Learn How to Use the COVID-19 Quarantine to Improve Your Relationship!
Hello, friends. I’m not going to pretend it has not been tough with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have been laid off or have had our businesses evaporate. Those living alone have not had human touch for several months. Millions are financially struggling - and the stimulus check (if they received one) - is only a drop in the bucket. And alas, for some, you have gotten ill – and/or a family member has – and sadly, some even have endured the death of a loved one.
For the couples, the stress of it all has our patience running thin, resulting in our snapping at our partners much more quickly – and getting on each other’s nerves over the smallest things.
The following are seven valuable keys that will not only ameliorate this situation - but will show you two how to use this time of quarantine to turn your relationship into a source of solace and love as well as a catalyst for growth.
Powerful Quarantine Formula for Couples to Transform Their Relationship:
#1: Speak Your Truth to One Another
It is the total truth that some of the things that are happening now are disturbing, frightening – and more distressful than anything we may have ever experienced in our lifetimes. Some of us have: no more money, an elderly parent in a rest home that is in grave danger, our livelihoods vanishing before our eyes, the added responsibility now of home schooling our kids - and sadly, may have even contracted the coronavirus – or a loved one has… and many additional stressful circumstances.
All of our feelings around these things matter! If you have a partner in your life, you two have the opportunity to share your feelings with one another! Take turns sharing your feelings with each other – and, if you are on the receiving end, practice deep listening in which you become a loving vessel to receive your beloved’s feelings without offering any opinions, suggestions or advice.
And, as the deep listener, you set aside ALL blame, shame or guilt. Just be present for one another to listen & understand what your partner is entrusting to you. This practice of deeply listening to one another’s feelings is cathartic & healing in and of itself! This is not the time to find solutions, however. Once you have given each other the gift of powerful listening, you two can THEN mutually decide if it would make sense to explore solutions together.
#2: Expand What Is Possible in Your Relationship
This is a time like no other to step into new territory in your relationship, since many of the routines have been removed – and there is a space in which to create something new. I have a few deeply provocative questions I have prepared for you two below to thoroughly explore together.
Remember to set aside some uninterrupted time to examine these questions together. And, hear each other out completely as you each share what your responses are. That means, when your partner opens up to you in responding to one of these thought-provoking questions, please just listen - even if you don’t agree with him/her. Remember, in the arena of deep understanding, there is no blaming, shaming or judgment whatsoever – and only loving acceptance. And, you will get your turn to express your ideas.
Miracles occur when we can give the gift of true understanding to one another. As I teach in my seminars & trainings, deep listening is love in action.
So, here goes with the questions to explore together:
👉🏽(1) What would you love to experience in this relationship that you have not already experienced?
👉🏽(2) What part (or parts) of you has been ignored in this relationship? (Take ownership of the fact that these parts of you have been ignored.)
👉🏽(3) When we have a disagreement, do you feel fully heard and understood when you express your point of view?
👉🏽(4) Is there any area of our sexual experience together that you would love to expand and/or explore?
👉🏽(5) Are you realizing your individual dreams – and do you feel that I am supporting you as best I can to do so?
👉🏽(6) If there was any hesitation with the response to #5, how do you feel I could improve my support to you?
👉🏽(7) If you could have your dream life, what would that look like?
Once you have each had a chance to explore your responses to these questions – and feel fully heard and understood, you can then shift into discussing a possible plan to address what was shared. Don’t try to address all of this at once and come up with a time line! Include in your plan times to check in with one another to evaluate if the new actions & practices are valuable and effective.
#3: Set Aside Time for Physical Intimacy – and Not Just Sex
Of course, this suggestion to increase your physical intimacy is assuming that you two are able to do so. I am aware that some couples are in a situation in which they must practice physical distancing from one another at this time – for example, if one of you are in the health care field & working directly with COVID-19 patients. However, if you two ARE able to be touching at this time, this is a perfect opportunity to explore deeply intimate physical intimacy. Use your imaginations to expand way beyond just genital orgasms – and give each other the gift of sensual pleasuring in the myriad of ways possible. Just a few ideas that pop up: give each other a massage slowly & mindfully, take a bubble bath together, rub each other’s feet, arouse one another for a minimum of one hour without climaxing, slowly apply moisturizing cream to each other’s whole bodies and try practicing the partner tantra exercise of which there are a plethora of YouTube videos. And, that’s just a few ideas! Let your imaginations run!
