Being stuck at home can be a real romance killer for some couples. I have heard several couples talk about how they feel like they are struggling and feeling claustrophobic. Why is it that just being stuck together in the same spot can have such a negative effect on our relationship? It can even happen when things were going well before the crisis! So I wanted to share why this occurs and rapid-fire give a few date ideas you can do while social distancing.
Why Are We Struggling?
The relationship research experts, John & Julie Gottman, say that there is a “Magic Ratio” among happy, long-term couples. That is 5 to 1. The Gottman’s say that you need 5 positive interactions for every negative interaction. They say that this is actually a pretty good predictor of whether a couple stays together or not long-term. Here is an article on just that.
So how does that relate to COVID? Well, this is because we are not getting to do any of the things that you would normally make plans to do with your partner. So, that just leaves us with time that we spend together accidentally instead of on purpose.
Accidental time together is just there by merit of sharing a life with your partner. Think of it like floating down a river with just a life jacket. You can not really steer so, we can expect to get bashed against the rocks. The same goes for just letting the flow of life take us. So, you could imagine how that change throws off that “Magic Ratio” that we were talking about.
That Is why it is important to spend time together on purpose. Find date ideas, because letting yourself be swept up by the flow of things could be bad. So all that being said, here are a handful of dating ideas for you and your partner:
- Dinner Date-Go for this old classic at home. Get dressed up nice, instead of wearing those sweatpants for the 4th day in a row. Try to replicate dishes from your favorite restaurant.
- Have a Breakfast Date-Personally, I think breakfast dates are underrated to begin with. Instead of jumping straight into work, take some time at the beginning of your day to just focus on each other.
- Distance Double Date-Get on Zoom or Skype with your couple friends, and share a meal or play games. If restrictions in your area have eased, do that from 6 feet apart.
- Scavenger Hunt-Take turns leaving each other clues. Maybe even take it to the next level and make it a sexy scavenger hunt!
- Share Hobbies-Teach each other how to do each other’s hobbies. This can be an endless source of comedy when you think about trying out something like this for a first time. (Although, probably not the best option if either of you struggle with patience.
If you are looking for ways to bring some life back into your relationship, give us a call here at the Marriage & Family Clinic.
About the Author
Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado