To refashion the title of a Gabriel García Márquez novel, love in the time of corona has been a challenge. Meeting new people in person has been nigh impossible and taking the next step from online introductions to in-person meetups has been rare. For those of us who did enter the pandemic firmly ensconced in relationships, sustaining those relationships as our worlds got too small for our own good has put many of them on the rocks. Too much time together indoors under terrific stress has torn some couples apart. In other cases, partners have stayed together but settled into a rut of lovelessness and grim mere cohabitation. Against a world that’s never been full of more alienation, loneliness, and despair, you can keep the romance alive during quarantine with a few of these suggestions.
Keep Some Alone Time
Even people in love get sick of each other. Longtime married couples who make it all the way to one partner’s retirement find that the relationship is suddenly a little different when one person isn’t at the office every day. A little absence really does make the heart grow fonder, so don’t feel pressure to share every activity. While walks and jogs together can be enjoyable, get your workouts in independently and set time aside to maintain other individual pursuits so that the time you do spend together is time well spent.
Table for Two
One of the biggest casualties of the pandemic has been the loss of dining at our favorite restaurants. Some spots have temporarily restricted their dine-in service, while others, tragically, have closed their doors for good as the financial challenges of the pandemic were too much to bear. With a damper on the ambiance and intimacy of a candlelit dinner, brush up on your cooking skills and bring the ambiance home with a romantic dinner at home. With a meal cooked to perfection and all the right accouterments, setting the stage yourself doesn’t have to be the next best thing—it can be even better.
Cinema at Home
The siren song of streaming in sweatpants is hard to resist. We’ve spent a lot of the past year in comfortable clothes, binge-watching all our favorite shows and movies. But as good as it feels to take it easy, keeping things low-key to a fault affects our perceptions of each other and ourselves. With new releases hitting streaming services, why not dress up for a night out at the movies in the comfort of home? By looking your best, you may feel better and keep the romance alive during quarantine against improbable odds.