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Many couples are wondering if it’s possible to keep romance and intimacy alive during the Corona crisis.  Here are some questions we’ve been hearing:

  • How can we create opportunity for romantic breaks when the usual sources of entertainment and diversion are not available?
  • How can passion and desire bloom in the context of unusual, prolonged closeness and mingling of home, work and parenting?
  • Is there room for pleasure in the midst of a crisis? So many people are struggling and lonely and the world is so uncertain. How can I consider making pleasure a priority?
  • What if I am just not in the mood for any kind of physical intimacy when I have no personal space?

Today’s blog is Tip #7 from my list of  7 Tips for Working at Home with your Partner and Keeping your Relationship Close and Strong

While our physical space and privacy is limited, our imaginative capacities are unlimited.  Tap into your imagination. You can imagine scenarios way beyond what is in front of you, scenes of a different time and place – a future adventure, a past vacation.  You and your partner can be more playful, dress up for a ‘date’ or have a picnic on the porch.  You can write love notes and play love songs – even sitting at the same kitchen table. You can change the details of the story that is being played out. Learn from your children – they are also confined and they can enter an imaginary world that takes them outside of the boredom of the moment.

Pleasure is essential – especially with so much loss around us.  Give yourself permission to connect with life and with vitality.  You can say NO to the stress and NO to the survival mode and celebrate life. Having pleasure, play and laughter are essential for your own health and the health of your relationship.  Try not to hold your breath in fear, breathe and allow the air to flow between you and your partner.  Don’t let sickness and crisis set the tone for your home and your relationship.  Sharing moments of love and connecting is a basic expression of being human and alive.

Some people are coping now by being concrete and task driven.  In that frame of mind, you may think that any kind of pleasure is a diversion or a distraction from what is important: getting the tasks done. If you or your partner believe that if you are not driven and vigilant, everything will fall apart, think again. Your life will not fall apart if you take time for pleasure and the warmth of companionship. Closeness in your relationship is restorative and relaxing, it makes you feel good; give yourself permission to have that experience in the midst of the crisis.

One or both partners may not feel willing or interested or in the mood for intimacy. Try taking a small step – change the atmosphere, create a mood, use music and candlelight. Tap into your senses. Try a stance of curiosity: what would happen if…? Open up the possibility that you can step out of your routine, allow for the possibility that something different can happen. Move towards your partner, towards pleasure. Don’t write the whole scene in advance of what will happen. Let it happen, whatever unfolds is fine.  Next time you will try again. Let go of performance or outcome. It’s like the beginning of your relationship, before you had a script and a way that it ‘always’ played out.  

Why not try a bit of free association with your partner.

Imagination. Play. Creativity. Adventure. Laughter. Connection. Curiosity. Surprise.

What do each of those words mean to you in the context of your relationship?

Try writing freely and then sharing:

  • I imagine me and my partner…
  • I like to pretend that…
  • When my partner… it makes me laugh…
  • I am curious about how my partner would respond if I…
  • My partner and I feel most connected when we…
  • I feel loved when my partner…
  • I can’t wait until the day when we…

Find your spark and wake it up! You’ve got what it takes to keep your relationship close and connected.

Read my Tip #1 for Couples.  AIM FOR ZERO NEGATIVITY IN YOUR SHARED SPACE

Check outTip # 2 for Couples: LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE THE GOOD IN YOUR PARTNER

 Enjoy  Tip # 5 for Couples: CREATE BOUNDARIES

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