This article is part of the “Relationship” series. Click here to learn more.
Being in a relationship could already be tough enough. However, quarantine is presenting couples with a new set of obstacles to overcome. As much as you love your partner, being in the same place day after day with the same person can lead to some serious rifts.
Many feel as though quarantine is putting a damper on their relationship or that it is driving a wedge between them. Whether you are dating, engaged or married, we are here to share some helpful ideas on how to get the spark back in your relationship. There’s no reason you can’t rekindle love while in quarantine.
How to Get the Spark Back in Your Relationship
1. Small Gestures
You can never overlook the impact of a small gesture. Sometimes when we have the urge to do something for our partner, it can feel like going big is the only way. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, studies show that everyday gestures of love, even small ones, have a greater impact. They can make all the difference to your partner in terms of boosting their mood and confidence. Think for a minute about the small gestures from your partner that bring you the most joy. It might be a compliment about your physical appearance, a simple hand on your knee or just hearing the words “I love you”. For others, it could be that they remembered to take out the trash, breakfast in bed or a thoughtful card.
One of our favorite apps, Love Nudge, is the perfect way to start building these positive habits. Think of it like a pocket assistant that reminds you to “intentionally express love in ways that are most meaningful to your partner”. Based around the concepts of the 5 Love Languages, you and your partner will discover your individual love language and set up notifications that will prompt you to perform a gesture that aligns with one another’s preferences. Whether you use this app for the duration of the quarantine or long after, it will help you remember to prioritize your partner and get the spark back in your relationship.
2. Mental & Emotional Check-Ins
Quarantine is taking a mental and emotional toll on everyone, not just couples. However, stress in these areas can eventually bleed over and start to impact your relationship. You have likely noticed it happening under similar circumstances. Frustrations boil over, and you begin to pick at one another. You begin to get snarky with one another. Before long, you might be full-on fighting. All over something simple or entirely unrelated. Why? Because you are mentally and emotionally on edge.
To prevent this from happening, make a habit of checking in on each other from time to time. It doesn’t have to be intimate, but you should actively listen to one another – perhaps over dinner or lying in bed. If you can determine a specific problem, see if you can find a solution. The overall goal is to let your partner know that you are there for them and that their well-being matters to you. Therefore, try asking one another the following questions and discuss your answers:
- How are you doing? Really?
- Are there any behaviors I can change or be mindful of that bother you?
- How can I help you today?
- Is there anything you need from me to feel supported?
3. Bonding Activities
As you most likely already know, there are few things better than finding a hobby that you enjoy with your significant other. While your options may be limited during quarantine, there are still plenty of things you can try your hand at. If it isn’t your forte, no harm done – you’ll just have some good memories. Here are just a few activities to consider to help get your spark back:
Disclaimer: you have to be relatively strong to do this. Find a YouTube video with instructions and see how many poses you can do successfully. At the very least, your attempts will be hilarious.
Craft some cocktails
Set your inner bartender free. Whip up a cocktail of your own invention and serve it to your partner – whoever makes the least repulsive drink wins! Afterwards, try making some real cocktails and just enjoy the buzz.
If you have a backyard, don’t let it go to waste. Gardening is incredibly rewarding, as you see the literal fruits of your labor. It is a great way to bond as well, so why not put some homegrown food on the table? If you prefer, opt for flowers instead.
The world of baking is vast and a great creative outlet. This takes a lot of patience and practice, but it is a fun and useful skill to have. Start with one easy recipe and see where it takes you.
4. Respect the Need for Alone Time
While alone time is not essential for every relationship, you may find yourself needing it more often during quarantine. First, know that it is okay to need alone time. Don’t take it personally if your partner requests some personal space or alone time. You have been cooped up with each other for weeks on end. Whether it is to read a book or partake in a hobby, that warrants a little break. The reality is that you don’t have to do everything together. While bonding activities are important, it is equally important that you can enjoy your own company. Remember, “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” If anything, some alone time will make you miss your partner, be more appreciative of their company and will ultimately help get your spark back.
5. Get Physical
Intimacy is important in a relationship but not in the way you might think. Sex is only one form of intimacy and not the only way to get the spark back. By mixing things up, you can form a stronger relationship and find new outlets through which to obtain a physical connection. One way is to enjoy cuddling – not in front of the television but in bed as an alternative to sex. Soak in each other’s presence and enjoy the stillness of it all. You can also kiss but not in the pre-cursor to sex kind of way. A tame make out is incredibly underappreciated, but it’s a surprisingly great way to connect with your partner. If you struggle with either of these forms of intimacy and would prefer something more casual, consider dancing. Push your living room furniture aside and dance to a few of your favorite slow songs. Wrap your arms around one another and press your bodies close together. Dancing is an effortless way to be physically close to your partner while being intimate.
6. Keep Date Night Alive
Date night has undoubtedly been more difficult while in quarantine, but it’s not impossible. If anything, it just requires that you be a little more creative. With that being said, having a date in these circumstances makes it all much more memorable. Maintaining date night throughout quarantine is a great way to ensure your relationship remains fun and prevents the romance from fizzling out. Coming up with a date night might seem intimidating, but you don’t need to put on a big show for the night to be special. As with small gestures, it doesn’t take a lot to let your partner know that they are loved and appreciated. Need some ideas to get you started? Check out our recent piece, 14 Creative and Memorable Date At-Home Ideas, for some inspiration.
Will you be trying out any of these ideas? Let us know how you are working to get the spark back in your relationship! We wish you and your loved ones health and safety in these trying times, and we encourage you to continue to both stay positive and look forward towards the future.
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