Social Distancing has left many of us at home for the past few months with our partners. For many couples, it has been far from easy. Some have been arguing more, feel like the romance is dead, or are just plain sick of each other. If this is the case for you, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love each other. It may just mean that with this new way of living more effort needs to be made in different areas of your relationship, especially when it comes to intimacy.
Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., along with some of his colleagues of the Kinsey Institute surveyed thousands of adults about the effects of the pandemic on their intimate and romantic relationships. 44% of participants said their sex life had declined and 30% said their romantic life has died out as well. They also found that 23% said their relationship was in a better place and 14% reported their intimate life improved. What this means is that it is possible to improve these aspects in a relationship.
Here are fives tips to get that spark back:
Try new things in the bedroom.
This is a good opportunity for you and your partner to discuss what you feel is lacking in the intimacy department. You can be open about things you’ve both been wanting to try as well. Dr. Lehmiller said that, “The people who made new additions were more likely to say that both their sex life and their relationship had improved. In fact, those who tried new things were three times more likely to report improvements in the bedroom than those who didn’t make any new additions.”
outlets to manage stress.
If you and your partner and stressed out because of the pandemic it’s natural to have a lower interest in being intimate. Lehmiller suggests finding a form of self-care that works for the both of you so you can be relaxed and focus on each other. You can try incorporating some healthy destressing tools into your day-to-day such as:
- Limit exposure to news and social media.
- Give each other massages
Get creative with some at-home romantic date nights.
It is too easy to not put any effort into our appearance or dates when we are confined to our homes. Movie theatres and restaurants are closed for many and not everyone is creative in the “at-home” department. Try setting up a romantic home-cooked dinner you can cook together. If you’d rather order in, order from your favorite restaurant you enjoyed together. Light some candles and play some music. Turn off all electronics. Don’t forget to treat it like a real date and get ready for it! Dr. Lehmiller states, “Putting in some effort to look good will help enhance your sexual appeal to your partner, while also showing them that you care.”
Try some “adult” games.
The internet offers a wide selection of free and purchasable online games that’s purpose is to spice up a couple’s intimacy. Even if it takes a while you can order “adult” games on many websites as well such as Amazon, Target, or Spencer’s. If you’re both too shy to make the first move but are open about wanting to try new things, this might be a great solution.
Don’t forget to stay physical outside of the bedroom.
Cuddling, spooning, hugging, and intimate conversations can be just as satisfying in a relationship as being intimate. Dr. Lehmiller says, “This kind of intimate touch releases the hormone oxytocin, which promotes feelings of bondedness and connection.” This kind of touching can potentially be more helpful in feeling satisfaction and loved during these stressful times.