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Hailing all partnered humans…
2020/21 has been a tense time. In the current global climate, finding ways to relieve stress can seem unattainable. Subsequently, connecting with our significant other may have taken a backseat. We’re all dealing with our own shit and, to be frank, intimacy can feel like a chore. For many, it’s dropped right off the priority list! Is it even possible to rekindle the spark during a pandemic?
As my husband and I prepare for our second lockdown in less than a year, conversations around boundaries have resurfaced. Being locked up for an indefinite period with someone can have its benefits, but also its consequences. I love my husband, but I know missing him is a critical element in maintaining sexual desire. Being cooped up with the same human, even the one you love most, (ironically) has its downfalls.
On the flip side, depending on where you are in the world, and how your government is handling the pandemic, your relationship has been tested in different ways. As I said, stress is high right now, and the people we normally lean on are also learning how to navigate these times. They may be unintentionally neglecting you as a result of their own concerns, fears, or frustrations.
Regardless of which boat you’re in – you miss your partner, or miss missing your partner; acknowledging your feelings, and setting forth a plan to maintain and strengthen the partnership can still be a priority. In fact, it should be. The world has lost a lot this year, so let’s make an effort to gain something…
Below I have set out a week’s worth of daily actions that each of us can take to reconnect with our partners and ourselves. I encourage you to tailor these to your tastes and needs — and remember this one key detail: HAVE FUN!
Start the week off by trying something new together or apart.
Separate: If you are in a situation like James and I – living in a small space and prohibited from going outside – it may be time to explore something you’ve always wanted to do/learn. For example, joining an online fitness or art class. What’s great about this is it offers new topics for you and your partner to discuss. In fact, it can even bring something new to the relationship that the two of you can share, for example a new recipe you learned!
Together: Get outside of the box and avoid your default settings (you know, Netflix and actually chillin’!). There’s definitely a time for this, but creating intentional moments is important for rekindling the spark. A great way to do this could be registering for classes specific to that! A great one: Layla Martin’s Couple’s Master Class.
Let’s be real, you’re with your partner for more than one reason. How often do you share those with them though? I want you to turn this day of the week into texting Tuesday! It’s a low-pressure commitment that looks something like this:
Throughout your day, send 5 separate messages giving gratitude to your partner. The benefits of this is you’re showing appreciation for your partner without physically needing to be there. Unsure what to say? Tell them how they make your life better, easier, more enjoyable. Share something specific they did for you in the last month that had an impact. Need more? Here are a few general texts I sent to my hubby recently (brace yourself for the cheese):
“You are my best friend, the person I feel at peace with.”
“I don’t know how we got so lucky. Even during this strange and imperfect time, there isn’t a single thing I’d change about us; about you.”
“We haven’t spent a ton of quality time together lately, but just know I think of you every day, in so many ways.”
“I appreciate you and am beyond proud to be your wife.”
Texting provides a space for your partner to digest your words and respond in their own time. Perhaps you’ll receive a simple, “thank you,” or maybe your appreciation will lead to some unexpected intimacy. In saying that, it’s best to go in with no expectations. Just be genuine in your appreciation. I assure you that gratitude brings about positive things.
I’m a sucker for a good playlist. Just yesterday, James and I were discussing what we’d do if we were rich! I asked what three things he would focus on more if money were no obstacle. His answers were: luxurious sexual experiences, producing movies, and European football. Mine were: luxurious sexual experiences, music, and travel. Sex and music have always had similar effects on me. Being at a concert has lifted me into the same out-of-body experience I’ve had during many Dom/sub scenes with James. It’s transcendent!
One age old romantic gesture I’ve always admired is the mix tape. Of course, it being 2020, the chances of finding a cassette player (do you remember your first Walkman?) may be slim. Luckily, there are free platforms like Spotify, or even YouTube, that allow you to create private playlists you can share with others. All you need is an internet connection and voila!
My suggestion? Start by selecting 10-15 songs that remind you of your person or have significant meaning/reference to a specific moment in your relationship. This playlist can be something you enjoy together or separately, and you can continue adding to it each week. Sounds like a great soundtrack for upcoming date nights 😉!
Today I want you to find a jar or container and set it in a spot that is noticeable to you and your partner. Each week, I want you and your partner to take a small piece of paper and write one thing you want to do – something that brings you joy. Add to this jar as often as you like, but make sure you do it a minimum of once every Thursday.
This will come in handy for the end of the week…
End your work week on a high note with date night Friday’s! It’s a great time to bring up that steamy convo you had while texting Tuesday, or turn up the volume on your private playlist. This should be a moment you spend together physically and intentionally.
Some date night ideas:
❤️ Find a new dinner or dessert recipe and make it together!
❤️ Check out these board games for couples: Intimacy, Loopy, The Couple’s Bucket List
❤️ Download the Gottman Card Decks to increase intimacy and engage in exciting conversations!
❤️ Take turns asking each other these risqué questions!
Since there are only so many weekends in the year, Saturdays tend to be reserved for family visits or gatherings with friends. Although both are equally important, before you know it, you’ll look back on your year realizing you were booked to the max! Taking time out for yourself matters for so many reasons. Self-care is critical in increasing confidence, self-awareness, reducing stress, and allowing you to better care for the people you love. So, my suggestion:
Regardless of what your plans are, take one hour in the morning (or evening, depending on your schedule) and just be. What does that look like, exactly? Take a bath. Go for a calming walk in nature. Read a friggin’ book! What should you not be doing? Using this time to work, make other people happy, or catch up on what’s going on in the “outside” world (news, TV, family drama, etc.)! This time is for you – to reconnect with yourself, reflect on your life and what you need in the minutes, moments, days to come.
Remember the jar you’ve been adding to on Thursdays? Time to sit down with your partner, and each pick one slip of paper from inside. Read them aloud to each other and schedule the suggested activity sometime in the next 3 weeks! That should be enough time to move things around if necessary.
“There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.” – Tiffanie DeBartolo
Your relationship is your own. It’s that simple. Regardless of life’s pressures, or what the people around you think, there is no template to love. Everyone experiences and approaches it differently. In saying that, love should be the one constant in your life that feels good. (That isn’t to say you won’t come across hard times, feel sad, or lost.) By maintaining or rekindling the spark, love can be a guiding force to pleasure and resolution. Trust yourself, trust your love, and do the best you can with what you have. Gearing your mind toward the positive will open the world for you and your significant other – let these daily actions be the catalyst that shoots you forward.
Until next time,
Fuck well, friends.
Quean Mo xx