By Jessica Kastner, Crosswalk.com
Being home with our beloved (or anyone) all day, every day can feel unnatural, no matter how deep our God-given love runs.
Suddenly there’s no outside entertainment, no friends to socialize with, no activities to share, and the list goes on. Suddenly it may feel like you and your spouse have nothing special to share together.
Whether you’re newly-married, a veteran couple, or somewhere in between, being homebound daily forces some unexpected relational adjustments and calls for major creativity in the romance department. Here are 8 ideas to try.
1. Have Creative Date Nights
It may feel ridiculous meeting your husband (collared shirt and cologne, a must) at 8 p.m. in the candle-lit dining room every Saturday night... but for many of us, this needs to occur. We all know date nights are a key component of healthy relationships, and these times certainly call for a boost.
Put the kids down early (or lock them upstairs with scrupulous amounts of snacks and Xbox) order takeout, rent movie, make a fire and/or whatever else helps make the night feel special. Chocolate is a plus.
2. Find a Show You Both Love
But not just any show. Some shows are funny and/or entertaining enough, but old favorites like Lost, Homeland, or John Adams adds a mix of romance/thrills that keeps you clinging to each other under the blankets at night.
Ask friends for recommendations and pick one’s with lots of pre-taped episodes in case you get addicted, or check out this list: 10 Clean but Binge-Worthy TV Shows to Watch during Quarantine.
And if the quarantine’s still going by the end of 11 seasons, God help us all.
3. Cook Together
Even if you dislike cooking. It’s better and tastier than cleaning, so bring it on.
It can even be fun making a competition about whose ‘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.
Plan theme nights, like a taco buffet for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo. Unless the ban is lifted, upon which we’ll hopefully all bee peeling out of the driveway for dine-in Mexican. Por Favor, Dios.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Soroush Karimi
4. Take a Drive
Never. Ever. In our wildest nightmares would we ever believe this could ring true, but…outings to Costco could possibly become the highlight the week. Especially when leaving older kids home.
It may sound awful (again, trying times) but glancing at our abandoned offspring in the rearview mirror, blasting the radio out on the open road towards wholesale haven, might just feel like pure heaven. If there’s 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.
5. Still Attempt to Miss Each Other
This is admittedly difficult while on viral house arrest, but it’s possible.
One of the things we might miss the most is hearing our spouse’s personalized text ring when we’re apart. It was fun sending playful/sappy texts from work or home, and leaving post-its around….”Have a good day, my love!” but there are still ways to keep up the pretenses when home.
Make an effort to go for a run, or errands or work in another room from your spouse, to allow some personal space and remember what it was like to miss each other.
There are always opportunities to flirt. If your spouse runs an errand, leave notes around the house they’ll find later. Write love messages in the steamed mirror after a shower. Can’t keep this love down, Corona.
6. Get Outside 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.
Many couple’s best talks and conflict resolutions have happened on walks. If running/walking isn’t your thing, think of other ways to move or exercise together, like taking up tennis or golf, if the course is open.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages
7. Pray Together
There’s almost nothing more bonding than praying together.
Many friends have agreed, their husbands could eat every last ounce of precious guacamole or fall asleep on the couch mid-date night (nooo he d-’in’t) but one glance at that bowed head, we’re mush.
This time of quarantine can bring so many opportunities in our family to either renew or begin new spiritual practices, like watching YouTube sermons and having ‘home church.” 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 as well. Sweet Mercy.
8. Big Picture It
We all feel more stress during this quarantine season, but we can try minimize the tension it brings into our homes.
When we’re frustrated with each other, try not to sweat the little conflicts and keep the picture in mind: this is temporary. You love your spouse, and if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re probably not the most stellar 24/7 roommates on the planet.
Pray for extra grace, patience, and appreciation and even increased feelings of romance for the remainder our time home together.
If we have our health, and each other, there is so much to be thankful for. And we’ll be thanking Jesus soon enough for romance and adventure that never again occurs within a store selling bulk bread. Amen.
Jessica Kastner shares her “fluff-free” commentary at jessicakastner.com. She just released a new book, Hiding from the Kids in My Prayer Closet, and she serves as CT coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, leading Bible studies at juvenile detention centers.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Joao Silas