Before COVID-19, my husband and I would always do date nights.

We’d go out to dinner and were surrounded by candlelight and no distractions. We cherished these nights. On the other weeknights though, we were working late and busy with everyone else and their needs. By the end of the day, we were so tired we barely had energy to REALLY be with each other.

Fast forward to March – social distancing began and our regular patterns were shut down. With the change of pace in our careers and lives outside of our home, it was the first time in our lives we had a significant amount of free time! We were finally able to see just how disconnected we had been, not only from the ones we love most, but also ourselves.

Claire and Chas Karakey Happy MarriageSuddenly, we found ourselves walking every morning, throwing the ball for the dogs while we drank coffee. At night we were cooking with each other while listening to music and even dancing! We were smitten with our new time together… we were laughing, dreaming, listening to each other, and so much more. I had never felt so close to my husband.

The reason for our increased connection in March was because everything stopped in the outside world and we finally had the time to create some of these relationship rituals and think outside the box. We started doing these simple and silly things on a recurring basis and it was time for just us.

Since that time has passed and some things in the outside world have gone back to normal…

…we are all now challenged with maintaining that same connection we had at the beginning of the lockdown. Once again, most of our time is now spent dealing with changes and challenges of going back to work and/or school – whether it’s virtually, on site, or still in flux.

Now, more than ever, we need to be aware that this is the time that we are most likely to fall back into our old patterns and lose sight of the great things we were doing with the one that matters most. There was so much gratitude expressed during that time and we don’t want to let it slip away. We want to maintain (or reestablish) some of that closeness and connection – even though our regular lives are beginning to pick back up.

I know you’re starting to get busy again, and with that, you’re losing the time (and energy) to do these simple things together. So, it is important now to try to hold on to as many of those rituals as you can, but also to add back in a weekly date night – even if it’s modified because of the limited options outside the house.

Let’s spice it up and set some date night goals – to really enjoy yourselves and do FUN things! Here are some ideas on how you can intentionally spend some quality time connecting with your significant other, even during a global pandemic…

Why not turn a chore into a fun activity? We all need to eat, so if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend cooking with each other… wearing something small or nothing at all. Caution: watch out for hot surfaces and chili peppers!

If it’s a clear night, go for drive and see where you end up! You may find yourself at the top of a hill watching the stars. It’s amazing what you can see when you just stop. Of course, you will also want to hold hands and smooch a little. Pretend you are teenagers again!

Wanna get all dressed up and be OK with having no place to go? Do it… Dress up and dance! There is no better time to let your hair down and dance like no-one is watching. Maybe you guys like to sing… Whatever your favorite genre, turn it up and serenade each other. If you were a fly on the wall in our house, you’d have seen some pretty awesome rap battles – and also some crying with Adele.

Act like kids again… go to a local park and play on the swings. If there is a pond, feed the fish. Take off your shoes and play in the sandbox – you can act like your 7 and feel grounded to nature at the same time. Really challenge yourself to PLAY with a free spirit. Adulting is exhausting!

Fun date nightGive yourselves a bit of a spa day (or night). You can take a salt bath then shower together. Afterwards, give each other a 15-minute massage using some warming oils… and to ensure you get your full time, you get yours first and use a timer!!

Make a fort and have a movie night… this could be a fun one to do where kids are allowed (or not;). Make the popcorn. Get the Twizzlers and Junior Mints (freeze ‘em). And bring out your blankets and pillows. Oh, and one very important note – build your fort intentionally so you have to snuggle together.

If you have a full day or a weekend free, get the heck out of dodge! Flagstaff is just a hop and skip away and it’s nice and cool there. The stars a brighter too. Just the different scenery alone allows you to get out of your head and reconnect. It’s a beautiful break from the norm.

Whatever activity you do, be sure to use the time to check in with each other – put your phones away and actively participate in being together.

And while these are great date night ideas, like I said above, even just getting back a few of those daily rituals like morning walks or playing catch together with the dog are super important too!

These efforts truly make a difference in every aspect of our lives. When you nurture your relationship, it helps you and your partner feel supported and loved… which allows you to take on anything the external world throws at you.

Here is my final reminder… relationships take work. Our work never stops, but this is also what makes it so special. So be sure to be creative, maintain those daily moments together, and aim to go on one date at least every other week with that most important person.

Sending you light and love,
Claire

~ You are worthy. You are capable. You are enough! ~