I was married approximately two months before quarantine kicked in. We had not lived nor slept together beforehand so you can imagine the excitement and newness. So when learning my prince and I would be working home for months in our happy love nest my first reaction was, “Oh yay, now we can have sex all the merry day, while recouping wedding debt.”
My second, and less immediate reaction through these ensuing weeks has been, “shoot. How the shizzle am I gonna do my roots?”
The greatest quarantine-based struggle for me, aside from now homeschooling our combined five children and missing my heels to the point of tears, is I’m a die-hard romantic, and a HUGE believer in keeping the mystery alive, in relationships.
There are drawers in my side of the bathroom that my husband best not explore, and I might actually run the faucet at night so he won’t hear me pee. Those “open” couples who keep company round the toilet and pop each other’s pimples blow my mind. Some say it a high level of intimacy… I prefer a lifestyle of denial perpetuating the belief that comes in and out of me is and smells like day lilies and no one should never know what my tweezers do behind closed doors.
So all the princess hearts out there can envision this quarantine quandary of void of xxx.
Whether you’ve been long married, brand new, or somewhere in between, being homebound daily forces some serious mental adjustments and calls for definite creativity in the romance department. Here’s what’s worked for me…
Have Delusional Date Nights
Yep. Once a week my husband meets me downstairs in cologne, a collared shirt and a shaker to commence chocolate martinis. I don’t care how ridiculous it feels spiraling my hair for 15 minutes with nowhere to go, and making sure we have enough Godiva for Saturday night…. I need this night to occur. I find it soul crushing that my lipstick has remained uncoiled for a month now and I rock sweats, daily. Faux date nights have helped. Put the kids down early (or locking them upstairs with scrupulous amounts of snacks and Xbox) order takeout, drop $5.99 for an HD Amazon rental, make a fire and/or whatever else helps make the night feel special.
Keep up the Front
I fully acknowledge the temptation to forgo regular bathing and any type of nail care before the economy resumes. It has taken everything in me to comb my hair daily and not to remain in my favorite stained hoodie that always makes me feel Zen. But I’ve found little things like wearing real clothes and even doing my hair lends false hope that I really WILL have somewhere to go, or someone to see. I don’t and won’t, but I enjoy the facade. Plus, yoga pants are basically a tool of Satan used to mask weight gain clearly derivative of being homebound with Girl Scout cookies. Jeans are like that honest friend who keeps it real, no matter how unpleasant the feedback. And these Guess don’t lie.
Find a show you both love
But not just any show. Some shows are funny and/or entertaining, but series like Lost, Homeland, or John Adams adds a mix of romance/thrills that at give you something to look forward to, and keeps you clinging to each other under the blankets. Absurdly enough, we’ve discovered the late nineties hit, The X Files. And if the quarantine’s still going by the end of 11 seasons, God help us all.
I hate cooking. But it’s better and more tasty than cleaning, so bring it on. We’ve been getting creative to kill the time, and I’ve found it’s kind of fun to get a little competitive on who’s top chef of the week. Consider ordering a cheap pizza stone on Amazon and learn the art of homemade pizza. Buy a spiralizer for healthy options and take turns making the recipes. For the upcoming Cinco de Mayo, I’m already planning our taco menu. Unless the ban is lifted, upon which we’ll be peeling out of the driveway, Margherita-bound. Por Favor, Dios.
Take a Drive
Never. Ever. In my wildest nightmares would I EVER thought I’d utter these words, but…outings to Costco have become the highlight of our week. (How. How have they not found a vaccine yet…) It’s awful, but woomp there it is. Glancing at our abandoned offspring in the rearview mirror, blasting the radio out on the open road towards wholesale hell…. feels like pure heaven. If there’s legit no reason to leave, Google a coffeehouse with takeout or some landmark within 40 miles you’ve never seen and just go. You’ll both return better people. Car make-outs optional.
Take walks and hikes together
There’s just nothing like nature to re-set our perspective and help us feel more peaceful and connected. Even if you have to drive to a nearby trail, or weather’s crummy, it’s worth the effort. Some of our best talks and conflict resolutions have happened on walks- even just around the neighborhood. Totally worth faking smiles at the neighbors’ constant “social distance hello!” greetings from yard to yard. “I just can’t, babe.” “I know.”
Still Attempt to Miss Each Other
This is admittedly difficult while on viral house arrest, but it’s possible. One of the things I’ve missed most is hearing my husband’s personalized text ring, when we were apart. I miss sending playful/sappy texts from work, and leaving post-its around….”Have a good day, my love!” (again, newlyweds). So I’ve found ways to maintain the messaging spark. The other day when my man left for errands, I ran through the house giddy with excitement deciding which emoji to send. I’ve sleuthed into his office plastering “good luck” notes on his laptop before important calls, and when out of ideas, we leave post-shower messages in the steamed mirror. Can’t keep this love down, Corona.
I’m sorry but praying together is a turn on. It just is. My husband could eat every last ounce of my precious guacamole or fall asleep on the couch mid-date night (nooo he d-’in’t) but one glance at that bowed head, and I’m mush. I’ve found quarantine has brought SO many opportunities in our family to either renew or begin new spiritual practices, like watching YouTube sermons and having ‘home church” (I’ve joined the coffee ministry). Always believed married couples should pray daily under normal circumstances, but of course we quite managed to establish this pattern. Now that we have the time, try praying together for a minute or two every morning- it makes all the difference in these very long days. “Homeschooling moms” maybe fast and pray longer. Sweet Mercy.
Big picture it
I mean, it’s straight up unnatural to be in another’s presence so give yourself a break when you get uncomfortable, or frustrated with each other. Try not to sweat the little conflicts and keep the picture in mind: this is temporary. You love this person, and we’re probably not the most stellar 24/7 roommates imaginable, if we’re honest with ourselves. Pray for extra grace, patience, appreciation and even increased feelings of romance and try and make every day a challenge to be the best partner.
To all the romance-deprived kindred spirits out there, let us remember. Those heels will be rocked and perfume sprayed before we know it. Until then send in your comments below to share your quarantine love struggles/victories… I’d love to re-post! Xo