Whether you’re in a long-term relationship living with your partner, married, in a long-distance romance, or dating during COVID times, the question still remains the same: is intimacy during quarantine easy? Absolutely not. But to be fair, as Autumn Morris, a certified intimacy educator, explains, intimacy can be complicated at the best of times and comes in waves—from feeling down to get down to downright bored.
Ahead, the connection pro is sharing her insightful tips on how to keep or reignite the spark with your s/o during quarantine.
To make intimacy work, we adjust to the times, utilize our resources, and know that distance—or the opposite, being in close quarters 24/7—will only diminish the flame if you let it.
When you get to the root of intimacy, it’s truly just the facilitation of closeness. A lot of us make the mistake of assuming this means proximity. While it can mean this in regards to nearness, there are so many ways we can bond from a distance on a regular basis.
Why should you care? Recognizing this intimacy with whoever you find yourself catching feelings for is what is going to protect your health and save your relationships during this era.
We typically experience intimacy in three specific ways:
1. Shared activities
3. Love languages
One of the most crucial ways to become and remain connected with someone is via shared activities. Sure, we all have our own skills and talents that make us unique; however, having an activity you exclusively do with a romantic interest is a great way to stay connected. By associating your partnership or potential partnership with an activity you both love or both learn together, your brain lumps the person and the activity together, creating that feeling of closeness anytime you engage in that activity.
In 2019, this may have been going to cycling class or traveling frequently together. But as we exit 2020 and enter 2021, we have to be more creative than that. Safe shared activities could be virtual events like mixology classes or art classes. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, another idea is blocked-off time each week for a video-chat date where you cook the same meal together at the same time, get dressed up, and eat together on video while you talk about your day. Or maybe watch a show together on one of the many streaming services that have introduced joint streaming this year.
Intimacy is also largely based on your ability to connect to others as a whole human being, including the most vulnerable parts of you. Think of it like Velcro—the more Velcro you attach to another piece, the harder it is to break apart. Being vulnerable can look different for everyone, but it’s no secret that it can be hard to open up to someone you can’t even touch or when you’re going through a phase where you’ve lost the urge to touch your partner.
Love languages are a cult classic, but in case you need a refresher, the five love languages are:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Acts of service
3. Quality time
5. Physical touch
How we facilitate these love languages looks different if you’re in a LDR versus marriage, but here’s what expressing these love languages can look like from a distance.
Words of affirmation: “I am so honored to be able to connect with you no matter the distance.”
Acts of service: “Have you eaten today? I’d like to DoorDash you some lunch.”
Quality time: “Friday night when I get off work, I have two hours marked on my calendar with your name on it. We can FaceTime, and you can tell me all about your week.”
Gifts: “I ordered you a surprise just because you were on my mind. It will be at your house on Tuesday. I can’t wait for you to see what I got you!”
Physical touch: “I got us some sex toys to try out that I can control with an app on my phone so I can love on your body while keeping us safe. Are you into it?”
If you connect with someone, be sure to incorporate them in virtual or socially distanced activities you love, let them experience your world via verbal vulnerability and discovery of shared experiences, and put intention behind expressing the love language(s) they receive best. That way, you are creating a healthy incubator for flourishing intimacy.
Get creative, get excited to connect, and get intimate.
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