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Stuck at home with your partner.  Let’s face it.  It’s not always the easiest thing.  Both might be stressed and feeling anxious because of COVID-19, or how it’s going to affect you. 

The Global Times reported that the Chinese city of Xi’an has seen a record-high number of divorce requests in recent weeks, with some districts even maxing out the number of appointments available at local government offices. 

I tried to come up with some practical tips on how to survive being quarantined with your partner:

  1. Admit that you’re anxious. 

Most of us are scared or worried. It’s pretty natural and normal to feel this way when being bombarded with news of people getting sick, and some dying. The social media has made it easier for us to know of illnesses and deaths in others countries too. This makes it feel so much closer to home than it might be and this makes it all feel even scarier.

2. State what you need right now.

We deal with anxiety in different ways and some of us do that by picking at others.  Others would need to clam up and spend time alone to assimilate all this information.  Be aware of what you need and be vocal about it. Being aware of what each other needs will make it easier for both to co-habitate in such a time.

3. Take time away from each other.

No matter how small your apartment is, you can still take some time alone and away from each other. We all need alone time. Not all the same amount and by the same extent. So respect each other’s need to be away from each other by stating it and giving the physical, emotional and psychological space.

4. Catch up on your To Do List.

Use this situation to get on top of the tasks that you never seem to find time for. Write a list and start crossing off, one after the other. Some might have a joint To Do List, whilst others would rather catch up on their individual tasks simultaneously.

5. Meal Plan together.

One way of combating the virus is by eating healthy. Some complain that they never find time to eat healthy. Well. This is the time to sit down and compile a list of healthy recipes and prepare them together.

6. Work out together.

Couples who train together. Stay together. In this situation it’s more like Couples who train together have less energy to bite each other’s heads off. Hehe. Look some workouts up on the net and try them together.

7. Binge watch your favourite / a new series.

You know how usually we spend more time choosing a series than actually watching it. Now you have the time. Jump into comfortable clothes (or stay in the nude), keep water close by and chill. Any excuse for some cuddling and spooning.

8. Have a sex marathon.

What sex therapist am I if I don’t remind you to have loads of sex. Water. Contraceptives. Sex toys. Take your time. Enjoy each other’s body. Now that all social events have been cancelled you don’t have anywhere to be anytime soon. So, get busy 🙂

9. Prepare a romantic date indoors.

When was the last time that you had some “us time”? Just sipping your favourite drink and looking into each other’s eyes. Organise a room and the right atmosphere and focus on what matters most, each other.

10. Trip down memory lane.

Music and pictures trigger memories. Organise a playlist from the year when you got together. Get the photo albums out (those who were born before 2000) or scroll down your Facebook profile. Re-visit the fun memories together.

11. Facetime other couples / friends.

Stay in touch with other friends and couples. Catch up with friends you usually do not have enough time to chill with.

Can you share more ideas of what couples can do during quarantine?

Matthew Bartolo is the founding member of the Willingness Team.  He is a counsellor, sex therapist and business mentor.