Hold them until they let go. And don’t give them stats, or talk to them just hold them. Silence while being held brings peace and calm to a person who feels anxious. You can also suggest they take a shower and let the water run on their face, listen to music, read poetry to engage their senses and feel more grounded.
What To Do Next.
There are new updates on COVID-19 every single day. Try to kick up your self-care game to help manage your stress. It’s easier to care for our erotic gardens when we’re taking care of ourselves. For those of us who are home and healthy with our loved ones, I hope this post brought insight and value to your relationships. One thing Esther Perel suggests is to do a daily check-in with yourself. As soon as you wake up, check your stress levels and rate them on a scale of 1-10. Check your stress level, playful level, humor level, anxiety level, and calm level. Right now, I’m logging my daily meditations in the Koru Mindfulness app. That really helps me keep track of my thoughts and feelings during this time. Stay home. Stay healthy. Use this precious time you have together to strengthen your relationship.