How to Stay in Love During a Pandemic: 6 Tips to Help Make Your Relationship Quarantine Proof From Dr. Laura Berman by 30Seconds Mom
Kelly Clarkson recently announced she is divorcing her husband, with insiders saying that coronavirus quarantine placed undue strain on her shaky marriage. Other celebrities like Armie Hammer, Julianne Hough, Christina Ricci and Jennifer Grey have also announced their marriages are ending, and Kanye West has been making global headlines for his Twitter rants about divorcing his wife Kim Kardashian.
Many people say quarantine could be the reason why these stars are splitting.
“Quarantine is a magnifying glass that highlights everything you dislike about your life and everything that annoys you about your partner,” says Dr. Laura Berman, relationship therapist, New York Times bestselling author, radio host and television personality. “Whether it’s your partner’s loud chewing, or their disorganization, or their recent weight gain, it can be really hard to not get on each other’s nerves when you are stuck together 24-7.”
So what does the relationship therapist suggest? First, Dr. Berman says, don’t think your relationship is immune. “You need to be really mindful about protecting your marriage and your intimacy right now,” says Dr. Berman. “It can be hard to focus on your love life when it feels like the world is imploding, but if you don’t take intentional efforts to safeguard your bond, it’s going to fray and maybe even unravel.”
Dr. Berman also suggests the following:
- Get dressed every day. “Set your alarm clock just like you would if you were going into the office. Take a shower, do your hair, put your makeup on,” she says. “And, get dressed. Dump the schlubby sweatpants and put on actual clothes. This will do wonders for your productivity and the impression you make on your colleagues during your Zoom calls. But, most importantly, you will feel more confident and more like yourself, which will in turn help your partner see you in a more positive light and feel attracted to you.”
- Be compassionate. “Your partner is living through a pandemic right now. You are living through a pandemic right now. That is huge. No one ever expected this to happen, and no one knows what the future holds. That can be really scary, and it can trigger self-destructive or defensive behavior,” she says. “Make the conscious choice to be more compassionate with yourself and your partner than you ever have been before, more than perhaps you ever thought possible. This quarantine is giving you the perfect invitation to relearn how patient and loving you can be with your partner.”
- Kiss 10 seconds each day. "It might sound odd to count to 10 as you kiss, but doing so will help to remind you to slow down and be mindful, rather than just giving your partner a quick peck. Soon, long, meaningful kisses will be part of your daily routine and you won't need to consciously count to 10 anymore."
- Go out by yourself. “Get time away every day by yourself. Schedule it at a specific time, and make sure it happens without fail,” says Dr. Berman. “Log off the computer, pack a lunch and go sit in a park with a book. You will get some sunshine and just get a chance to decompress. Maybe bring a yoga mat and do some outdoor yoga or meditation. Time apart is essential, or you and your partner are going to drive each other up the wall.”
- But make time for each other, too. “You scheduled your time apart, but you also should schedule your time together. Make a specific date night and plan something special each week. Yes, lots of things are closed, but you can still find so many fun things to do. Spread out a blanket in your backyard and look at the stars while you drink wine and listen to your favorite album. Take a bike ride together to a nearby nature preserve. Go to a drive-in movie. Make homemade pizza. Take a virtual dance class. Tap into your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines and redecorate your bedroom to be more sensual and romantic. The options are endless.”
- Don’t let intimacy fall by the wayside. “Make a quarantine goal to have sex at least twice a week. Most of us are at home with plenty of time on our hands, so use that time wisely ... by keeping that physical connection alive! It’s hard to get on each other’s nerves when you’re having fun together in the bedroom.”
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