Fall and winter is the time of the year where everyone wants to get “cuffed” and cuddle with a partner while sitting near a fireplace. Unfortunately, we still have to remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic and some rules still apply — even if we feel the love spell of autumn wash over us. Below are a few ways to achieve intimacy (both physically and mentally) during a pandemic.
Making a list together.
Many people may not know that creating lists of activities and goals you want to achieve together is a great way to bond with one another on a deeper level. Creating a short term list of goals you want to achieve within the next few months helps you to stay focused on what kinds of activities you want to cross off your short term bucket list. This way, you will increase intimacy and finish your goals. Talk about being productive!
The Intimacy Institute suggests accumulating two hours of sunshine a day; 30 minutes of movement; and/or eight hours of sleep. The idea is to sit down together and make a list to be the best version of yourselves.
Find ways to deposit change into the love language bank.
Gary Chapman is responsible for coming up with the five love languages. In his book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, he states that there are five love languages. They are words of affirmations, acts of service, gift-giving, quality time, and physical touch. It is incredibly important to know what kind of love language your partner embodies, so you know how to fulfill their needs.
The Intimacy Institute advises: Figure out your primary language—usually the one you default to forgiving. Then, set an alarm 1-3 times a day to make a deposit into your partner’s emotional piggy bank.
Use the phone!
We often forget how incredibly useful our phones have become. If you do not live with your partner, you can still achieve intimacy through phone sex and dirty talk. Cosmopolitan advises you have a list of things both of you are comfortable talking about, get submissive or dominant (whichever is easier for you), and maybe even do a little storytelling. There is no wrong way to use the phone and arouse your partner so why not try it for yourself?
Deep talks that go beneath the surface.
Not into sexual intimacy right now during the pandemic? That is totally okay, too. You may be able to increase you and your partner’s emotional intimacy. This can be achieved by creating a safe space for the both of you to share your feelings and become more vulnerable. To create a safe space, Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. suggests Being respectful and trustworthy, being supportive, and curious. If you and your partner have already created a safe space, Vilhauer advises on how to be more vulnerable through accepting, expressing, and trusting yourself.
Ask yourself what you need.
Sometimes when we are under quarantine, it can be difficult to communicate with our partner in an effective way. The need to stay inside and the desire to go outside can fester within us and create tension and anxiety within ourselves — otherwise known as quarantine fatigue according to Massachusetts General Hospital.
“All needs can be collaborative if we drop them to a deeper and more meaningful level,” The Intimacy Institute says. “For instance, “My need for safety can be met when we cuddle; while your need to feel desired can be met when we sexually connect.”