For many couples, love has taken a beating just like the rest of things over the past year. Now is the time to take the opportunity to reengage with your loved one and both check in with one another as well as ask some questions of each other that often get missed in the rush and boredom of our current pandemic world.
As I work with couples, I am seeing more and more coming in voicing fatigue, frustration, and disconnect in their relationships. It is like everyone was dealing with something when the pandemic began, and then it all got crammed and stuck into our homes. Just like a pressure cooker, the pressure built until things that were good, went bad, and things that were bad, got worse!
So what do we do?
Here is one exercise in reconnection I might suggest – plan a date night.
If possible, find some time away from the kids, outside of work, and far from any digital device with a screen! Even if this means extra caffeine for you and putting the kids down early, holing up in your room away from others, or sequestering alone in a VRBO or cabin in the woods. Do whatever you can and however you can to find some quality time alone.
With that settled, here are some ideas for your date night:
Step 1. Plan a meal
Make it fun and make it romantic. Order in, cook it up, or do whatever you can so that you both can savor a meal with just the two of you.
Step 2. Set the mood
Whether this is candles and soft music, or just the absence of children yelling and normal lights. Do whatever you both love and make it unique to the two of you.
Step 3. Conversation
After the meal, find a quiet place to have a conversation. During this conversation, ask each other the following questions:
- What’s the best part about being in a relationship with/married to me?
- Where, in the past year, did we work the best together?
- What do you hope for us?
- Where can I support you in the days to come to make that hope a reality?
- What is the happiest moment you remember between you and I from the past year?
Step 4. Your choice!
Where things go from there is up to you and your loved one. Hopefully answering the questions above will have drawn you much closer to one another. Whether the night turns more romantic or settles into a quiet peace, enjoy it!
Even if your love has taken a hit this year, there is always hope for that to change. I want to leave you with this quote. Whether you know it from Nat King Cole or from the movie Moulin Rouge, I think it is true. So to you and your loved one, remember:
“”The greatest thing..
You’ll ever learn..
Is just to love..
And be loved in return.”