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14 quarantine date night ideas and tips, no matter what stage your relationship is in

Christen A. Johnson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Dating Advice

Being locked in the house together means couples have to find creative, intentional ways to spend quality time with one another. Whether it's a game night, movie night or something more romantic, nurturing your relationship and cultivating meaningful connection, especially in the midst of a world crisis, is critical.

Michelle Herzog, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist at The Center for Mindful Living in Chicago, says spending intentional time with your significant other is important for your relationship's health.

"It's especially important right now because we can go throughout the day without connecting," said Herzog. "It's also a time where people are really grieving a lot of losses. If you have a partner available to you, it's such a good time to say, 'Can you just sit with me,' or 'Can we talk?' and really just be in this moment and be present with each other -- that's how connection builds and sustains itself."

If you're going to prioritize a date night at home, all the distractions have to be put away, said Herzog, like no TV or phones. Herzog also emphasized putting in effort.

"Dates are not going to just happen, they have to be planned," she said. "It's important that couples take turns and really put the effort in: set the mood, order the food, get the game, sign up for the class, whatever it is. Put the effort into that just like you would outside of your house."

Connection can happen no matter what stage your relationship is in, whether married, newly dating, long distance, and everything else in between. Since physical connection isn't an option for some couples at the moment, the focus should be on deepening your emotional intimacy.

 

Julie Spira, a cyber dating expert, tells couples in long-distance relationships to "always end your calls and chats by saying, 'I love you.' "It can't be said enough, especially when you're feeling isolated and lonely," Spira said.

Below are a few date night ideas and relationship tips -- tailored to your relationship situation -- if you're feeling stumped on ways to connect in the quarantine.

If you've been together six months or less

-- Sightsee. "I love the idea of traveling around the world without a passport," said Spira. "There are thousands of museums with virtual tours, and you can take turns in selecting what city or country you'd like to visit."

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