This week marks Marriage Week, a celebration and reflection dedicated to relationships. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and, thus, a nation in lockdown has turned life as we know it upside down. You may find yourself worrying about lots of different things: childcare, finances, and the safety of loved ones to name a few. With so many plans put on hold, holidays cancelled, and important family days missed, the virus has left little room for keeping the spark alive. Read our tips below for creative ways of injecting some fun and romance into your relationship during lockdown!
If You’re Socially Distanced from Your Partner
Being forced apart from loved ones is arguably one of the most difficult obstacles of lockdown. However, there are many activities you can implement to adapt your relationship during this tough time…
Let’s Talk Tech
Fortunately, technology allows us to stay connected, although we can’t physically be together. Platforms such as Zoom and House Party allow for unlimited one-to-one video calls. You could use this opportunity to make a list of activities you’d like to do, or places to visit in future, or simply have a good chat. You could even get creative by playing online games with their screen-sharing service.
Sealed with A Kiss
Go retro by penning a good old-school love letter! You could use this opportunity to let your partner know what they mean to you. You could even go one step further by sending a Letterbox Gift to brighten their day. Or, get creative and have a go at making your own!
Interflora suggests making a mixtape for your loved one, which you could send in the post, or just as easily, online. You could include some of your favourite songs, or maybe the music that was playing on your first dates. The gift of music is a timeless and romantic gesture, and completely free!
If You Live Together
Many weeks into lockdown, you may feel you’ve exhausted all your ideas. It’s also normal to feel claustrophobic after being together for an extended period. Why not try some of these creative ideas to add some light-hearted fun into your relationship.
Recreate the First Date
Get creative by recreating your first (or favourite!) date in the comfort of your own home. For example, you could host a candlelit dinner, or set up a home cinema. There are endless ideas you could incorporate, such as creating a bowling game with household items or grabbing towels and ice cream in your garden to reimagine a beach date.
As the saying goes, ‘Tidy space, tidy mind’! This time could be used as a good opportunity to have a good declutter of your home. You may come across old photos or keepsakes to remind you of the good times. Furthermore, there are many ideas online on how to make natural cleaning products with household ingredients. This is a low cost, a fun activity to do with your partner and is great for the environment too!
Learn a New Skill
They say every cloud has a silver lining, so why not use this time to learn a new skill together? Whether you’d like to learn to cook, paint, or juggle – the possibilities are endless! You could start by thinking about things you are both interested in and go from there. This could be a bonding experience with your partner and you’ll both learn something new!
If You Live Together with Children
Keeping children entertained during lockdown, while also juggling work and now home-schooling is no easy task, and it’s easy to see how this could ultimately affect your relationship. Michael and Donna, from Nottingham, are parents to eight children! They have come up with the following ideas for keeping their little ones busy…
This is a fun activity that can help with your child’s learning too! Creating a home-bingo night is a fun activity you can all join in with and will keep you entertained for hours!
This home cinema activity is a great way to involve your children with household chores, which could help you out too! The family made a ‘price list’ for tickets and snacks, which the children purchased with pretend money earned by working through a jobs list. Creating a reward system with the promise of a treat at the end is both validating and fun for your children, and mum and dad might enjoy the fun too!
And If You’re Single…
Marriage Week is for everyone! If you’re single, we encourage you to make time for yourself. These are difficult times, and taking care of yourself is important. Furthermore, ‘dating’ yourself can help you identify what you do and don’t enjoy if you do choose to date in future. You could take yourself for a walk, make yourself your favourite meal or even treat yourself to something nice!
Similarly, we believe self-care, whether you’re single or in a relationship, is healthy for everyone. Investing time in yourself is not selfish, and you may find having some alone time is beneficial for your relationship, allowing you to be emotionally available to your partner when you do meet again.
Written By Rachael O’Brien
National Support Administrator for Counselling at Marriage Care