The coronavirus outbreak has made life feel troubling and uncertain, and now, more than ever, it's important to seek out the silver linings. One nice thing about social distancing is that it offers a unique opportunity to bond with the people you love, whether they be friends, family, or your partner. If you're not sure how to bond with your partner while quarantining together, it really just comes down to turning quantity of time (because, truthfully, it feels like there's no shortage of time these days) into quality time. And with the heightened emotions most people are experiencing right now, Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, calls this an ideal time to reinforce your connection.
"Both of you have the same circumstances now and are probably feeling the same way about it. That already bonds you in a way," Chong tells Elite Daily. "Not to mention that now, your priorities have shifted and work isn't as important as health and loved ones. Being homebound forces you to make the most of this time, and it's never been a better time to connect with your partner."
If you and your partner are holed up together, take this opportunity to grow even closer. Here are some ways the experts suggest you can bond.
Ask Each Other Deep Questions.
Life gets busy, which can make it hard to slow down and have a deep conversation with your partner. Quarantine means you probably have nothing but time to have the kinds of conversations that lead to closer bonds and a better understanding of one another. Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, suggests approaching the subject by asking your partner the 36 questions created by Arthur Aron for his experiment in creating closeness in interpersonal relationships (made famous by The New York Times).
“This list is known to help couples fall in love, and you'll learn more about your partner based on their answers. In short, it’s a bonding exercise. To make it more interesting, take turns asking the questions,” she tells Elite Daily.
Have Fun In The Kitchen Together.
Being in quarantine puts a damper on dining out, so embrace cooking at home by creating a meal together or baking a treat to share, suggests Chong. “[It] can be a lot of fun, especially if it's a recipe you haven't tried before,” she says. “Decorating the cookies might just allow you to unleash your creative sides together, not to mention all the licking of cookie dough!”
When times are frightening or stressful like they are now, having fun with your partner is not only good for your emotional well being, but a great way to reinforce your bond. Chong’s advice is to play games together. “Any game, from a classic deck of cards to Xbox, will do, as long as it evokes laughter and competition,” says Chong.
If you want to feel closer to your partner, Spira suggests getting your endorphins flowing with a workout for two. “Just because you’re housebound, that doesn’t mean you should stop working out,” she says. “Climb up and down the stairs together if you’re in a multi-story property, set up a make-shift gym, join an online workout class, and put it on your calendar to stream daily together.” If it’s possible to go outside, she suggests taking advantage of that, safely. “Take a walk to get some fresh air, while maintaining the proper distance and wearing rubber gloves,” she says.
“Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is crucial now, especially with the news cycle reporting additional cases of COVID-19 daily,” says Spira. Consider meditation as a way to bond and release tension. “Use Amazon's Alexa Skills to request a meditation that you can do together, or download the Calm app on your mobile phone, where there’s an abundance of meditations to add to your daily schedule.”
Being under quarantine is certainly far from an ideal situation, but at least by putting some focus and energy into your connection with your partner, you're taking a challenging time and turning it into a win that can last long past the social distancing order is lifted.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships