Remember date nights? Back when you could hire a babysitter and go sit at a restaurant for two hours with your spouse without the kids? Not only has COVID-19 meant that we can’t socialise with our friends it has also changed how we spend time with our significant other, one on one. When couples need to be on the same page and working together, we have high stress times with what can feel like limited ways to reduce pressure. But never fear date night is not a thing of the past, with the right date night you can find ways to stay connected.
Now doing housework together with kids shows on in the background is not romance, it is not date night or any other kind of date. After a while, you might start to wonder... why even bother with romance right now? Our sexologist Jodie says “because it will make the whole household feel better, but it may not be easy to do.” The reality is that one or both of you may be trying to work full time from home or still going to work, you may be home schooling and with everyone home there is more cleaning to be done and all of that can very easily take precedent over anything resembling quality time with your partner.
Jodie says, “there is some truth in the saying absence makes the heart grow fonder, having enough time apart so you want to see someone again and you want to have time together to be romantic is important.” Not an easy task right now. So how do you do it, how do you create space for the heart to grow fonder? Jodie says the key is to create space away from your partner to allow for a desire for connection later in the day. An example might be working in separate rooms, getting outside by yourself to create alone time. Create space by not being in front of your partner all day so that when you are together you have a desire to reconnect.
OK Mum’s and Dad’s we all know that parental guilt is a libido killer. If you're spending your day beating yourself up for not being the best parent or not being the best employee, (or worrying about home schooling, or stressing about work and it being work that you aren’t leaving at the office), finding any energy or desire for your partner is going to be hard bloody work.
Airlines may not be flying much right now but the rule in the safety briefing 'If there’s a change in cabin pressure put the mask on yourself first, then you take care of others’ is so very true right now. Jodie says “it is so important to understand that you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, even more so in times of prolonged stress such as this”. That means give yourself a break, take time to breathe and no guilt-trips for you or your partner.
No more than ever it is important to schedule together time, date night and yes sex, Jodie says. You must be intentional and cultivate the connection you have, the romantic spark and your roles as lovers. That means reminding yourself of how you were when you first met when your role was simply lover — not spouse, not business partner, not parent, not household manager, just lover. It is important to look for ways to build anticipation that alone can-do wonders for relationships.
Here are some other tips for creating date night during this time of #stayhome ;
1. Make it a date morning
It is more about setting aside time to spend time together, so why not in the morning before the kids have opened their eyes - grab a quick coffee, cuddle and conversation. A morning quickie is also a hell of a good option. Whatever you choose spending that time is likely to boost your mood for the rest of the day.
2. Take a walk together (if the rules in your location allow)
Fresh air is important, for physical and mental health so make it a little more special by walking together, just the two of you. Yes it has to be within the rules of social distancing where you live and yes you have to make sure the kids are safe too but if you can a walk can be a great way to spend time together.
3. Mood lighting and play music that sparks anticipation.
You may be limited on locations you can visit but you can make your own fun. What could be easier than tea lights or some form of mood lighting, turn on some music, open the good red.
4. Have a tasting party
Pick a tasty treat and share it. A two-some tasting party is a great way to change up the conversation and share some time together. It can be beer or wine or whatever tickles your fancy. A fun one could be competing recipes of chocolate chip cookies.
5. Formal Fridays
Who currently has work PJ’s and night PJ’s? You are not alone. The loungewear or PJ force is strong right now but dressing up for your partner is still a guaranteed way spark romance and remind them you care and just how sexy you are. Introducing Formal Fridays during the quarantine where both partners choose to dress up on the last day of the week.
6. Work out together
Another one that has to be done within the quarantine rules where you live but research has shown “that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner," Psychology Today. So come to an agreement on how and when you can workout together.
7. Backyard campfire
Fresh air, camp fire light and time to flirt and talk. What more could you want in a quarantine date night? Again, within the rules but it if you can do it, it is bound to be a romance starter.
8. Sit outside in the dark after kids have gone to sleep
Why not grab a bottle of wine and two glasses and head outside into the dark with your partner after the kids have gone to sleep. Provided you don’t have a mosquito problem or a way to combat them the fresh air and quiet is relaxing after a long, hectic day juggling the household and work.
9. Play a two-person card game
It sounds so old fashioned and simple, but a little game of Rummy, Poker or even Uno or Fish can be a laugh and get out some of that competitive energy out. If both parties agree you can up the stakes and yes we are suggesting you add a strip element to the game, foreplay right there.
10. Make dessert together
You can’t go out for dessert right now but ordering one in or even more fun whipping up a dessert in your kitchen as a couple can be surprisingly romantic (up the romance level by feeding it to each other).
11. Plan your next romantic getaway
Long distance travel may be off the cards right now and for a little while yet, but you can still plan a romantic getaway and scratch that wanderlust itch. Play pin the tail on the country, spin around and stick a pin in a map of Australia or the world and see what romantic getaway you can come up with. Trips down memory lane remembering past romantic trips can spark desire.