#4: Offer to Help with a Chore or Challenge that You’ve Never Done Before
This one is somewhat self-explanatory. The key here is to become even more helpful than you have in the past – and put your love into action by offering THE GIFT of additional assistance. You are demonstrating an act of generosity by doing so.
And show your willingness to learn something new to break up old routines in which the two of you may have gotten stuck. For example, he always takes out the trash but she always does the dishes after dinner… Break this up! Be generous and try stepping into doing something that your partner used to be the one to do. Talk about demonstrating your love!
#5: Give Each Other Some Space and Alone Time
This is an age-old axiom of wisdom about romantic love that, in order for our love to be strong, there needs to be spaces in our togetherness to allow for two individuals to be truly themselves. One of my core teachings that I have developed over the twenty-five years of being in the relationship field is: Whole Me + Whole You = Whole WE.
The famous poet & philosopher, Kahlil Gibran said:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”
We really cannot be two whole people if we are constantly together 24/7, so – in this time of quarantine, we may need to get creative on how we are going to give the gift of alone time to one another.
#6: Do Something Fun That You Two Have Never Done Before!
Many of the renowned researchers and experts on love and pair bonding tell us that there is a need for novelty to keep love fresh and alive over the years. One of these love experts is Dr. Stan Tatkin, a best-selling author & creator of the PACT Institute, who says in his book Relationship Rx: “The best antidote to boredom is novelty. Some people think this means they should switch partners. But no matter how many times you switch partners, the novelty will wear off and you’ll be back where you started.”
Novelty needs to be a part of what a couple experiences on a regular basis - not just once a year! This can include newness in sex but is not limited to this arena. One question a couple can ask themselves on a weekly basis during quarantine: “Did we do something totally different this week?”
And, of course, we also need fun in our lives to balance the seriousness of all that is occurring now in our world – so why not explore something new together that will be fun as well? More than anything, please help each other to step out of getting too stressed and/or serious about things – and find ways to laugh together on a regular basis.
#7: Enhance Who You Are as Individuals AND as a Couple!
This last point could be demonstrated in a variety of ways, depending on what your world & life views are. If you both enjoy some kind of spirituality or spiritual doctrine, share some spiritual practices together – such as reading spiritual writings to one another, meditating & praying together or watching some YouTube videos of teachers to help you two to practice some mindfulness movements such as qi gong, tai chi or yoga. The purpose of such practices is to help you two expand your love, wisdom and capacity to live from your greatest selves.
In addition, studies have demonstrated countless times that service is one of the core practices that gets us out of our “small selves” – and expands what and who we are being individually and in our relationships. Decide together what the two of you would like to do to contribute to those who are suffering more than you two. And, this does not have to cost money. You could look in on some neighbors & find out how to assist them, volunteer at your local soup kitchen – or become a volunteer for a hotline for lonely elders who are shut in now with no human contact whatsoever. (This is a good resource for coastal central California as an example: www.ioaging.org/volunteer-for-the-friendship-line ). Brainstorm with your partner to come up with ideas that the two of you could do together to be of service.
Hopefully by now, you have become excited about what is possible for your relationship during this quarantine – and will be able to inspire your partner to do the same by reading this article. It really is possible to use this quarantine & the challenges around the virus to help your relationship go from a good one to a truly extraordinary one! In such a deeply connected relationship, you both help one another to step into living from your greatest selves – and enjoy all of the wonderful gifts of true intimacy and connection.
Check out Kim Von Berg’s many services for couples at: www.KimVonBerg.com - and, for singles at: www.ThrivingLovingRelationships.com
During this COVID-19 quarantine, Kim has freed up a number of slots to be able to offer some FREE 30-minute love consultations. Just go to www.kimvonberg.com/free-consultation